About 2,000 parrots inhabit Grand Cayman, while the quieter, smaller Cayman Brac Parrot maintains a stable population of about 400. Nesting in tree holes in old-growth forests, the colourful parrots depend on undisturbed woodlands and black mangrove forests for survival.
The Cayman Islands parrots are two sub-species of the Cuban Parrot (Amazona Leucocephala).
Cayman's parrots have iridescent green feathers with darker edges over the body, a white eye ring, red cheeks, black ear patches and brilliant blue wing feathers which are only obvious when the bird is in flight. The tail has blue outer edges, with some red and yellowish-green underneath.
The Grand Cayman Parrot (Amazona leucocephala caymanensis) also has a pink flush to its whitish forehead.
The Cayman Brac Parrot (Amazona leucocephala hesterna) is slightly smaller, with more black trim on its green feathers. The crown is pure white, and there is a large maroon area on the abdomen. It is now found only on Cayman Brac. Although it used to inhabit Little Cayman, it was apparently wiped out from there by the 1932 hurricane.
Historically parrots were common family pets. Today, however, it is illegal to take a parrot from the wild and keep it as a pet.
Last Updated: 2005-10-11