Where Are All of the Carolina Parakeets?

According to the 1963 volume Where is that Vanished Bird? there are 720 Carolina parakeet skins and mounts throughout the world. It also shows that 75 of them are at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.. During one visit, I saw a natural diorama display of several mounted birds but sadly, they weren't on exhibit the next time I went to the Smithsonian just to see them and take some photographs.

I was lucky enough to know the late Dr. Luis F. Baptista who was the Curator of Ornithology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. During my visits, I got to see many Carolina parakeet skins and those of many other extinct species. While I appreciated seeing them, it saddened me a great deal. 

When the Carolina Parakeet became extinct, six species of mites also became extinct. Researcher examining a stuffed Carolina Parakeet found these mites still attached to the bird. Mites usually are host specific and don't hop from one species to another.

The Cincinnati Zoo had a mated pair of Carolina parrots who had lived there for some time and were devoted to each other. When the hen, Lady Jane died, her mate Inca became quite melancholy according to literature. Inca was tha last known living Carolina Parakeet, although there were rare sightings in the wild for a few years longer. The Cincinnati Zoo evidently sent his body to the Smithsonian but it was never received. He should have had a place of honor there to honor him but his body was lost. The photo is of a replica of Inca with information.  








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