The extinct Black-fronted Parakeet or Tahiti Parakeet (Cyanoramphus zealandicus) was endemic to the island of Tahiti, located in the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean.
Three specimens were collected on Cook’s voyage in 1773, two of which are now in Liverpool and one in the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum in Tring.
A fourth was collected by Amadis in 1842 – now kept in the museum at Perpignan.
A fifth was collected by Lieutenant des Marolles in 1844, now in Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris.
This species became extinct due to a variety of reasons, including deforestation for agriculture and the resulting loss of suitable habitat needed by this forest species, hunting for its red feathers that were used in arts and crafts, and predation by introduced species, such as cats and European rats.
This parakeet averaged 25 cm or 10 inches in length (including its tail).
The plumage was mostly green / olive-green, with a bluish tint to the breast, abdomen under tail-coverts and tail. The forehead was black. The lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head) and stripe across eye were red. The lower back was red.
The outer webs of flight-feathers were violet-blue. They had light blue eye-rings.
Adults most likely had orange irises, while young birds had dark/brownish eyes. The feet were greyish-brown and the bill was pale bluish-grey with a blackish tip.
Males and females looked alike.
Species: Scientific: Cyanoramphus zealandicus … English: Black-fronted Parakeet, Tahiti Parakeet … Dutch: Zwartvoorhoofdkakariki, Tahitiaanse Kakariki … German: Tahiti Laufsittich … French: Perruche à front noir … CITES Status – Extinct.