The Carolina parakeet was once found in much of the southeastern USA and had the most northerly range of all the species of parrot. It often lived in large groups in cypress and sycamore trees along rivers and swamps. In the early 1800s it was still a common bird but in 1832 John James Audubon – an accomplished naturalist and author famous for his book ‘The Birds of America’ – noted that its numbers were starting to fall. The Carolina parakeet is now extinct and humans are largely to blame. Increased settlement, agriculture and deforestation reduced their habitat and they were actively killed to protect crops. Its green, yellow and orange feathers made it an attractive bird and they were taken from the wild for the pet trade and killed in large numbers so that their feathers could be used in the fashion industry. Another theory for the Carolina parakeet’s demise is that honeybees out competed them for nesting sites. It is also possible that the birds contracted poultry disease which ultimately lead to their extinction. The last specimens were collected near Lake Okeechobee, Florida, in 1904, and the last captive bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918. Rumours of its survival in the wild continued into the 1930s but were not verified.