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      NATURE REPORT : Red Crown Parrots

      Perched on a weathered cottonwood snag, a pair of red-crowned parrots affectionately grooms one another in the early morning. Just below and to the right of them is their nest cavity.Red-crowned parrots form strong pair bonds and many mate for life, which can be a considerable number of years as it is not uncommon for parrots to live for more than 40 years.After several minutes of grooming, it is time to check on the young in the nest cavity, and one of the parents squeezes into the opening and disappears into the dark hollow.But, before descending all the way, the parrot peers out the cavity entrance for one last look around.Meanwhile, the other parrot keeps watch above ready to alert its mate if any predator approaches.There are probably two or there little ones in the hollow, and it will take a couple of months from hatching before they are ready to fledge.Both parents share feeding duties, and they regurgitate a rich mixture of partially digested food into the youngsters wide-open beaks.Well, so much for keeping a lookout as the watch bird decides to join its mate in the family hollow.After a few minutes one of the parents emerges, suspended at the entrance where it peers inquisitively around.After perching just above the hollow, bird number two squeezes out the opening, and after getting it's footing the pair flies off.This pair of red-crowns will be making a lot more trips to and from the old cottonwood hollow as they deliver food for the next several weeks.