BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Landing at the cavity entrance, this beautiful Red-crowned Parrot surveys her surroundings for any sign of danger before cautiously entering to feed her young.

Perched dutifully atop the weathered palm tree at Dean Porter Park in Brownsville, her mate stands vigil while the young are fed.

Red-crowned Parrots mate for life, and after incubating their eggs for some 30 days and caring for the two to five young for weeks, the little parrots were near-fledging when disaster struck.

Someone recently destroyed the cavity and stole the young, leaving a gaping hole where the parrot’s home once was.

Eugie Farias, who walks the park daily, admired the parrots and is heartbroken at the theft of their young.

“How they just are so magnificent in flight, and they just bring such beauty to our community.”

Oscar Zertuche, Chairman of the Brownsville Beautification Committee, shares in the communities’ loss.

“I encourage anyone that sees anybody tampering with these nests or with any wildlife to report it.”

Red-crowned Parrots are protected by state law, and the theft of the young is being investigated by Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens.

Gouge marks on the palm indicate someone climbed the tree with spiked shoes to reach the nest, and if anyone has any information regarding the theft they are encouraged to call Operation Game Thief at 800-792-GAME (4263).

“We do plan to start adding signs in our parks and in areas where we know that there are nests to hopefully bring some awareness and consciousness so that this doesn’t happen anymore,” said Zertuche.

The thief that took the baby parrots stole from all of us who appreciate Rio Grande Valley wildlife, and hopefully, this brazen theft will make us all more aware of the need to protect our vulnerable natural heritage.