Most Interesting Facts About Parrots

Most Interesting Facts About Parrots

Parrots can be really amusing creatures to have in a home. If well trained and looked after, they will live for a very, very long time. They are brilliant at learning things quickly which of course, includes mimicking most noises they hear. A few of the breeds are exceptionally good talkers with the lovely African Grey parrot being the best of them. Below are a few fun and interesting facts about these delightful, often gregarious feathered friends:

  • There are around 353 different species of these lovely, brightly feathered birds in the world
  • There are two families of parrots – the Cacatuidae (cockatoos) and the Psittacidae (true parrots)
  • Parrots are known as zygodactylous which is a bird that has the first and fourth toes pointing backwards whereas the second and third point forward
  • Grey parrots are also called “jakos” or African Greys
  • Parrots in the wild live on seeds, fruits, nuts, buds and lots of other plants found in their natural habitats – they will however, eat any meat they find in the rainforest too!
  • Parrots are incredibly intelligent birds
  • A parrot's natural habitat is tropical or subtropical – they can be found in many rainforests of the world
  • Parrots are popular pets because they are beautiful to look at, they have gorgeous bright plumage and they are very affectionate and sociable birds to keep in a home environment
  • The first parrot was imported to the UK in 1504 although the Romans kept them way before this date
  • In many species of parrots, the males and females are identical – blood tests need to be done to tell them apart

From Tiny Parrots to Really Big Ones

Parrots come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny little birds with dinky little beaks to really big parrots with massive beaks – namely the parrots native to the South American rainforests, the Macaws and Amazons. Here are a few facts about the different species of parrots found in the world:

  • The most popular small parrot to keep in the home is the budgerigar
  • The smallest parrot in the world is the buff-faced pygmy parrot – Latin name is Micropsitta pusio, the little bird only weighs in at 0.4 oz and grows to a very small 3.5 inches
  • One of the biggest parrots that people like to keep are the Hyacinth macaws – the Latin name is Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus. The parrot can weigh in at around 5 lbs and grows up to 39 inches
  • The lightest parrot only weighs 0.4 oz and the heaviest can be up to 5 lbs
  • The heaviest parrot in the world is the Kakapoo – also known as the Night Parrot of Owl Parrot
  • Other popular parrots are Amazons, cockatiels, cockatoos, African Greys, parakeets and lovebirds
  • The lifespan of parrots is around 80 years
  • The oldest and most famous parrot lived to the ripe old age of 87
  • The only nocturnal parrot is the Kakapo
  • Parrots are omnivores – they eat meat and vegetables
  • Parrots use they bills and toes when they climb up things
  • Parrots mate for life – they are monogamous birds
  • The best mimics are the African Greys
  • Wild parrots do not imitate or mimic
  • Parrots are the only birds that can pick up their food with their feet and bring it to their mouths in order to eat
  • All species of parrots lay white eggs
  • In the United States there are around 11 million parrots kept as pets
  • The only native parrot to America is the thick-billed Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha

It is now illegal to take parrots from the wild and domesticate them. The ban was set in place to protect many endangered species found around the world. This means all parrots sold in the UK have been bred in this country and not imported from their country of origin. If they have, the parrots must have the correct documentation to verify they were bred in captivity in their country of origin and not taken from the wild. Here are a few facts about the endangered species of parrots in the world.

There are around 130 species of parrots on the endangered or threatened list which has been compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature otherwise known as the IUCN. Below is a list of endangered parrots around the world:

  • The Red-Tailed Amazon
  • The Yellow-Headed Amazon
  • The Red-Browed Amazon
  • The Vinaceous Amazon
  • The Green-Cheeked Amazon
  • The Norfolk Island Parakeet
  • The Pink-Billed Parrotfinch
  • The Golden-Shouldered Parrot
  • The Thick-Billed Parrot
  • The Black-Eared Parrotlet
  • The Golden-Tailed Parrotlet
  • The Hyacinth Macaw
  • The Red-Fronted Macaw
  • The Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Parrots that are considered to be critically endangered are listed below:

  • The Puerto Rican Amazon
  • The Night Parrot
  • The Fuertes's Parrot
  • The Orange-Bellied Parrot
  • The Yellow-Eared Conure
  • The Owl Parrot
  • The Lear's Macaw
  • The Blue-Throated Macaw
  • The Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
  • The Red-Vented Cockatoo
  • The Mauritius Parakeet
  • The Glaucous Macaw

Apart from being very intelligent, parrots can do other things like being able to see ultraviolet light – something humans cannot do. More fun and interesting facts about parrots:

  • Parrots usually sleep standing on one leg
  • The most famous parrot in the world is an African Grey called Alex and owned by Dr Irene Pepperberg. Alex can name over 100 objects, colours and actions
  • The most talkative bird was a budgie called Puck who knew over 1,700 words

As previously mentioned, parrots are very clever birds and some even self medicate. Parrots in South America, namely the Conures, Amazons and Macaws have been seen to eat clay when they need to detoxify their bodies. The parrots eat the clay because some of the seeds they like to eat contain toxins and the clay helps them cleanse the poisons out of their bodies.

These lovely birds are native to many of the warmer countries of the world including India, West Africa and south east Asia. However, the greatest number of parrots are found on the continents of Australasia, Central America and South America.



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