Have you ever kept a parrot at some point in your life? Parrots have been held in captivity since ancient times, and they’ve always been well-liked because they are charming, intelligent, and often caring. Many parrots are amazingly imitative of many sounds, including human speech.
These bright and highly social birds need a lot of attention, or else they can pick up bad behaviours and become bored and stressed to the point where they pluck out their own feathers and you don’t want that? Do you? Let’s read these interesting facts about parrots and show these lovely birds the affection they deserve…
There are more than 350 different existing species of parrot.
Trading exotic parrots is big business all over the world. This considerably contributes to their decline in the wild.
Luckily many pet parrots come from breeders.
Though there is great variety among parrots, there are similarities as well.
All parrots have curved beaks and all are zygodactyls. This means they have 4 toes on each foot, 2 pointing forward and 2 projecting backward.
Most parrots eat fruit, flowers, buds, nuts, seeds, and insects.
Parrots can be found in warm climates all over the world. The greatest varieties exist in Australasia, Central America, and South America.
Parrots are birds of all colors that typically come from warm habitations like rainforests, grasslands, savannahs, and semi-arid regions.
The Kea parrot and a few other species prefer colder climates, like the alpine regions of New Zealand’s South Island.
Parrots are so much more than the conventional pirate “accessory” often depicted in movies, books, and other media.
Because of their intelligence, charisma, color, and musicality, parrots have been popular companions throughout history.
The first written story of a captive parrot dates from 400 B.C.
Today many parrots are kept as pets, especially macaws, Amazon parrots, cockatiels, parakeets, and cockatoos.
Pet parrots vary in size from 5-inch lovebirds to large macaws, some of which can grow as large as 40 inches long.
Colors also vary by species. The Lories have many colors, while others wear two or only one color, like the Vasa parrots. Occasionally the male and female of a species look completely different, like the Eclectus.
Pet birds differ from pet dogs or cats. They bring a new dynamic into the lives of those who share their homes with them.
Some parrots can imitate many non-avian sounds, including human speech.
The male African grey parrot is the most skilful user of human speech in the animal world.
The parrots’ popularity continues to drive illegal trade even though the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) forbids the sale of any wild-caught species.
Some parrot species are highly endangered.
Parrots learn to vocalize by listening and then replicating it back.
Parakeets are also known as budgerigars.
The only flightless parrot is the rare kakapo parrot found only in New Zealand.
Alex, an African grey parrot could count and knew colors and shapes.
In Peru’s rain forests crowds of macaws gather to eat clay.
New Zealand mountain parrots like to tear off windshield wipers and other car parts.
Parrots aren’t mammals. They belong in the Aves class, order Psittaciformes, and the family Psittacidae.
Parrots are sometimes called Psittacines.
Parrots have a long life span compared to many other pet species.
Small birds such as lovebirds aren’t considered senior until 6 years of age, cockatiels aren’t senior until around 12 years of age, and some large parrots aren’t considered senior until they reach around 30 years old.
Parrots of all sizes can live for many years as seniors. This means that if you choose a parrot as a pet, it’s a commitment for many years.
A female parrot can lay eggs whether or not a male bird is present. Eggs don’t hatch if unfertilized. Season and environment affect breeding activity.
Parrots have feathers and feathers shed. New feathers replace the lost ones. That’s where blood feathers come in. Blood feathers are actively growing feathers.
Perches are important to parrot foot health. Regular perches in and out of the cage with the proper diameter and various textures promote good foot health.
It’s very important to trim parrot’s nails on a regular basis to minimize the scratches you might suffer while handling your parrot.
The upper side of the tail of most parrots has a two-lobed gland which produces a secretion that parrots use in grooming. The secretion responds with sunlight to produce vitamin D3 that parrots ingest during grooming.
Vitamin D3 is necessary for a parrot’s good health.
Parrots’ eyes are laterally placed which gives them a fantastic field of vision but also creates a blind spot right in front of their beak.
They also have monocular vision, where only one eye is focused on a particular object.
Parrots can also willingly contract their pupils while our pupils and those of other mammals dilate automatically to light levels and some medications.
Eye pinning can indicate a parrot’s mood. Rapid eye pinning usually shows excitement.
A recent German study found out that parrots are capable of selfless acts of kindness. When placed in neighbouring cages the birds will pass each other tokens that can be exchanged for food, expecting nothing in return. So, yes, parrots are among the very few species capable of generosity!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about parrots that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!