Parrot | Exploring the World of Wildlife: facts about the Parrot

Parrots are certainly among the most colorful birds. Parrots are some of the most beloved and popular pets in the world. And no wonder, because they are bright, intelligent, sociable and long-lived creatures.

Fact number one.

There are more than 400 species of parrots in the world. The color of parrots’ plumage includes all seven colors of the rainbow plus black and about forty shades. The most common are green, orange, blue, yellow, red, black, and white. Most parrots have multicolored plumage.

Fact number two.

Parrots can imitate completely different sounds: from human voice to the noise of working home appliances. They do it only with their mouth, because birds don’t have vocal chords.  Actually parrots can not talk in the usual sense of the word — they just remember and repeat the words. Several species of parrots are able to imitate human speech. Thus, a cockatoo can memorize up to 40 words and a few sentences. Lories have the ability to reproduce 50 words and several sentences.

And some wavy parrots can repeat about 100 words, but they rarely speak in sentences. The most intelligent and capable of learning is considered to be the jacko parrot. There are known cases when parrots not only learned more than 2000 words, but also pronounced them with different intonation corresponding to the topic of «conversation».

Fact number three.

Parrots have very developed paws. Parrots have zygodactyl paws, that is, they have four toes on each foot, two of which face backward and two forward. They have very powerful paws that allow them to hold on to branches for long periods of time and even swing or hang upside down on them.

However, that is not all they use their paws for. Parrot paws are similar to human hands. They often use one paw to grasp food, twigs, and other objects, while the other paw keeps their body balanced. Parrots literally eat with their paws, bringing food to their mouths. It has even been observed that parrots prefer one paw to the other. Therefore, just like humans, parrots can be left- or right-handed.

Fact number four.

Parrots have sharp hearing and sight, they can clearly see the seeds of plants at the distance of up to 10 meters and they can hear peeps from half a kilometer away, moreover for great effectiveness and they can turn their heads to one hundred and eighty degrees.

Fact number five.

One of the features of mating behavior of parrots is kissing. An established pair usually «kisses» during the period of mating, meeting of partners and incubation of eggs. It looks like this: birds move in small steps on a branch toward each other with their necks stretched, then tilt their heads in different directions, touch their ajar beaks and make quick movements with them.

Fact number six.

A parrot is not a baby parrot or a nestling parrot, but the name of a small parrot. Interestingly, parrots give their babies names by denoting them with different sounds. Small parrots learn quickly — they quickly memorize these sounds and use them in communication with their congeners.

Feeding the young offspring is done by the female. In some species of parrots, the chicks are born weighing only 2 grams. In small parrot species, the chicks leave the nest after 3-4 weeks, while in large parrot species, the chicks leave the nest after 2-3.5 months.

Fact number seven.

Large parrots are known to live longer than small ones. Depending on the species, the parrot can live from 15 to 80 years. For example, wavy parrots live from 15 to 20 years. Variegated macaw parrots can live up to 30 years, although there are birds of 50 years of age and older. The famous jacko parrots live up to 50 years, but the record holder is the cockatoo, which can live up to 70 years.

Fact number eight.

Parrots live mostly in the southern hemisphere. These birds live in a variety of habitats, but most live in tropical or subtropical regions. In the Western Hemisphere, they are found from Mexico to Central and South America, as well as on nearby islands. They also inhabit Western Africa south of the Sahara, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, and adjacent islands.

Different species have different ranges, and some populations overlap with populations of other species. Different species prefer different habitat types: mixed, tropical and palm forests, savannahs, grasslands, desert margins. Some species inhabit urban parks, gardens, farmland, and highlands.

Fact number nine.

Parrots have very strong beaks. One of the parrot’s main features is its curved broad beak, with the lower beak often smaller than the upper beak. The beak of the hyacinth ara, the largest flying parrot in the world, is strong enough to crack macadamia nuts, which are considered the hardest to crack, as well as Brazil nut pods. It is even capable of cracking a coconut. For this reason, parrots should be handled with care.

Fact number ten.

Parrots have been kept as pets for 3,000 years. Parrots were first kept as pets by the ancient Egyptians and then by the American Indians and Chinese. They were brought to Europe in the 3rd century B.C. and were often kept in the homes of rich people or nobility. Such famous people as Aristotle, Marco Polo, the monarch Henry VIII, Queen Isabella, Marie Antoinette, Victoria, the Washington family, Teddy Roosevelt and Steven Spielberg had parrots at home.

Today, parrots remain the most popular pet birds in the world. Keep in mind, however, that if you plan to get your own pet bird, it needs plenty of room to exercise and explore. If he is not exercised, he will become excessively noisy and bite. Enclosures for parrots should be very large and include a variety of toys and materials that they can chew and tear. In addition to mental stimulation in the form of various toys, these birds also need constant companionship and affection.

May 31 is celebrated annually in many countries of the world — World Parrot Day. The holiday was founded in 2004 by the World Parrot Foundation and is a great opportunity to celebrate these beautiful and intelligent birds.

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