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Pet Parrots 101 - About Parrots

A parrot belongs to any of a large family of birds that include Cockatoos, Cockatiels, Conures, Lorries, Macaws, Lovebirds, Parakeets, Budgies and many others. Wild parrots can be found throughout the Southern Hemisphere and in the warmer parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Parrots are usually kept as pets.

The smallest parrot is about 3 1/2 inches long while the largest may reach a length of 39 inches. The glossy plumage is usually bright colored with green being the most common color. Patches of red, yellow or blue can be seen on the head, wings or tail. Male and female parrots are generally similar in appearance. All parrots possess a compact body, a short neck and a large head. The upper half of the short, hooked bill is hinged at the base of the skull and is movable. This enable parrots to cut or crack open hard objects due to the extra leverage given to the bill. Serious wounds can be inflicted by a parrot’s bill. In fact, it is known to be able to bite-off a finger. This bill is also used as an aid in climbing. Its two strong feet have two toes pointing forward and two pointing backward for each. Parrots use their feet to hold food while eating and they are either right-footed or left-footed.

Parrots often live in pairs during the breeding season. It is not uncommon for a pair to remain mated for many years or even for life. They usually live on flocks at other seasons. Wild parrots do not imitate sounds although they squawk and scream harshly. They generally sleep in tree holes but some sleep hanging upside down from branches.

These birds are apparently intelligent ones. Parrots learn to imitate speech and other sounds readily while some are able to open complicated cage locks. They appear to enjoy being petted and being the object of attention. Many parrots live for 50 years in captivity while some manage to reach the ripe old age of 80.

Their popularity as pets suffered sometime in the 1930’s when it was discovered that parrots can transmit a viral disease called psittacosis to man. However, it was soon discovered that other birds can also transmit the same disease. An antibiotic was developed to treat the disease soon after. Parrots quickly regained their stature as one of the more popular pets of man.

Readers Comments
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Yoshi     (9/11/2007)
Im looking for macaws for an aviary, what species are compatible among the whole macaw family?

Jenny Reimenschneider   (1/4/2008)
Please be sure to remind people that birds, just like any other pets, need a lot of attention and room to roam and play. Most commercailly available cages are much too confining. Please have an aviary or flight cage if you plan to keep birds, and please try to rescue instead of buy one (preferably more than one, as they are also quite social). Buying any pet perpetuates pet mills, where they become commodities instead of living beings.

LOSER COILD   (3/27/2008)

niamh hanbury   (10/12/2008)
parrots are my fave kind of bird I love Macaws there my my absolute favourite kind of parrot

apoorva yadav   (4/1/2009)
this is a very informative site......bathing secrets would be a success......keep it up!!!!!

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