Parrots are undoubtedly the most colorful birds found on earth. There are more than 350 types of parrots found till now. Not only are they stunning but they are famous for being smart as well. Parrots have made fantastic pets for people since ages and they make the best pets because they are the only animal species that talk! And what’s better they can imitate the speech of humans! They do so by mimicking their masters. Of course, wild parrots don’t talk as they don’t need to. These fascinating birds have no qualms in expressing their emotions to humans. If you’re nice to them and treat them with love, then they would give you back the same. If in case, you are mean to them, parrots can get really nasty and say the meanest things, like telling you to “SHUT UP!” or even worse they might just take a nip at your finger or ear… Ouch! I’m sure you do not want to mess with a parrot, but surely you would like to learn some interesting facts about all the little quirky parrots in the world and how they are so unique and adorable as pets.
Facts about Parrots
Parrots are mostly found in tropical and warm areas all over the world. The largest and the most diverse kinds of parrots are found in North America and all the surrounding areas around Australia, that being majority of South Asia. The reason being, the conducive tropical climate and habitat suits these birds the best. Their scientific name is Psittacines, and are categorized into three basic families:
- The Cacatuidaes or commonly known Cockatoos.
- Strigopidaes -The species of parrots found exclusively in New Zealand.
They are predominantly identified by their green feathers, which they use as a strong camouflage, for hiding among trees and making their nest in the tree cavities. They have sharp curved beaks and feet. Their diet mainly consists of nuts, seeds, fruits, worms, insects, and small animals like rats, squirrels etc.
Parrots that Talk
- African Gray parrot- is the king of all, it has a clear and loud speech.
- Amazon parrots
- Quaker parrot
- Budgie parrots
- The famous Indian ring neck parakeet
- The Macaws
- Very few Lovebirds can talk back
- Eclectus parrots talk extremely well and keeping these adorable parrots as pets is a great idea!
Different Types of Parrots
African Gray Parrot
The African gray parrots are native to Central and West Africa. They are absolutely stunning to look at with their bright red tipped tails, in contrast to their somber gray bodies and black curved beaks. The Congo African parrot and Timneh African gray parrot are the other two species found among these parrots. They are one of the rarer species that nest alone, and are solitary or monogamous birds. They nest in wood holes and lay their eggs inside the tree trunk. They have a brilliant ability to mimic sounds, including human voices. They are by far the best talking parrots in the world.
The Amazon parrot species were originally spotted in South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. They are medium-sized and come in varied shades of green. They have a remarkable quality of imitating human speech and voice. The Amazon parrots native to the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, have been classified as extinct animals and no longer exist. There are in total only 23 species of Amazon Parrots left in the world today. They are playful and require big spaces to remain content, or else they will let you know their dissatisfaction. Small cages harm their necks and can kill them if not checked. It’s better to keep them in big bird houses which has a constant supply of water.
These parrots are divided into two species, the ‘White bellied caique’ and the ‘Black headed caique’. The White bellied caique is found in the humid terrains of Brazil, Peru and other areas south of the Amazon river, which also happens to be the largest liver in the world! These caiques have distinct yellowish-Orange head, a stark white belly, green and blue feathers, and pinkish beak and feet. They are also distinguished from the rest for their amazing orange-rust brown eyes. While the Black headed Caiques are found on the north side of the amazon river. It seems like the two species of the same family have mutually decided to live separately.
These parrots flock in small pairs of two, ten or thirty and are quite noisy. They feed primarily on fruit pulp, flowers and roots. This Caique also has a white belly but a distinct black head with a yellow neck and a black beak. It has yellowish legs, pure green feathers and black feet. These parrots are super active and need very big bird houses for a comfortable living space, with lots of toys and constant company. They are not solitary in nature and will die if not allowed to live with other parrots of their own species.
Famously known as the crested parrot, the Cockatiels belong to the Cockatoo species and are the smallest species of parrots among them. Its scientific name is Nymphicus Hollandicus, which means the “Goddess of New Holland”. Being a native of Australia the Cockatiels are commonly found in the countries scrub lands, its bush lands and wetlands due to the favorable habitat it offers. They come in shades of gray to white with stark yellow heads. While home-bred species are more colorful, such as peach or yellow. The parrot is identified by its ‘Blush Spot’ a reddish-orange spot on its cheek, the feathers that form a crest on its head and its amazingly long tail that is almost half the size of its complete body!
The crest portrays the parrots mood. The crest when erect shows that the bird is excited and happy, when the crest is oblique or slightly slanted it indicated that the bird is resting and relaxed, but when the crest slumps or droops, that is a clear sign that the bird is upset, in pain or very angry. They are also the only species that may reproduce within their first year.
The Cockatoos are the most magnificent of them all! These parrots are the only ones which have a super crest that is bigger than the Cockatiels. They are bigger in size as well. They are commonly found in Australasia, in countries such as Philippines, North-Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Australia and New Guinea. The Palm Cockatoos are the biggest of them all, they are jet black and have big beaks that are dangerously curved. They have bright red cheeks! The Short-billed Black Cockatoo is blackish Gray with white cheeks and white tail feathers. It is enlisted as an endangered species and is at the brink of extinction.
Another type the Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo also known as the Pink Cockatoo is extremely gorgeous to look at! It is by far the most beautiful parrot found in the world and it’s found in the semi arid interiors of Australia. They have loud, harsh voices and usually have only one mate all their lives. Cockatoos as pets are the best friends you can wish for, they have been loyal companions of both the young and the old since parrots began to be kept as pets. Much like the times when the Pirates were the kings of the Ocean! Also read about the amazingly intelligent Umbrella Cockatoos from here and learn more about these birds.
These are small to medium-sized parrots. They are also known as big parakeets or small parrots and are found in Central and South America. The Conures have a long tail that is bigger than their bodies and small black curved beaks. They are usually green and orange in color but since they have a diverse variety of sub divided species of Conures it is difficult to categories their looks specifically. These parrots are always noticed for their constant antics, dance tricks and attention seeking gimmicks. They live in flocks of 20 or more and are very affectionate creatures.
These parrots are absolutely tiny of about 13 to 17 centimeters in size and can fit in the human palm. They are native to the continent of Africa and Madagascar. They are also very aggressive in nature apart from being very loving. They remain as a couple once a lovebird has found a mate and are famous for spending long hours together. They feed on figs, fruits, and seeds. They do not live well under captivity unless exceptionally well taken care of. Some lovebirds talk but most of them don’t. They need a nest to lay their eggs, and the female carries the nest material under her tail feathers.
These parrots feed on nectar, pollen and fruits and have specially evolved brush tongues with fine hair on them, which collects the nectar for feeding. They are native to the entire Australasia. They are very colorful as are exotic in appearance, the Rainbow Lorikeet would be an apt example for proving this. Due to their specialized diet requirements they are extremely difficult to keep as pets by pet keepers. They are also a part of the endangered species of parrots.
Macaws are big parrots that come in bizarre colors that it would make you dizzy with wonder. They are regal in their posture and are a part of the new world, such as Mexico, Central and South America. They too are extremely endangered, and have already lost 6 of their species to extinction. These birds are traded extensively by poachers for selling and entertainment performances and are dying out due to loss of habitat. The Hyacinth Macaw is the biggest parrot among the Macaw species while the Red-shouldered Macaw is the smallest being as small as a Parakeet. These parrots top the list of the most exotic pets that people have kept, but it’s time we start preserving them and their habitat through conservation and gene coding or else they too will fade away.
Parakeets also have long tails and many species are found in Australia. They breed in pairs as well as groups. South America has the Brotogeris, Monk and Lineolated Parakeets. The Ring necked Parakeet is native to Africa and Asia and are popular pets there.
These are the smallest parrot species native to the New World. These parrots have a bulky body with a broad tail. They travel in huge flocks of about 100 or more and they are the smallest parrots in the world that are bred in captivity apart from lovebirds. Their life expectancy is about 15-20 years. They are herbivorous and feed on almost everything vegetarian. You will be surprised by the amount these tiny birds can eat a lot, so do not be fooled by their size. They are extremely affectionate but can get irritated and act violent.
These parrots are stocky and have short broad tails, because they hail from hot to arid areas and need to conserve their body moisture. They are native to the African tropical zones such as the hot and dry Sub-Sahara, Senegal, Ethiopia and the Cape Horn at the south of Africa. They are rarely kept in captivity as most do not find them to be very attractive looking. They come in shades of mostly Gray and other dull shades of green or brown mixed with Gray and black.
The aforementioned parrots make the best types of parrots as pets, as most of them can talk and all of them have a usually affectionate demeanor and can be bred in captivity. Though it’s sad that most of them have lost their natural habitats to pollution and deforestation. Most of the parrot species fall under endangered birds category and need our help, in their protection. It is now our turn to give them the much-needed love and affection that they deserve. We need to stop their rapid poaching and adopt them as family members.