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Parrots are birds of about 350 species in the Psittaciformes order (also known as Psittacoses.) There are two families of Parrots: the Psittacidae or “True Parrots” and the Cacatuidae (Cockatoos.) Parrots have strong, curved bills and an upright stance, strong legs and clawed zygodactyl feet. Parrots are one of the most colorful members of the bird kingdom, most are predominately green with other mixed bright colors, while some species are multi-colored. There are many sub-species of Parrots, including Macaws, Cockatiels and Budgies. Parrots are among the most intelligent of birds and their ability to imitate human voices make them popular pets. Sadly, trapping of wild parrots for pet trade, along with hunting, habitat loss and competition from invasive species has threatened Parrots with extinction more than any other group of birds. Parrots originate from all tropical and subtropical countries, including Australia and the Pacific Ocean islands, South America, Africa, India and Southeast Asia. Most come from Australia and South America. Most species of Parrots spend their time in the wild perched or climbing in tree canopies. They often use their bills for climbing or gripping branches or other supports. They walk with a endearing rolling gait.

Bringing home a pet Parrot is, in many ways, like bringing home a new baby. Some adjust very well to a new home and will eat anything you serve them. However, they can be moody and stubborn (especially the larger birds) and they like a lot of attention. If not given enough attention, they will let you know by becoming very loud. The most popular pet Parrots are Macaws, Amazon Parrots, Cockatiels, Cockatoos and Parakeets. These birds are popular companion pets due to their intelligence, charismatic “personalities,” beautiful colors and musical abilities. The male African Grey Parrot is the most accomplished imitators of the human voice. Many Parrots can perform amazing tricks and are very entertaining birds. African Grey Parrots not only imitate the human voice, but all kinds of sounds and whistles. African Grey’s also tend to bond strongly to one person. Each one has its own personality, much like people. Parrots also are notorious feather pluckers. Reasons for this include boredom, emotional abuse and dietary imbalances. A screaming Parrot is often distressed and can be calmed down by flying them on your finger or taking them for a walk around the house. The more time you spend with your new feathered friend, the more trust you will build between you. Parrots are beautiful, colorful and entertaining and can make wonderful pets. However, you must be prepared for the care they require and Parrots shouldn’t be purchased on impulse. Parrots live a long time - sometimes 80 to 100 years, so it is possible they could outlive you. They also bond closely to their owners and grieve if they lose them. All of this should be taken into consideration. Lots of research and education about Parrots is the best way to understanding these fascinating creatures before deciding if owning a pet Parrot is for you.


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