The parrot, also known by the more scientific title
of psittacines, is a type of tropical and subtropical
bird belonging to the taxonomic order psittaciformes.
There are more than 300 different species of parrot,
including cockatoos, lories, macaws, lovebirds, and
Given the diversity of parrot species, parrots can
be found in a great variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Parrots do, however, have some qualities in common.
For instance, parrots have short legs with four toes
on each foot, with two toes facing forward and the other
two facing backwards. Parrots also share a strong beak
capable of crushing seeds. Many species of parrot also
have brightly-colored feathers.
Parrots can be found in tropical and subtropical areas
on all major continents, though several species in South
America and New Zealand may also be found in temperate
areas. The largest variety of parrot species exists
in South America and Australasia, the region including
Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and surrounding
Most parrots neither remain in one place nor migrate
routinely; the majority of species demonstrate both
behaviors to some extent, and some species are completely
nomadic. For this reason, the travels of various species
of parrot are poorly understood.
As a primarily herbivorous animal, parrots subsist
mostly on fruit, seeds, buds, nectar, and pollen. Some
parrots occasionally consume other animals, most notably
arthropods such as insects. The most important part
of the parrot's diet is seeds, as can be conferred from
their highly specialized beak, which has evolved to
break seeds easily for efficient and easy consumption.
Unlike other birds, parrots use their feet to transfer
food to their mouths.
The majority of parrot species are monogamous and pair
for life. The bond between a pair of parrots can be
very powerful, and a pair of mates generally remains
very close year-round, including outside the breeding
season. In most species, both parrots in a pair construct
a nest for their young and partake in the care for the
Large parrot species such as macaws are K-selected
species, meaning that they reproduce in fairly low rates.
These parrots do not reach sexual maturity for several
years, and, once they do, do not always breed every
year. When these parrots do breed, they produce a very
small number of young at a time, sometimes hatching
only one infant parrot.
The parrot is known for its intelligence, being one
of the most intelligent types of bird and famously able
to imitate human speech. The parrot's intelligence does
not end at mimicry; studies have shown that African
gray parrots actually learn human words, associating
their sounds with their meaning, and can even form basic
Many parrot populations have dwindled, and some species
have gone extent, primarily due to human intervention.
The leading cause of this problem is the destruction
of various parrot species' forest habitats. Some parrots
have also been hunted and trapped for the pet trade,
reducing their numbers in the wild.
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com
an educational wildlife and animal website.