A Biological Look at Parrots


Parrots belong to the order of psittaciformes which includes more than 350 birds. To recognize a parrot, a bird must have a curved beak and its feet must have four toes: two that point forward and two that point backward. Parrots’ size can range from about three and a half to 40 inches. The heaviest bird is called the Kakapo, which can weigh about nine pounds. The smallest parrot is the buff-faced pygmy parrot, which weighs one quarter of a pound.

Parrots’ habitats include warm areas like Northern Mexico, Australia and many more. But not all parrots like warm weather. The maroon-fronted parrot and thick-billed parrot are two examples of parrots that live in cold weather.

Parrots live in groups called flocks with as many as 20 to 30 birds. Many of them are monogamous, meaning they spend their lives with only one mate. Parrots communicate through squawking and moving their tail feathers.

Parrots eat meat and vegetables. They also eat nuts, flowers, fruit and bugs but seeds are their favorite food. Parrots lay their eggs in a nest and they need 18 to 30 days of incubation. Parents take turns sitting on the eggs. A parrot chick is born blind for the first two weeks of its life. A chick does not fully develop for one to four years.

Many parrots are endangered, but some of the most intelligent birds are parrots. The world wouldn’t be the same without them.

[Source: Livescience.com]

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