Parrots

Parrots

Birds

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: parrot
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Psittaciformes
FAMILY: Psittacidae (parrot), Loriidae (parrot), Cacatuidae (Malay name for bird calls)
GENUS SPECIES: 77 genera and 328 species

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: Can be found in every color of the spectrum, but many South American species tend toward olive green. All have zygodactylous feet, two toes that point forward and two that point backwards. Most members of the parrot family also have strongly hooked beaks.
SIZE: From 9 cm (3.6 in) pygmy parrots to 100 cm (40 in) hyacinth macaws
WEIGHT: From 65 grams for the small species to more than 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs) for a large hyacinth macaw
DIET: Fruit, seeds, buds, nectar, and pollen. Occasionally insects or other meat will be eaten.
INCUBATION: 17-35 days
FLEDGING DURATION 21-70 days
SEXUAL MATURITY: Usually 1-2 years in small species and 3-4 years in the large species
LIFE SPAN: Smaller species between 10-15 years, larger macaws and cockatoos to more than 75 years
RANGE: No data
HABITAT: Primarily forest dwellers of tropical zones around the world
POPULATION: GLOBAL No data
STATUS: IUCN No data
CITES All but 3 species protected
USFWS All but 3 species protected

FUN FACTS

1. Parrots raised by humans show an amazing ability to mimic people and noisy objects, but in the wild they have never been observed mimicking.
2. While both sexes of parrots tend to look identical the eclectus parrot is one of the few known vertebrates in which the female is more colorful than the male. She is bright red; he is green.
3. Lorikeets have tongues that look like little brushes for feeding on nectar.
4. Because large parrots live so long, and may out live their owners, it is often necessary for owners to put the birds in their wills.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

The parrot plays an important role in its habitat by helping to propagate the forest. Because not all of the seeds consumed are digested, many are passed in the bird's guano over new areas of the forest. Some species eat nectar and are important in the pollination of many species of plants in the tropical forests.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Forshaw, J.M. Parrots of the World. T.F.H. Publications Inc., 1978.

Parker, Sybil P. (ed.). Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Birds II. Vol. 8. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1972.

Perrins, Christopher (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985.