20 Facts About Parrots That May Surprise You

by Felesha Scott

Parrots are easily one of the most interesting animals. They boast of beautiful colors, they have vocal skills, and they are amazing pets. For these reasons, we are well acquainted with these unique birds.

You would be surprised at what you don’t know about these talking birds. Here are 20 facts about parrots that may surprise you. 

1. Extremely Strong Beaks

Blue and yellow parrot with white eyes and strong beak outside

The parrot has a distinctively strong beak that stands out from other birds. Some parrots have the beak strength to crack open coconuts and other extremely hard nuts.

2. High Intelligence

A photo of a macaw parrot

Parrots are highly intelligent bird species. This is already evident from their power of speech. Nevertheless, there are other indicators of the parrot’s intelligence. They can solve simple puzzles and can associate different words with different objects and situations.

3. Relatively Long Lifespan

parrot bird sitting on the perch

Parrots have long life spans for animals in the wild. Some parrots live for at least 30 years.

4. The Kakapo

Kakapo  parrot waiting on a branch

The Kakapo is one of the largest parrots in the world along with this research. It can grow to over two feet long, and it is flightless. The Kakapo is quite different from other parrots in terms of size, flight, and the fact that it is active only at night. These beautiful and unique birds are battling extinction, and they are one of the rarest birds in the world.

5. Lifelong Mating

yellow and blue wing macaw birds parrot on a tree branch

 Parrots mate for life. Their mating process is not very different from ours. The male parrot displays itself to the attention of the female, and if she chooses him, they mate forever.

6. Nesting Methods

Yellow parrot in nest hole

Most parrots do not lay their eggs in nests like other birds. They simply lay them in tree holes where they are cared for after by both parents until they have hatched.

 7. Unique Feet

Blue and yellow parrot eating banana

Parrots have unique feet known that classify them as zygodactyls. They have two toes pointing forward and two pointing backward, this helps them to easily pick up food and eat with their feet.

8. Playful Nature

Eclectus parrot in bird cage

Parrots are very playful and lively. They have strong chewing habits that are most prominent when they do not get attention.

9. High Demand as Pets

Parrot eating from owner's hand

Parrots are the most demanded pet birds today. This high demand for companionship has contributed to their depleting numbers in the wild.

10. Poison Proof Seed Consumption

Red parrot in a tree

Parrot diets consist primarily of seeds and nuts. Parrots consume clay off Clay Mountains. This clay contains minerals that can consume toxic compounds from the system of the parrot, Hence, making them resistant to these poisons.

11. Preying Parrots

Close up of a palm cockatoo standing

Parrots are generally friendly and fun to be around. This does not necessarily imply that they do not prey on other organisms. They prey on vulnerable animals like worms, locusts, caterpillars and will even eat carrion.

12. Co-operative breeding

Colorful sun conure parrot bird eating the food

Some species such as the parakeet practice cooperative breeding. This occurs when pairs of parrots help other pairs to look after their young ones in the absence of the original parents.

13. Destructive Nature

Close up shot of colorful parrot bird

Keeping parrots as pets is not necessarily a walk in the park. Apart from being adorable and imitating human sounds, they also have hormonal surges amongst many complications as they mature.

14. Escape/Migrations

A colorful scarlet macaw parrot

There are many cases of parrots escaping into areas outside of their native habitat. These birds usually escape from zoos and confinements into neighborhoods and other settlements.

15. Digestive Assistance From Cows 

Hyacinth Macaw standing on branch outside

Parrots such as the Hyacinth macaw cannot consume palm nuts. For this reason, they populate around cow settlements to feed on these semi-digested nuts.

16. Grooming Procedures

blue and yellow parrots flying

Parrots use their preen glands for grooming processes. This gland produces a secretion that reacts with sunlight vitamin, which is important in grooming and overall health.

17. Fertilization Methods

Parakeet and its nest on a branch

Parrot eggs fertilize after laying the egg. In the occasion that the eggs do not go through the fertilization process, they do not hatch.

18. Water-resistant Feathers

macaw bird parrot on tree branch, blue and yellow macaw

Parrots can make their feathers water-resistant by rubbing oils from their preen glands on it. This is obvious in the action of rubbing its head on its tail.

19. Conservation Efforts

Colourful parrot bird sitting on the perch

Several organizations are working hard to address the threats posed to parrots. Examples of such organizations and movement are the World Parrot Trust and the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered species (CITES).

20. Threats to Parrots

budgie on wood desk

Parrots face several challenges and threats to their survival. In some areas, the hunt is for their feathers and consumption.

The amazing facts about parrots make them very likable pets to keep in your home. Being highly intelligent and able to mimic the human voice puts it above other pets you could own. If you are considering getting a pet for yourself, a parrot should be on the list of possible pets for sure. 

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