Parrots are among the smartest animals in the world.
They not only mimic with humans say but can have an intelligence of a five-year-old toddler.
Here are some fun facts about parrots for all those who are interested in having a parrot as a pet or adore them.
Parrot Toes Are Tough
Like other birds, parrots have four toes on each foot. However, instead of three toes in the front and one behind, parrots use their toes to get a maximum grip. They have two toes in the front and two toes at the back. Combine their toe grips with their incredible beak, and they can crack the toughest nuts in the world. Their feet enable them to climb heights and make them impressive eaters.
Some Species Are Carnivores
Parrots are usually omnivores; they can eat anything, from nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and even meats. However, there are certain species, such as lorikeets from the South Pacific, who only eat meat. In New Zealand, one of the first Native Kea was seen attacking sheep, and the species was considered a threat to sheep until 1986.
Not All Species Belong to the Tropics
Out of 350 species of parrots, most dwell in subtropical and tropical regions of Asia, Australia, South and Central America, and Africa. However, some parrots have crossed these boundaries. Keas dwell in the alpine regions of New Zealand, while some parrots are found at Mexico’s Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains with heights of 6,000 feet.
They Live Under the Threat of Extinction
Due to poaching and habitat destruction, a third of the world’s parrot population has faced extinction. More and more species of parrots are making the red list of threatened species. A study found that logging has destroyed 99% of the Africa Grey parrots in Ghana. African Grey is one of the most iconic species of parrots. These parrots are highly intelligent and can mimic words perfectly and clearly.
Parrots Match the Mates
Many species of parrots look completely identical. You’d need an expert or test their gender at a lab to tell a girl from a boy. However, some species, such as the Eclectus parrots from the Solomon Islands, are different to a point where it took people several years to find out they were the same species. It was generally believed that the Eclectus’s females and males belonged to different species. The males have flame-colored beaks and bright emerald green feathers, whereas females have a top that’s royal blue and crimson with black beads and a scarlet head.
Parrots Taste With Their Beaks
Although parrots have taste buds at the back of their throats, most glands are situated at the top of their beaks. Human beings have 10,000 taste buds. Parrots may not have as many taste buds as us, but they do have certain preferences when it comes to food.
The Heaviest Parrot Weighs as Much as a Cat
Parrots come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. A small buff-faced pygmy weighs a little more than an ounce. It’s merely the size of a human finger. Hyacinth Macaw, the longest parrot in the world, measures 3.5 feet from its tip to the tail. New Zealand’s flightless Kakapo is a grown male that weighs 9 pounds, which is the same weight as an adult housecat.
They Outlive Human Beings
Many parrots can live as long as an average human being. Macaws and cockatoos live for as long as 35 to 50 years. An African grey living in England lived to be 55. Whereas, Cookie, a cockatoo, is the oldest parrot in the world. It is 82 years old and resides at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.
Feathers Contain Anti-Bacterial Pigment
Parrot’s feathers have a bacteria-resistant pigment that gives the feathers green, yellow, and red coloration. In a study conducted in 2011, researchers concluded that different colors found in the feathers protected the plumage of the parrots from degradation. It also suggested that different colors on the feathers were meant to protect the parrots from different bacteria.