After fish, dogs, and cats, birds are the fourth favorite pets in most homes. A great number of these pet-birds are parrots, mostly because of their colorful look, acrobatic antics and clever personality. With their curved bill, upright stance and talking ability, they can surely make a dear friend especially if you are not accustomed to fluffy mammalian pets. But how much do you know about parrots?
Here are five interesting facts about parrots that will make you fall deeply in love with them.
There are many parrot species
Although wild, parrot species are more than 393 varieties. Some of these species are from different genera which mean a big gap in their relations on the family tree. For instance, the Macaws from South America are quite different from the Australian cockatoos. Their difference ranges from color, body shape and even the food they eat. You might also be shocked to know that, not all parrots can imitate the human language.
Parrots are monogamous
Parrots perform special dancing rituals and singing that aim at helping one get a mate. Once a couple comes together and starts breeding, they are devoted to that single partner for life. The female parrot then produces about five eggs which she tends to as the male goes hunting and brings back food.
Some parrots can’t fly
Until now, you probably thought the ostrich is the only bird that can’t take to the air. Kakapo, the world’s largest parrot is flightless, most likely because of its heavy weight. The Kakapo parrots nest under trees and holes in the ground, only coming out at night. However, cats and other predators have invaded their natural habitats and the Kakapo parrots are at a risk of extinction. In fact, rumor has it that only 150 of them are left.
Parrots can eat with their feet
Parrots have a zygodactyl type of feet fully configured for maximum grip. This means that they have four toes on both feet, one pair facing forward and the other backward. This special feature enables them to pick up food and bring it the mouth. Interestingly, parrots have a preference of one foot over the other just like some humans are either right-handed or left-handed.
Parrots have been pets for 3000 years
You will neither be the first nor the last human to keep a parrot as a pet. The birds were first kept as pets by Ancient Egyptians, Indians and Chinese before finding their way in Europe in 300 BC and kept by the rich and most noble. Famous people like Aristotle, King Henry VIII, and Queen Victoria are believed to have owned pet parrots.
If you decide to keep a parrot, ensure it is well trained to prevent yourself from its bites. Again, depending on the parrot species you decide to adopt, special care and daily contact is very necessary. Finally, be prepared for massive expenses when breeding your pet-from purchasing the bird, the cages to hiring a qualified vet.