Everything You Need to Know About Parrots

Posted by Tori Holmes
Colorful couple macaw sitting in a tree

Looking for a bird that is (almost) as smart as you are? Here is everything you need to know about parrots!

Parrots have grown increasingly popular as pets, due to the intelligence and willingness to interact with people. While there is a huge range in parrot size depending on the species, they all have wonderful personalities that make them great companions for the right owners. When properly socialized, parrots have friendly, outgoing, and confident personalities that can provide hours of entertainment.

Parrots' high intelligence means they need plenty of stimulation to avoid getting bored. The best way to provide parrots with the entertainment they need is to ensure they have plenty of enriching toys available to them at all times. Parrots toys are available at any pet supply store, but some of the best toys can actually be made right at home. Simple household items such as thick cardboard, blocks of wood, pinecones, old paperbacks, or phonebooks make for excellent parrot toys.

In addition to their toys, parrots need plenty of time outside of their cage with their owners each day. They are highly social animals that require ample human interaction each day. Many breeds of parrots can be quite affectionate with their owners, or even a few people, but are much more reserved around strangers. If parrots do not get enough social interaction and mental stimulation each day, their behavior can become quite loud and destructive.

A parrot's ability to speak varies between species, but most are able to learn a variety of words and phrases through repetition. It is not uncommon for a parrot that has found their voice to talk, sing, and mimic those around them throughout the day.

Due to their extensive care needs, parrots are best suited to older, experienced bird owners. Their high level of noise also makes them better suited to detached homes than apartments.

Parrots can live anywhere between 50 and 60 years of age and older, depending on the breed.

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Body

There is a large span of size and weight between the different parrot species. The smallest parrot, the parrotlet, reaches an adult length of only three inches, whereas the largest breed, the hyacinth macaw, reaches an adult length of 40 inches. Depending on the breed, an adult parrot can weigh anywhere between 30 grams and 1700 grams.

Feathers

A parrot’s coloring changes from species to species, ranging from nearly solid single color to a combination of colors as diverse as the rainbow.

A parrot’s facial feathers can also change between species, and each is as unique as a fingerprint. 

Temperament

Parrots are highly intelligent creatures, with friendly, outgoing personalities. They often form close bonds with their owners and potentially a few others, but are more reserved around strangers. If their emotional and physical needs are not met, they can become loud and destructive. 

Health

Parrots are prone to a few health issues, including Aspergillosis and Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD).

Aspergillosis is a fungal infection caused by mold and is often a result of poor cage hygiene or food storage. Macaws with Aspergillosis display labored breathing and rasping. Keeping the cage fresh and clean is the best way to avoid it, but it can be cured with antibiotics.

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) is an incurable, contagious disease that results in feather loss and beak lesions. Unfortunately, PBFD is fatal and euthanasia is often recommended before the disease progresses too far.

Do you have a parrot? Let us know in the comments below!

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Everything You Need to Know About Parrots