It's a Dog's Life

It's a Dog's Life
Furry Four-legged Fun

Family Felines

Family Felines
Cats Rule and Dogs Drool

Won't You Be My Neigh-Bor?

Won't You Be My Neigh-Bor?
Ride 'Em Cowgirl(boy)

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather
Flights of Fancy

Parrots of the World

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Many parrots of the world have become popular as house pets. To some new owners, their particular parrot is the most beautiful. To other new owners, all the parrots of the world are gorgeous, with flashing colors of red, blue, green, and yellow.

Most of the parrots of the world come from warm climates such as West Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australasia, South and Central America.

Parrots in Flight by Erik Schepers
Parrot Families
All parrots of the world belong to the order Psittaciformes. In that order there are two different families: Cacatuidas and Psittacidae. Cockatoos belong in the first family, while the second includes all the true parrots of the world.

Each family of parrots has subfamilies within it, and subspecies within that. Macaws, for example, belong to the Psittacidae family. Macaws are a subfamily group. Among macaws, there are at least 17 members:

  • Hyacinth
  • Glaucous Macaw
  • Lear's Macaw
  • Spix's Macaw
  • Blue and Yellow Macaw, or Blue and Gold Macaw
  • Caninde Macaw
  • Military Macaw
  • Buffon's Macaw
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Green-winged Macaw
  • Red-fronted Macaw
  • Yellow-collared Macaw
  • Chestnut-fronted Macaw, or Severe Macaw
  • Red-bellied Macaw
  • Illiger's Macaw
  • Blue-headed Macaw
  • Red-shouldered Macaw

Most Popular
People differ in their opinions of which parrots are more well-liked. Some look at the trendy parrots. Others consider the most prevalent in the pet stores. Some speak of which is more popular in this country or that, but of all the parrots of the world, the 5 most often dubbed popular are these.

1. Parakeets:
The common Parakeet, Budgerigar to be more precise, is from Australia, and is often chosen as a pet for children or those who are beginners at bird care, partly due to its low price. Colorful little “Budgies” are hardy, require little space, and are much lower maintenance than larger birds. They are very intelligent, and although content to whistle or sing quietly, some do learn a few words. The name “Budgerigar” comes from the Australian Aboriginal name for the parrot. It means “good eating” but most “Budgie” owners would be horrified to hear you say so. Among the many parrots of the world, this is probably the least expensive in both initial and upkeep costs.

2. Cockatiels:
Another Australian species, these medium sized parrots are known for sophisticated whistling and singing. While they can be taught to speak, many people find that the birds would rather whistle, and mimic random sounds, such as a ringing cell phone. A disadvantage to the cockatiel is that it uses a powdery substance to keep its wings water-proof, so owners often find their fingers dusty after handling the bird.

3. Sun Conures:
Among the parrots of the world, Sun Conures are one of the brightest. Their plumage is red, orange, yellow, blue, and green. Sun Conures have been known to talk well, but beware! These parrots often screech and scream rather than talk. Their 12 inch length means they will require a smaller cage than larger parrots, but you and your family may require earplugs. If you train your Sunnie to lower its voice, you will enjoy its antics, as these parrots tend to be playful.

4. Parrotlets:
Parrotlets, especially Pacific Parrotlets, are one of the smallest known parrots of the world – about 4 inches in length! They are also one of the most pernicious and spunky of all the parrots of the world. These tiny parrots learn to talk in a voice that sounds like that of a robot. This tiny voice, their size, and the fact that they do not scream, make them ideal for those who need a quiet companion.

5. African Greys:
African Grey Parrots are probably the most intelligent of the parrots of the world, and indeed, of all birds. These parrots are not as colorful as some. They are mainly grey, as the name implies. They do have a bright red or maroon tail, though, depending on the subspecies. African Greys excel at mimicry, sometimes learning as many as 1-2000 words. They learn other sounds, too, and may quickly learn to imitate a jet engine if you walk through an airport with them. Among the many parrots of the world, these may be the most demanding. Just like your toddler, these birds get bored and want their owners to provide entertainment. If you are looking for an intellectual, loyal, and affectionate parrot, the African Grey is probably a good choice.

How Many Different Parrots Are There?
All told, parrots of the world number more than 350 different species and subspecies! Due to loss of habitat, climate changes, hunting, and the trade in live birds as pets, some parrots have become extinct. Others are listed as threatened, or are on the “endangered species” list.

Life Expectancy
People who purchase a parrot, purchase a commitment that is likely to continue throughout their lives and beyond. Most parrot owners are already 20 years old or more, and parrots themselves often have a life expectancy of more than 50 years. Some live to be nearly 100 years old. Added to that long life expectancy, many parrots of the world tend to bond with a single person. If that person breaks the bond in some way, the parrot may die.

Before you ask a parrot to be your companion, think it through carefully. The bird may outlive you.

Photo Credits: Derbyan Parakeet by Dave Young, Cockatiel by Shiny Things, Sun Conure by Christoph Diewald, Parrotlett by Eric Hacke, African Grey Parrot by Deylon Duthie

About the Author
© 2007, Anna Hart. An avid reader and researcher, Anna explores parrot information and offers her gleanings at If you want to read more about pet parrots of the world, you won’t want to miss Anna’s articles.

Permanent Link:


Post a Comment