Parakeets and budgies, cockatiels and conures, macaws, cockatoos and amazons... you just can't help being intrigued by parrots.

The parrot order name is Psittaciformes. There are 315 species of parrot in the world, but only two species have occurred in North America. One is the thick-billed parrot of Mexico, which is now rare. The other was the Carolina parakeet, which is now extinct. The other parrot species that live in the western hemisphere are found in the Amazon Basin. In the eastern hemisphere, parrots are found in the Australia, East Indies, Pacific Islands and Africa.

Parrots are forest birds. They eat seeds, nuts, fruits and berries, and a few eat insects and nectar. They have very thick bills and fleshy little tongues which allow them to crack and eat hard-shelled nuts.

Parrots hold their food in one foot while they are eating, and can be right-handed or left-handed. Right-footed and left-footed?

Parrots live in flocks when they're not nesting. The flocks get very noisy and parrots are well-known for their squawking and screaming. Some parrots are very good at mimicking sounds and can learn to imitate our speech as well as the calls of other birds and animals.

Parrot sizes range from the pygmy parrot of New Guinea at 8.4 cm (3.3 in) to the hyacinth macaw of South America at 100 cm (39.4 in).

Because parrots were captured excessively for the pet trade, many of them were seriously threatened with endangerment and extinction. It is no longer legal to trade in endangered species, and the interests of parrots are being protected world-wide.







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