Parrots are also called companion parrots because if properly trained they interact abundantly with their human counterparts. Though parrots make good pets, keeping a wild animal in a cage is never a good idea. Parrots can be trained to perform tricks and they can learn to recognize their owner but they can also be unpredictable sometimes and there have been many incidents in which owners who have been handling birds for years together have been bitten by their parrot so badly that they had to be taken to the hospital. You can never be certain about your parrot’s mood. Since they are birds of prey any slight thing can upset them and result in you getting bitten. Birds are not supposed to kept in cages, their place is in the skies and that is where they belong. There are about 370 species of parrots; yes you read it right it is species not breeds. Each species of parrot is totally different than the other. They have different diets, social structures, behavioral instincts and voice sounds. People might think that the difference between a hyacinth parrot and a budgie parakeet is the difference between a pug and an Alsatian but they are wrong. It is more like the difference between a bear and fox. Each species of parrot adapts to a different ecological area and they can be found in any corner of the world.
Parrots are generally differentiated into two groups based on their evolutionary history and body structure- true parrots which are found throughout the world and cockatoos which are found only in Australia. All parrots have two things in common strong hooked beaks and zygodactyl feet.
Parrots mostly live in huge flocks and are rarely found alone. They are highly social animals and they love to spend their time foraging for food or just socializing. Parrots show their love for each other by chattering back and forth, grooming each other’s feathers and though this might come as a shock but they also show their love by regurgitating food into each other’s mouth. The cutest thing about parrots is that they mate for life. Parrots do not build nests instead they look for hollow trees or branches to nest it.
The illegal parrot trade has brought down the numbers of many species of parrots. Some examples are the Sun Conures which were once commonly found in Brazil are very rarely seen in the wild. There are only about 50 to 250 blue throated macaws left in the wild and the Spix’s macaw is practically extinct. People who love parrots reacted rather strongly to the illegal parrot trade, while some thought banning the capture of wild parrots was the only way to deal with this issue other started breeding birds in captivity as an alternative to wild capture. In 1973 many countries across the world entered into an agreement called CITES (convention on international trade in endangered species). The Wild Bird Conservation Act which was created by the Unites States of America has also strengthened the CITES agreement. Today it is illegal to catch a wild parrot; all pet parrots must be bred in captivity. This is a very good thing for pet owners since parrots bred in captivity tend to be much more friendly and calm around humans.
THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT PARROTS
Parrots like other animals say a lot through their body language
Humans understand what their dog or cat is trying is tell them by looking at their body language. We know when it is okay to pet our dog and when it is not. In the same way parrots communicate with their owners. With a little effort you can understand if your parrot is stressed and when he is hoping to get a kiss from you. If people learn these subtle signs then their parrots won’t have to go to extremes and scream their head off or bite them.
They require complicated nutrition
Most of us think that parrots need only seeds and water to survive but this is not true .They require nuts, foliage and even grubs. Many parrots eat small amounts of clay, soil and plants that probably have the minerals they need.
They are highly intelligent
Parrots have amazing minds. They like keeping themselves busy. Keeping your parrot in a cage with some toys is never enough. They thrive in environments worth investigating and if you can think of an environment which will allow your parrot to forage then it will surely keep your parrot busy. They have active minds and constantly need to be engaged and indulged.
Parrots have a very long life and some species live up to 80 years so before buying one make sure you can handle one for that long and make sure to mention your parrot in your will because in some cases parrots outlive their humans. Caring for a parrot is not a easy task. They require a lot of work and it is also very expensive taking care of them. Parrots also feel pain and have the intelligence of a 4 year old. So, when in captivity they feel sadness, pain, anger, frustration and betrayal. This does not mean that people who have kept pet parrots at home should release them into the wild, no these birds need us. This article was written to educate potential owners about the kind of commitment they are about to make because parrots don’t just enhance your life like dogs and cats do they become your entire life.