Interesting Facts About Parrots

Ancient parrots. Most parrot fossils were excavated in Europe. The earliest dates back to the Eocene, and are 50 million years old. Most of the complete skeletons were found in Germany and England. These birds are considered the great “parrot ancestors.” However, fossils of modern parrots—with the same bone structure and appearance as the ones we see today, are about 23 million years old.

Two beautiful families. There are actually two major groups of parrots: the psittacidae, and the cacutaidae. The latter has a movable head crest while the psittacidae have brighter, more vibrant colors. There are also enormous skeletal differences. For example, the cacatuidae have a gall bladder and a different type of skull bone.

Parrot owners unite! Most parrot conservation efforts are actually spearheaded by pet owners who love the birds and want to make sure they thrive. Efforts include fund raisers and information campaigns. Their projects have helped fund zoo and wild life centers, and have led to brochures and other important collaterals distributed to schools nationwide.

Shout out! Parrots don’t have vocal cords, so they actually “trumpet” the sound by pushing air out of their trachea. They can control the pitch of the sound by manipulating the shape and depth of the trachea. Experts say that when parrots talk, they are actually making variations on whistling.

Eat meat. Most parrots will love seed and flowers, but there are some that don’t mind a little “steak”. The Golden-winged Parakeets like to eat water snails, while the New Zealand Kees even scavenge abandoned sheep carcasses.


Among the amazing facts about parrots is that there are roughly more than 350 species of the birds that are referred to as parrots. They include macaws, Amazons, lorikeets, lovebirds, cockatoos, African Grey parrots and many others.

A feature we are familiar with, are the strong curved beaks that all parrots have. Other characteristic features include four toes on each foot (two pointing forwards and two projecting backwards), an upright stance, and strong legs.

Wild Macaws and Cockatoos can fly up to 500 miles in a day, while searching for food.

Heart rate of a canary is about 400-800 and a larger parrot around  200 beats per minute. So they don’t need caffeine to speed it up.

Considering how small and light they are, birds are very big eaters. Since birds do everything quickly, they fly quickly, they run quickly, even their hearts beat quickly, birds need a lot of food energy to keep going. Most birds eat half their weight in food every day. That’s like a 100-pound person eating 50 pounds of food in a day. And some young birds eat more than their weight in food every day. Scientists watching a mother wren feeding her chicks found that she brought food back to her nest more than 1,200 times in 24 hours.

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