What Are Some Facts About Parrots?

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There are over 350 species of parrots worldwide, and macaws, parakeets, cockatoos, Amazon parrots and lovebirds belong to this group. These omnivores stand out from other bird groups because of their rich colors, with the exception of species such as cockatoos. Weighing between 2.5 ounces and 3.5 pounds, their size ranges from 3.5 inches to 40 inches, and wild parrots have an average life span of up to 80 years.

There are various species of parrots, but they have some similar physical characteristics such as broad, curved and strong beaks. Unlike some other bird groups, they have zygodactyls with two toes pointing backward and the other two pointing forward on each foot.

Cockatoos are different from other species of parrots due to their movable crest of feathers on the top of their head. They can retract or raise their feathers for display. Many parrot species are brightly colored, and some are multi-colored. Cockatoos are mainly black or white with some yellow, pink or red.

Though omnivores, parrots generally eat nuts, fruits and seeds. Insects are rarely eaten. Parrots are intelligent, charismatic and are capable of mimicking sounds. The most talented parrot species when it comes to mimicking sounds is the gray-colored male African parrot.