Parrots live in just about all of the tropical climate zones around the world, showing up in Central and South America, southern Africa, south Asia and Australia. There are more than 350 different species that fit under the parrot classification, such as lorikeets, cockatoos, lovebirds and macaws, all of which are part of the parrot family.
Several features are common to all parrots, such as curvy beaks and four-toed feet, two pointing to the front and two toward the back. The vast majority of parrots eat nuts, buds, seeds, flowers and fruit as well as insects and other small creatures.
Parrots have long been popular companion pets because of their colorful beauty, charisma, intelligence and musical ability. Many parrots have the ability to imitate sounds that come from sources other than birds, including human speech. Of all the parrots, the male African gray (Psittacus erithacus) is the most adept at sounding like a person talking.
In spite of the number of parrot species, they are considered endangered, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species prohibits selling any parrots that one catches in the wild. However, their popularity means that there is still a great deal of illegal trade occurring.