Parrots, also known as psittacines ( /ˈsɪtəsaɪnz/), are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is subdivided into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea ('true' parrots), the Cacatuoidea (cockatoos) and the Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots). Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several species inhabiting temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is found in South America and Australasia.
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. The plumage of cockatoos ranges from mostly white to mostly black, with a mobile crest of feathers on the tops of their heads. Most parrots exhibit little or no sexual dimorphism. They form the most variably sized bird order in terms of length.
The most important components of most parrots' diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, buds and other plant material. A few species sometimes eat animals and carrion, while the lories and lorikeets are specialised for feeding on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree hollows (or nest boxes in captivity), and lay white eggs from which hatch altricial (helpless) young.
Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays and magpies, are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Trapping wild parrots for the pet trade, as well as hunting, habitat loss and competition from invasive species, has diminished wild populations, with parrots being subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds. Measures taken to conserve the habitats of some high-profile charismatic species have also protected many of the less charismatic species living in the same ecosystems.
Other articles related to "parrot, parrots":
... chromatic has been a core developer of Parrot ... He was also secretary of the Parrot Foundation from 2008 until 2010 ...
... Many parrot species are in decline and several are extinct ... Parrots are persecuted because, in some areas, they are (or have been) hunted for food and feathers, and as agricultural pests ... the pet trade is a threat to many of the rarer or slower to breed parrots ...
... diophthalma coxeni (subspecies of Double-eyed Fig Parrot) Dasyornis brachypterus (Eastern bristlebird) Epthianura crocea macgregori (Yellow chat) Erythrotriorchis radiatus (Red goshawk ...
... Glossopsitta porphyrocephala - endemic Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Cyclopsitta diophthalma Australian Ringneck, Barnardius barnardi - endemic Crimson Rosella ...
... Kakapo Kea Vernal Hanging Parrot Palm Cockatoo Red-tailed Black Cockatoo Gang-gang Cockatoo Little Corella Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Galah Rainbow Lorikeet ...
Famous quotes containing the word parrot:
“This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! Its expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! Its a stiff!... THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!”
—Monty Pythons Flying Circus. Monty Pythons Flying Circus (TV series)
“The island dreams under the dawn
And great boughs drop tranquillity;
The peahens dance on a smooth lawn,
A parrot sways upon a tree,
Raging at his own image in the enamelled sea.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)