Get Informed About Parrots

by MBC

This page is written to discuss facts about all kinds or breeds of Parrots. There are a lot of them.

There is a foundation called the World Parrot Trust that's goal is to save rare parrots in the wild and also ensure that those who live with humans receive proper care. There are approximately 360 or so parrots in the category known as Psittaciformes. So as you can imagine it will take me a while to research them and begin to cover them all. The diversity is phenomenal! They display a wide range of feather colors , social organizations, life spans, mating behaviors and communication methods. The first thing that we notice about parrots is their wonderful diverse range of dazzling and conspicuous colors. So this is a long term project. Check back once in a while and see what I have learned to share with you.

I have never had a pet parrot - have you? I live in America which is not in the tropics which is where most of the parrot species reside. But I have always loved these colorful birds. Did you have any idea how many different kinds of parrots there are? I hope to cover many of them here, though not likely all species, so read on.

In recent years there have been a lot of scientific research studies related to animals and language. Another very bright bird is the crow or the corvid family, but the parrot can hold a candle to a crow or raven or even to some 2 year old children. Parrots are very bright birds.

Dr. Irene Pepperberg and Alex, an African Grey Parrot, Spent Many Years Doing Scientific Studies

Alex lived to be 31 years old and died suddenly and unexpectedly.   Many parrots live much longer lives so it makes them a good animal to study.  By the time he died he could identify colors, shapes and numbers and many times exceeded what was expected of him intellectually by the scientific community. 

Pepperberg did graduate work at both MIT and Harvard and received a Ph.D. in Chemistry - a hard science.  In 1973 she decided to study the language ability of Alex the African Grey Parrot at Purdue University.  She spent her whole career between 1973 and September 6, 2007 studying and training Alex at various colleges.

Alex the Smart Parrot

How are Parrots Eyes Different Than the Human Eye?

The way our brains and eyes see and perceive color is very different between humans and Parrots.  How do we know?  Well we do not know the extent of the difference because the human eye only sees in three dimensions and the parrots see in four dimensions.  We discovered this by physically scientifically studying their eyes.  We call the parrots vision tetrachromatic (the ability to see, using the extra type of cones in their eye) which enables them to detect light wavelengths that are invisible to the humans naked eye.  These cones are either violet sensitive or ulraviolet sensitive.


There are 17 species of Macaws including:  the Hyacinth, Glaucous, Lear’s, Spix’s, Blue-and-Yellow, Blue-throated, Military, Great Green, Scarlet, Red-and-Green, Scarlet, Red-and-green, Red-fronted, Yellow-collared, Chestnut-fronted, Red-bellied, Illinger’s, Blue-headed and the Red-shouldered Macaw.  As you can see from their names they are all very colorful.  Their beauty has been their biggest enemy because there is a thriving business in poaching for the illegal pet trade. 


We have a wonderful Lorikeet exhibit at the Denver Zoo.  I've visited it many times.  I'm still in the process of researching the Lorikeet.  So check back, I'm working on it.

Look at These Wonderful Lorikeet Colored Feathers

Photo by Marsha Camblin
Lorikeet Parrot
Lorikeet Parrot


Budgerigars are parakeets.  People have shortened the name to Budgie.  For scientific research these birds work well partly due to their size.  There is very little concern about the Budgie’s conservation since they flourish.  The English Budgie is larger than its cousin the Australian Budgie .  The budgie is the most popular pet bird worldwide, but in the U.S. the Cockatiel is more numerous as a pet. Captive Budgies live five to ten years.

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Updated: 02/11/2019, MBC
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Do you have a favorite parrot? Why do you like it?

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AngelaJohnson on 07/20/2018

I've only seen parrots in zoos but they sure are pretty and interesting. When I was young, my sister and I had parakeets and they lived a long time. They sure seemed happy and chirped a lot.

MBC on 07/16/2018

Yes it helps to signal the opposite sex in the dark or at night.

Veronica on 07/16/2018

Great article

Do we know how parrots use this 4 D vision or what is the advantage of them detecting light wavelengths that are invisible to the humans naked eye?

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