Parrot

Last updated: October 14, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

Can live for up to 100 years!



Parrot Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Psittaciformes
Family
Psittacidae

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Parrot Conservation Status


Parrot Facts

Main Prey
Fruit, Nuts, Seeds, Insects
Fun Fact
Can live for up to 100 years!
Distinctive Feature
Large colourful body and curved beak
Wingspan
15cm - 140cm (5.9in - 56in)
Habitat
Rainforests and tropical jungle
Predators
Human, Monkeys, Large Birds
Diet
Omnivore
Lifestyle
  • Solitary
Favorite Food
Fruit
Type
Bird
Average Clutch Size
2
Slogan
Can live for up to 100 years!

Parrot Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Blue
  • White
  • Green
Skin Type
Feathers
Top Speed
15 mph
Lifespan
40 - 80 years
Weight
10g - 4,000g (0.02lbs - 5.9lbs)
Height
8cm - 100cm (3.5in - 39in)

Parrot Images

Click through all of our Parrot images in the gallery.

View all of the Parrot images!



Parrots are birds that have been kept as pets since ancient times, offering a raucous and gaudy demeanor.

Parrots (scientific name: Psittaciformes) are part of the Psittacidae family in their classification. They are known for their wittiness, amusement, and intelligence, though they have an incredibly affectionate personality as well. They are famous for the imitation that they can do of many sounds, including human speech.

6 Incredible Parrot Facts!

  • In the wild, parrots are frequently found in tropical areas, like the Rainforest.
  • The parrot covers a wide array of birds – 372 different species, to be exact. Some of the familiar species include the grey parrot, the macaw, and the monk parakeet, which are all in the same classification of bird.
  • Parrots are birds known for their bright colors, making them easy to spot in their natural habitat. To see a lit of the most beautiful parrots in the world check out ‘The 10 Most Beautiful Parrots in the World.’
  • As one of the most intelligent and witty of the bird species, the brain development in this bird is strikingly similar to that of humans.
  • These birds are capable of imitating many different sounds with their advanced vocal cords, and they often mimic human speech.
  • The largest parrot in the world is the kakapo, a flightless parrot from New Zealand that can reach 9 pounds in weight!

Parrot Scientific Name

Parrots go by the scientific name Psittaciformes and belong to the kingdom Animalia. The Phylum that they belong to is called Chordata. Their classification also includes their class which is called is called Aves and the Clade is Psittacopasserae. The order is called Psittaciformes – which is the same as their scientific name.

The word “parrot” is believed to come from the early 16th century, based on the French word perrot. Perrot is a variation of the name Peter, which means “stone” or “rock” in the original Greek root.

Common Types of Parrots

  • Grey Parrot – The grey parrot is a medium sized bird that is native to Africa. These birds are predominantly grey with black bills and red tail feathers.
  • MacawMacaws can range in size from small (Hahn’s Macaw, measuring around 12 inches long) to large (hyacinth macaw, measuring around 40 inches long). Macaws are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America and have long tails and large beaks.
  • Cockatiel – Cockatiels are small birds with pointed tails that are endemic to Australia. While pet cockatiels have been bred to exhibit a variety of colors, wild cockatiels are generally grey with white flashes on either wing and orange spots on the sides of their face.
  • Budgerigar – The budgerigar, also known as the parakeet, is a small, long-tailed bird that inhabits Australia. These birds are bright green with yellow heads and black barring on the wings.
  • Amazon Parrot – Amazon parrots are medium sized, short-tailed parrots that are native to South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. These birds are primarily green with bright accenting colors which differ by the species.

Parrot Appearance and Behavior

These birds are often known for their brightly colored feathers, though each species varies in its pigmentation. The parrots that most people think of are bright green, accented by a beautiful, curved bill that has incredible strength. Standing upright, these birds will perch or even walk around upright with their clawed feet.

Not all parrots are a singular color (like the macaw, which are black, red, and yellow), but this species is one of the few that don’t participate in sexual dimorphism. Both males and females feature a broad spectrum of colors, allowing both genders to be easily spotted.


Articles Mentioning Parrot

See all of our entertaining and insightful animal articles.


In behavior, these birds tend to be affectionate, earning them homes as a well-loved pet for centuries. Their high energy levels may be more than a novice pet owner has bargained for, but these creatures express empathy at a level not seen in other types of birds. However, the humans that they reside with can play a role in their mood and behavior.

Still, as sweet as the bird can be, don’t be fooled – some species are incredibly dangerous and aggressive (if provoked). The Senegal parrot, for example, is rather small, but they will bite down hard with their beak if they feel threatened, causing substantial pain.

Most often parrots will only attack if in danger, using the natural “fight or flight” response to protect themselves from harm. These birds in captivity – whether in a zoo or a home – will throw food around and try to tear up their surroundings when they become agitated or fearful. They are also quite chatty throughout the day and night, filling their homes with an array of loud vocalizations.

Most parrots are easily spotted in their natural habitat on the hunt for food, though they also will indulge themselves in self-grooming.

Beautiful parrot, Sun Conure on tree branch

The Parrot’s Personality

These birds are incredibly smart and witty, though their affectionate personality has earned them a place of love and adoration in the hearts of many pet owners. If kept as a pet, they tend to form a tight bond that is both friendly and social. Most parrots like to be close to the social activity in the home, allowing them to build trust and form a lasting relationship.

With their high energy, they have a surprisingly short attention span. However, they make plenty of time to provide a dramatic display of their emotions, thanks to the empathetic nature of the bird. As the parrot spends more time with its human owner, it may start to imitate common phrases and sounds that it hears.

Parrot Habitat

These birds often thrive in tropical areas, due to the warm and dewy climate. However, they don’t necessarily require this habitat to live, which is why so many of the birds are found in warm climates worldwide. Apart from pet stores, there are species that naturally span across Australia, South America, and Central America.

Though their homes with their owners may vary, most wild parrots will build a place to rest in broad-leafed deciduous trees and bright tropical plants.

Parrot Diet

Omnivorous in nature, these birds have a varied diet. As a pet, the parrot will be healthiest with raw or steamed vegetables, and whole grains (like rice, oats, quinoa, barley, and buckwheat). If available, the health of the bird is best supported by an organic diet, preventing them from ingesting dangerous chemicals that can cause health issues.

Nuts and seeds are a delicious treat for them as pets or freely soared through tropical regions. In the wild, they will also seek out some meats. Still, without a human to feed them, parrots often opt for seeds, fruit, nuts, flowers, buds, and insects.

Parrot Predators and Threats

Like all living animals (including birds), parrots are an important contributor to the natural food chain. They are both prey and predator in the wild, falling victim to raptorial birds that are larger than them.

The main threat to these birds is humans. Human activities – like deforestation, industrialization, etc. – take away from their natural habitat. Without a home to live in the wild, the agricultural decisions that impact their homes reduces the areas that parrots remain protected from threats. Apart from the loss of their habitat, human activities can weaken and damage the forests that they live in, preventing parrots from finding a consistent source of their food.

What Eats Parrots?

These birds, as fast and quick-minded as they are, have several predators. Hawks, eagles, forest eagles, falcons, and accipiter hawks all seek out the parrot as part of their natural diet. Parrots are not a typical delicacy for humans, but the damage imposed on their habitat is far greater of a threat.

What Do Parrots Eat?

Most of the bird’s typical diet is made of fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers, and buds. Some species thrive (almost) exclusively on nectar. While they will consume both raw and cooked vegetables, the only animals that have to worry about their predatory nature are insects.

If a parrot seeks out insects to no avail, they will sometimes go after snails, mice, or snakes instead. Interestingly, not every parrot will maintain an omnivorous diet.

Parrot Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

Most species are known to be monogamous, meaning they remain with the same partners for their entire lives. When these birds choose a breeding partner for themselves, they will even stay with them throughout the non-breeding seasons.

Parrots prefer to mate with the changing seasons of their environment, basing this timing on the warmer time of the year. Most often, the reproductive process starts during the spring months, due to the higher temperatures and the ample availability of food sources for their offspring during these months. During these months, the bodies of the parrots start naturally releasing sex hormones, attracting them to one another for mating.

Like many other birds, parrots lay eggs, rather than having a live birth of their young. At one time, parrots usually lay about two to eight eggs. The incubation required for a parrot’s egg usually ranges from about 18 to 30 days, though the parents will remain resting on top of the eggs until they finally hatch. Their offspring are simply called “chicks” like many other bird species.

Small parrots live for about 15 to 20 years, while larger species can live up to 80 years. Some record ages of parrots have also been recorded at 100 years.

Parrot Population

The exact number of parrots around the world is currently not well known However, there are more than 350 species of parrots that exist in different parts of the world including a macaw, grey parrot, and monk parakeet.

Since parrots as a group have been declared “not extinct” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, no conservation efforts have been made on a broad scale. However, as recently as the last decade, the trading and habitat destruction of parrots has led nearly 50% of these species to be endangered. Half of those species are considered “critically endangered.” Some species – like the citron-crested cockatoo – have been sold so frequently on the black market that local governments have imposed restrictions.

While some laws protect them from being traded or hunted (thanks to The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), parrots are largely still kept in captivity as pets or zoo attractions.

Parrot in the Zoo

It is incredibly difficult to find a zoo that doesn’t have some species of the parrot bird on its property. In captivity, they are kept in cages and are fed raw or steamed vegetables and fruits, whole grains, pseudo-grains, and oats.

Some of the zoos in the United States that are popular for their parrot exhibits include the San Diego Zoo, the Houston Zoo, and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

View all 85 animals that start with P

Parrot FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Parrots herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Parrots are omnivorous in nature which means that they eat meat as well as vegetation. In the wild, they mostly feed on nuts, buds, seeds, flowers, and fruits.

What Kingdom do Parrots belong to?

Parrots belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do Parrots belong to?

Parrots belong to the class Aves.

What phylum to Parrots belong to?

Parrots belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Parrots belong to?

Parrots belong to the family Psittacidae.

What order do Parrots belong to?

Parrots belong to the order Psittaciformes.

What type of covering do Parrots have?

Parrots are covered in Feathers.

In what type of habitat do Parrots live?

Parrots live in rainforests and tropical jungles.

What is the main prey for Parrots?

Parrots eat fruit, nuts, seeds, and insects.

What are some predators of Parrots?

Predators of Parrots include humans, monkeys, and large birds.

Is a parrot a bird?

Yes, the parrot is a bird.

Can a parrot talk?

Parrots are famous for imitating several sounds. These sounds can sometimes also include human speech.

Are parrots friendly?

Parrots are known to be friendly, affectionate, and easy-going. Most of the parrots socialize easily and also empathize with their humans.

What do parrots eat?

In the wild, parrots mostly feed on nuts, buds, seeds, flowers, and fruits. However, when kept as pets, they can be fed raw or steamed vegetables and fruits, whole grains, pseudo-grains, and oats.

Can parrots fly?

Yes, parrots can fly, and their flying skills are often considered remarkable.

Do parrots migrate?

Some species of parrots are known to have migratory instincts.

How many eggs do parrots lay?

At one time, parrots lay, about two to eight eggs.

How fast does a parrot fly?

The flying speed of parrots can range anywhere between 81 mph to 200 mph.

What is a parrot’s wingspan?

Different species of parrots have different wingspans. Some of them have wingspans of about 41 to 45 inches.

When do parrots leave the nest?

When chicks leave their nests is unknown, but their incubation period ranges from 18 to 30 days after which the eggs hatch.

What are some distinguishing features of Parrots?

Parrots have large, colorful bodies and curved beaks.

What is an interesting fact about Parrots?

Parrots can live for up to 100 years!

What is the lifespan of a Parrot?

Parrots can live for 40 to 80 years.

How do Parrots have babies?

Parrots lay eggs.

Sources
  1. Britannica, Available here: https://www.britannica.com/animal/parrot
  2. Science Kids, Available here: https://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/animals/parrot.html
  3. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parrot
  4. Four Seasons Animal Hospital, Available here: https://fsah.net/normal-parrot-behavior/
  5. The Spruce, Available here: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-attract-parrots-386262
  6. Resources, Available here: https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/healthy-parrot-diet-nutrition-toxic-foods
  7. Live Science, Available here: https://www.livescience.com/28071-parrots.html
  8. What are the major predators on parrots in the wild?, Available here: http://vetmed.tamu.edu/macawproject/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2019/03/what_eats_parrots_2002_aug.pdf
  9. Pars Trade Hungary KFT, Available here: https://www.parrots-fertileeggs.com/how-do-parrots-mate-and-reproduce/
  10. San Diego Zoo, Available here: https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/parrot

Latest Product Reviews

Latest Animal Blogs

Newly Added Animals

A Douc
Douc

When these monkeys want to mate, they wiggle their eyebrows.

A Siberian Ibex
Siberian Ibex

There’s a population of Siberian ibex in New Mexico

A African Grey Parrot
African Grey Parrot

When a grey parrot named Yosuke got lost, it was reunited with its owner after giving the owner's name and address.

Most Recently Updated Animals

A Douc
Douc

When these monkeys want to mate, they wiggle their eyebrows.

A Siberian Ibex
Siberian Ibex

There’s a population of Siberian ibex in New Mexico

A African Grey Parrot
African Grey Parrot

When a grey parrot named Yosuke got lost, it was reunited with its owner after giving the owner's name and address.