Some of my favorite birds are parrots. They are remarkably colorful and intelligent. Their behavior in the wild is wonderful to watch and to hear. In captivity their behavior makes them interesting playmates that can learn to sing and speak. This blog is an introduction to an extended discussion on parrots and later, other bird species. I would like to introduce some of them to you. This may help you to understand the birds in Florida.
While in Central America I watched flocks of parrots raucously flying through the rain forests of the Osa Peninsula, National Conservancy of Costa Rica and in ruins of the Mayan city of Tikal in Honduras. I watched them fly through the forests and among the Mayan pyramids. They typically inhabit climates that are warm or temperate to tropical. I have even seen non-indigenous green parrots flying between the buildings of South Miami Beach here in Florida. Characteristics to look for include hooked beaks and two pair of opposing toes in each of their claws (zygodactyl feet). These two types of invasive birds are Monk parakeets and the Red Crowned Amazon. The only native to Florida is now extinct.
The various types of parrots include:
Parrots (Psittaciformes)- a generic term usually applied to a variety birds of three families; Strigopoidea, Psittacoidea and Cacatuoidea. These comprise:
- Macaw – a large bird long living bird with rainbow color feathers
- Amazon – a large, usually green body with yellow head and crest
- Lorikeet – small to medium size similar to parakeet but longer tail and more colorful plumage
- Parakeet – a small bird frequently kept as domestic pets with a variety of pastel colors
- Cocatoo – a medium size bird with prominent crests and curved bills, less colorful than that of other parrots, often with colored accents in the crest, cheeks or tail.
- Budgerigar – a member of the Lori family with green, yellow and black coloration
Parrots are noted for their longevity and in captivity may live for 80 years. They are remarkably intelligent with large vocabularies* and apparent logical skills. They are able to use tools and to solve problems**.
* Péron F, Rat-Fischer L, Lalot M, Nagle L, Bovet D. Cooperative problem solving in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Anim Cogn. 2011 Jul;14(4):545-53. doi: 10.1007/s10071-011-0389-2. Epub 2011 Mar 8. PMID: 21384141.
** Bates M., Problem-Solving Parrots Understand Cause and Effect, Science Oct,17,2013 https://www.wired.com/author/mary-bates
*** Borroughs D, Hormonal Behavior in Parrots, https://birdsupplies.com/blogs/news/96593031-how-to-pet-a-parrot
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#parrot #Costa Rica #Honduras #Osa #Copan #captive #feral #zygodactyl feet #beak #parrot behavior