The Many Different Parrot Types
There are over 350 species of parrot with most in the group of true parrots and the others in the group of cockatoos. Many of the species are originally from Australasia and the tropics. Nearly all make great pets, are sociable and fairly easy to care for. Some of the species have life spans comparable to humans - 50 to 80 years.
Among the subgroups of parrots are broad-tailed parrots, lorikeets, neotropical parrots (includes Macaws), parrotlets, parakeets, Amazon parrots and lories. While parrots are known for their colorful plumage, some parrot types are mostly white like some Cockatoos or grey like the Amazon Greys. There are parrot types that don't talk well and some that are pretty small. Basically, if it has a parrot beak and two toes going forward with two toes going backward, it's a parrot.
Many breeds of wild parrot are endangered in part because of their popularity as pets. Nearly all parrot types sold as pets must be bred in captivity by law. Anyone considering buying a parrot should make sure that it comes from a reliable source and was legally obtained. In spite of the exotic origin of the parrot types, they need very little special care.
Some breeds have to be kept warm until they are a year old. Most breeds are able to eat foods easily found in pet stores supplemented by fresh fruits and vegetables. A few breeds can eat some meat as well. Prospective owners should learn a little about parrots in general but should be sure to investigate the needs of the specific breed being purchased.
As an exotic pet, each owner should have a reliable vet that specializes in birds with a good knowledge of parrot types. Many breeds can be bred with little special knowledge. Often, a breeding box in the cage with a breeding pair is all it takes. A little information about what to expect in the area of newborn care is helpful.
Even though they are bred in captivity, most parrot types still have a streak of the wild in them. They need to feel secure in their home. While a parrot becomes acclimated to a home, its cage should be kept in a corner or have a cloth draped over two sides so the parrot will feel less exposed. There are many books to help the owner bone up on parrot types. That and the right equipment, food and someone to love is all most parrot types will need.