Pet Parrot

By: Kadence Buchanan

It had been years since I last visited my boyhood chum Ricky. He used to be a teammate of mine on the school baseball team, but he was obviously the better athlete since he was also on the school football team and basketball team. But I actually haven't seen him practicing much the last few months and when I visited him at home, I discovered why. To my great surprise, Ricky was enamored with his pet parrots.

He had about a dozen of them in one big cage in all colors, shapes and sizes. It was like an explosion in a paint factory. Ricky even had names for all of them and had started buying all the books he could find about parrots. I started reading these books and was absolutely fascinated about what I discovered.

There are actually two groups of parrot families—the cacatuidae or cockatoos and the Psittacidae or true parrots. It turns out that there are exactly 353 species of birds that can fall under these two categories. The common characteristics they share include a curve shaped beak with the upper mandible having limited mobility and an erect stance. Did you know that all parrots have four toes on each foot, two at the front and two at the back?

Wherever it's warm, you're likely going to find a parrot there. These include such places like India, Southeast Asia and West Africa. There was also one parrot breed that could be found only in the United States but it is now extinct, the Carolina Parakeet. According to studies, the most number of parrot species can be found in Australasia, South America and Central America.

Among the types of parrots that are usually kept as pets are the conures, macaws, Amazons, cockatoos, African Greys, lovebirds, Cockatiels, Budgerigars and parakeets, mainly because they are richly colored and boast of many different color combinations. People sometimes clip the wings of their pet parrots to keep them earth-bound. Others prefer to keep their parrots flighted. There are parrots that can live up to 80 years, including cockatoos, Amazon parrots, African Grey Parrots and the larger macaws, have very long life-spans of up to 80 years.

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