ANIMAL STORIES: Parrots
Perhaps you’ve been reprimanded, “Don’t talk like a parrot.” Their ability to talk is the most interesting thing about some parrots. At times we are convinced they know what they are saying, but parrots are just good “copycats”. It is easy to tell the males and females apart. Males usually have more colourful feathers, which they use to attract females.
Rainbow on wings:
A parrot’s body is made for living in tropical forests where there are brightly coloured leaves, flowers, and fruits. The parrot’s bright colours blend in and may look like a piece of fruit or flower.
Beaks and bills:
All parrots have hooked bills. There is a great variety in the shapes of the hooks. This is because different kinds of parrots need different types of hooks for eating different kinds of foods. Some parrots use their bills to scrape seeds out of pods. Hence, their bills are pointed and sharp, like paring knives. Parrots that like to eat nuts have big, thick bills that can crush even the toughest nut. Some parrots dig up the ground for food. For these birds, the upper part of the bill is long, so they can use their bills like shovels. Parrots that get their food from flowers have small and weak bills.
Parrots get most of their food from trees by gathering seeds, nuts, and fruits. A few dig up roots and bulbs from the ground, and a few drink nectar from flowers. Each foot has four long toes, two pointing forward and two backward. Parrots can wrap its toes around a piece of food and use its foot to bring food to its mouth.
Parrot eggs look a lot like chicken eggs. It takes about three weeks to hatch. Parrots are usually very loyal to their mates. Some pairs stay together for life. They are good parents, too.
Most parrots live in warm parts of the world, including Central and South America, much of Africa, Southern Asia, and Australia. However, the kea of New Zealand likes the cold so much that it rolls around in the snow. Slaty-headed parakeets are found in the mountains of Afghanistan. And the tip of South America, which has some of the worst weather in the world, is home to the Austral conure.