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Happy World Parrot Day!

May 15, 2024

May 31st is World Parrot Day. Polly may be small, but she exudes plenty of personality and charisma. These beautiful birds are considered to be highly intelligent, similar to corvids like crows and ravens. Continue reading as a local Greater Cincinnati area vet discusses some of our most cherished feathered friends.

How Many Parrot Species Are There?

There are approximately 400 different types of parrots, which are officially referred to as Psittacines. The parrot family tree is divided into four branches. The first branch is the Psittaculidae, which includes the Old World parrots. The second branch is the Psittacidae, which consists of the African and New World parrots. The third branch is the Cacatuoides, which is home to the cockatoos. Lastly, the fourth branch is the Strigopidae, which includes the New Zealand parrots like the kea, kākā, and kākāpō.

Can All Parrots Talk?

There are a number of parrots that have the ability to mimic human speech. The African Grey parrot is widely recognized as one of the most renowned species. That said, a number of other parrots also possess this skill. In fact, the current record holder for the bird with the highest vocabulary is a budgerigar named Puck. This incredible little bird had an impressive vocabulary of 1728 words and currently holds the top spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Here are some other birds that are capable of mimicking human speech: 

  • African Grey Parrot
  • Budgerigar
  • Rose-Ringed Parakeet 
  • Moluccan Eclectus
  • Yellow-Headed Amazon
  • Macaw
  • Amazon Parrot
  • Cockatoo
  • Eclectus Parrot
  • Quaker Parakeet
  • Quaker Parrot
  • Cockatiel
  • Hill Myna
  • Barred Parakeet
  • Common Myna 
  • Corvids

It’s worth mentioning that the ability to communicate through speech can vary greatly among different bird species. There is no certainty that even an African Grey will talk. 

Speaking of African Greys, here’s a heartwarming story: Gizmo, an African Grey parrot, has recently taken the internet by storm. Gizmo was finally freed after spending a heartbreaking 16 years in captivity. He amazed his new owners with his ability to speak and has since transformed into a joyful and talkative bird. Gizmo’s story is a powerful testament to the emotional depth, sensitivity, and capacity for love that these magnificent creatures possess. It is clear that they flourish when surrounded by love.

What Factors Should Be Taken Into Account Before Deciding To Adopt A Parrot?

It’s always wise to do your homework before adopting a pet. This is especially true for parrots. Polly is undeniably fun and charismatic, but she does require a significant amount of attention and care.

Here are a few important things to consider:

Life Expectancy

Parrots are known for their impressive lifespan compared to other animals. Some can live for more than a century! Although larger parrot species like Macaws and Amazons are known for their exceptionally long lifespans, even smaller parrots have the potential to live for a considerable amount of time. That’s quite a significant commitment.

Parrots also form incredibly strong bonds with their human companions. So, if you’re planning on adopting a new feathered friend from the parrot family, understand that you will likely be in it for the long haul!

Birds Need Stimulation

Parrots possess a tremendous level of intelligence, displaying a playful and curious nature. Polly will benefit from having ample free time outside of her cage, along with access to a variety of engaging toys. Regularly rotating and changing these will help keep things fun and fresh for your little buddy. Consult your Greater Cincinnati area veterinarian for specific guidance when selecting toys for your bird. 

Care Requirements 

It is important to ensure that you provide fresh food and water, as well as regularly clean her cage. When it comes to cleaning, there’s no need for a thorough scrubbing on a daily basis, but it’s generally recommended to at least perform a daily spot clean. 

It’s also important to ensure that the water is full, the food is fresh, and the cage liner is regularly changed. (Hint: placing layers of newspaper or butcher paper at the bottom of the cage simplifies this process. Just remove the soiled one from the top, and you’ll have a clean one underneath.) 

Birds Can Be Quite Messy

Polly lacks tidiness as a roommate. There will be some messes that you’ll need to handle. That’s just typical of being a parrot parent!

Parrots Require A Lot Of Attention

These beautiful birds need a great deal of affection and attention—especially since Polly has a knack for getting into trouble. Be sure to bird-proof your home and closely monitor your pet whenever she is outside of her cage.

Although many households have items that pose a danger to pets, birds are especially vulnerable. Ensuring the safety of your parrot will require a consistent effort. Seek additional information from your Greater Cincinnati area vet.

Polly Needs a Trusted Avian Veterinarian

It’s important to find a top-notch doctor for your feathered companion, specifically one that is experienced in providing health care to birds. This can also be a valuable resource for learning about Polly’s care requirements!

Think Twice Before Adopting

It is always advisable to conduct thorough research before deciding to adopt a parrot. You’ll also need to take into account your finances, time commitment, and other pets. Explore the various types of parrots and study up on topics such as recognizing signs of illness, best practices, appropriate toys and treats, and effective bonding methods. Your Greater Cincinnati area vet can provide additional advice as well.

Which Parrot Is The Loudest?

If you’re seeking a pet that prefers a calm environment, approach this situation with caution. Some of these birds have volume knobs that go up to 12! Here are some of the most powerful ones:

  • Cockatoos can be quite loud, reaching up to 135 decibels.
  • Eclectus Parrots can produce a sound level of 115 decibels. 
  • Rose-Ringed Parakeets, also known as Indian Ringnecks, produce a sound level of 111 decibels. 
  • Macaws can produce a sound level of 105 decibels. 
  • Conures can be quite noisy, reaching up to 120 decibels. 
  • Amazon Parrots can produce a sound level of 124 decibels. 
  • Lories can reach up to 90 decibels. 
  • Caique Parrots can reach a volume of 93 decibels.

To put this into perspective, a Boeing 747 registers at approximately 140 decibels. Rock concerts typically reach around 100.

If you’re looking for a more peaceful avian companion, you might want to consider a Cockatiel, Parakeets and Budgies, Pacific Parrotlet, or Senegal Parrot. (While not being parrots, finches and canaries are also pleasant to listen to.)

Where Did Parrot Day Come From?

The honorary holiday was established on May 31st, 2004, by the World Parrot Trust. The organization was established by Mike Reynolds, a passionate parrot enthusiast and veteran, who dedicated his life to advocating for these beautiful birds until his passing in 2007. The organization continues to thrive to this day. For more information about them and how to support parrots, visit their website here.

How Can I Assist Wild Parrots?

Parrots can be found in a variety of tropical and subtropical regions. Sadly, a significant number of wild parrots, up to one-third, are classified as threatened or endangered. Many species are on the brink of extinction. The main culprits behind the decline in bird populations are habitat loss, pollution, and black-market trade. Although there are a few protected habitats, regrettably, the majority of them are either too small or do not provide the ideal conditions.

There is some positive news, however. For example, parrots are thriving on Príncipe Island. This small island, situated in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Africa, is home to an impressive number of parrots, with a density of 53 parrots per square kilometer. Parrots there were granted protected status a decade before they were officially classified as endangered. Nevertheless, this is a rare occurrence rather than a common one. The wild parrot population across the globe is facing a critical situation, with many species teetering on the edge of extinction.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to provide assistance. Supporting conservation efforts is a great start. There are various ways to contribute, such as donating to an organization dedicated to parrot conservation or advocating for local habitat protection through legislation. (Although wild parrots may not be present in your area, these steps are still important as they contribute to a broader movement.) 

Schedule An Appointment With An Avian Veterinarian In Greater Cincinnati Area

Need more guidance regarding parrot care? Schedule an appointment for your feathered companion. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. As your local pet clinic in Greater Cincinnati area, we are here for you! 

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