Fun Facts About Parrots

Three blue and gold macaws perch together on a branch.

If you spend much time on sanctuary grounds, you likely know that residents have complex and fascinating personalities and quirks. Because many folks have likely never met individuals living out their lives in sanctuary before, we have created a series of resources compiling fun and fascinating facts about residents to share with supporters and the general public. Parrots are amazing beings who deserve to be better known!

Fun Facts About Parrots

  1. There are hundreds of species of parrots, varying widely in color, size, shape, and habitats! 
  2. Many parrot species fly miles and miles each day. They need plenty of room to spread those wings! 
  3. Some species are also known to use tools! There have been many studies on parrot behavior. One researched Greater Vasa Parrots, observing their use of date pits and pebbles as a tool to grind down cockle shells. The powder from the shells provides a hearty dose of calcium the parrots ingest!
  4. Another study recorded the behavior of African Grey Parrots, noting their strong desire to help their partner or flock-mates get food even if they didn’t get any for themselves.
  5. The range of sizes between various parrot species is vast. Some parrots such as the Buff-Faced Pygmy Parrot can weigh less than an ounce, while estimates of Kakapos range from 3 to 7 pounds!
  6. Parrots have long life spans. Generally speaking, the larger parrot species live longer, some as long as many humans. However, many accounts of age are from captivity and the best place for a parrot to live out their socially and emotionally complex lives is in the wild.
  7. Would you like a side of dirt or clay with your dinner? Probably not! Yup, some parrots, though not every parrot, may eat dirt or clay in order to gain minerals, specifically sodium in many cases.
  8. The protection of our parrot friends in their natural homes is vital. While some species are more prolific than others, a number of species only average 2-8 eggs per year and chicks may take up to 3-4 years before being ready to parent!
  9.  Did you know that some parrot feathers contain a pigment that is bacteria-resistant and prevents their feathers from damage caused by certain bacteria? How cool is that?
  10. Parrots are attentive parents. They take special care of their children, guarding them, teaching them important skills, and nurturing their physical and cognitive development. The care of the parents and the care of other adult flock-mates help ensure a well-adjusted, independent adult.

Hopefully this gives you and your visitors a better idea about the complex and fascinating lives of parrots. Did you find any of these fun facts surprising? Or would you like to see a verified fun parrot fact added to this list? Let us know!

Fun Facts About Parrots Infographic

Looking to share this information in an accessible way with other sanctuaries and supporters? Check out and share our infographic below!


Fun Facts About Parrots by Amber D Barnes

SOURCES:

Buff-Faced Pygmy Parrot | World Parrot Trust

14 Fun Facts About Parrots | Smithsonian Magazine (Non-Compassionate Source)

New Insight Into The Cognitive Ability And Longevity Of Parrots | Earth.com (Non-Compassionate Source)

Evidence For A Giant Parrot From The Early Miocene Of New Zealand | Biology Letters (Non-Compassionate Source)

Polly Share A Cracker? Parrots Can Practice Acts Of Kindness, Study Finds | NPR (Non-Compassionate Source)

Who’s A Clever Bird — Now? A Brief History Of Parrot Cognition | Brill (Non-Compassionate Source)

Dirty Secret: Researcher Studying Why Parrots Eat Soil | Texas A&M Today (Non-Compassionate Source)

Why Do Parrots (And People) Eat Clay? | NPR (Non-Compassionate Source)

If a source includes the (Non-Compassionate Source) tag, it means that we do not endorse that particular source’s views about animals, even if some of their insights are valuable from a care perspective. See a more detailed explanation here.

Updated on June 10, 2021

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