5 interesting facts about parrots you should know
It's no wonder that parrots are one of the world's favorite pets. They are colorful, quite intelligent, highly sociable, and long-lived creatures. Different parrot species vary largely in characteristics such as color, weight, and habits. There are close to 400 parrot species around the globe, but sadly, many of them have become endangered. Here are five interesting facts about parrots you should know.
Parrots are smart
Parrots learn well and they learn fast. If you haven't already witnessed it, know that parrots are one of the most intelligent birds out there. They are capable of associating words with objects and situations, and can even use tools and solve problems. Some scientists argue that they have an IQ equivalent to that of a four-year-old. Parrots are also quite playful.
Parrots can imitate sounds
One thing that makes parrots pretty popular pets is their ability to learn and imitate sounds. Not only can they learn/imitate the sounds of other animals, but they can also copy different environmental sounds, including human speech. African grey parrots, parakeets, Amazon parrots, and macaws are the best at imitating sounds. In fact, one African grey parrot could speak over 100 words.
Not all parrots can fly
The world's largest parrot species, the kakapo, is flightless. However, the kakapo can jump and is good at climbing trees, so it doesn't miss out on fruits. The bird is also heavy, weighing as much as nine pounds. It can grow up to two feet in length. Sadly, the kakapo is one of the rarest birds today.
Parrots can eat with their feet
Parrots happen to be the only birds who are capable of eating with their feet. This is because parrots have zygodactyl feet, meaning that they have four toes on each foot, two facing forward and two facing backward. This makes it easier for them to pick up objects such as food and bring them to their mouths—similar to how humans do with their hands.
Parrots live long
The lifespan of a parrot varies across species. But some of them can actually outlive their owners. While small parrots usually live for 15-20 years, medium-sized parrots live for 25-30 years, whereas large parrots can live up to 100 years. The record for the oldest living parrot is held by one cockatoo, Cookie, who was 82 years old when it passed away in 2016.