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Parrots are the quintessential tropical birds—and they're popular pets due to their bright colors and renowned "talking" abilities. They are excellent mimics, able to copy almost any sound including human speech. Recent research suggests parrots may understand what they say, but this research is not on Amazon birds. Over 50 different species live in the Amazon. Parrots eat fruit and hard seeds, the latter of which their powerful beaks easily crack open. Although parrots are popular pet birds, they need devoted care throughout their lives (which may be 30 to 40 years), and should not be bought unless this can be assured. In the Amazon, parrots are often kept as pets, being caught wild—often when a tree in which they are nesting is felled (see boy with parrot).

Click below to see the photos and information on parrots:

blue-headed parrot

orange-winged parrot

mealy parrot


blue-headed parrot photo

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The Blue-headed Parrot (Pionus menstruus) a fairly common Amazon parrot, and is often spotted while on birding trips. The blue head is the distinguishing feature of this species.

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orange-winged parrot photo

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The Orange-winged Parrot (Amazona amazonica) lives in low-lying forested areas around rivers and lakes. It likes to roost in moriche palms which provide plenty of food. It also adapts quite well to living around people who like to have them around as a cheerful pet.

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mealy parrot photo

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The Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinosa) is the largest of the Amazonian "green" parrots—measuring about 16 inches from head to tail. (Macaws are in the same family, Psittacidae, and are somewhat bigger.) This bird prefers dense forest and is most often seen flying overhead, usually in pairs.

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Learn about parrot natural history

previous photos

 blue and yellow macaw photo scarlet macaw photo


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parrot clay lick photo

parrot clay lick

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