Parrot is one of the most popular birds that usually pick as a pet. Not only because of the beauty of their colorful feathers but also their intelligence and their loyalty. Pet parrot is friendly and easy to take care of. For example, some benefits that you will get from keeping a parrot is you don’t need a spacious cage or fancy food to feed them. They are also a good entertainer. Once you train them, they can even speak and imitate our voice. What a great bird, isn’t it? Beautiful features, checked. Colorful body, checked. Easy to deal with, checked. Smart and entertaining, checked. That is all benefit you get from a single parrot!
But how far do you know about Parrot? How well do you know about their species or about their natural habitat? Do you know there is a term for “True Parrot” beside the wild one? In this topic, we will talk about the difference between these two. Let’s begin!
What Makes The Wild Parrot Different From True Parrot?
Let us start with the Wild Parrot. What is that? Well, Wild parrot, you might guess, is the Parrot who lives freely in their habitat nature. It is not easy to study the wild parrot because they are difficult to catch or mark. Most studies depend on wing tagging or banding, but they like to chew the attachments off. So, what do we know so far about them?
Some parrots have a strong and direct flight. Some spend most of their time climbing in the tree canopy. With their bills, they climb the tree by gripping or hooking it on branches. And on the ground, they often walk with a rolling gait.
Most of the wild parrots live in the warm area of the Southern Hemisphere, but they also spread across the other regions of the world such as Mexico, Australia, and South and Central America with a great diversity of species. Some wild parrots can also be found in cold area with winter and snow. For example maroon-fronted parrots, keas, and thick-billed parrots.
Here some fun fact for you: The monk parakeet, a type of pet parrot who is originated from subtropical South America have escaped from their owners, start to reproduce in the wild, and now resides in the United States. They took a long long journey to be wild, weren’t they?
And now, how about the “True Parrot”?
The true parrot is the superfamily of Psittacoidea. It has a range of species from Australian and New Guinea to South Asia and Africa. Pretty big, right? The true parrot estimates to have around 350 species with colorful feathers across the globe, including many of the familiar ones, for examples, macaws, lorikeets, eclectus, grey parrot, Amazon parrot, and budgerigar.
How about their features?
True parrots have a beak with a curved shape, a jaw with a mobility slight higher than where it connects with the skull, and an upright position. They also have a large cranial capacity, and of course, one of the most intelligent bird groups. And just like the wil one, they are a good flier and have the skill to climb branches of trees.
Due to their intelligence, they can mimic human and other sounds. But do you know that they actually do not have their own vocal cords? So how do they produce their voice and being so loud? Instead of vocal cords, they are possessing a vocal organ at the base of their trachea, or also known as the syrinx.
Just like the most parrot, true parrots are the bird who eat seeds. Each type of parrot can eat different type of food for example, not only seeds, but some of them also eat fruits, leaves, nuts, and even insects. Yes, they are actually an omnivore. The true parrot lorikeets are primarily nectar feeders, and some are cavity-nesting birds which are the form of monogamous pair bonds.
Their large and powerful bill evolved along with their food so it might help to crack open and consume a tough type of seeds. Except for the Pesquet’s parrot, all true parrots have the same method to get the seed from the husk, which is by holding the seeds between the mandibles and then the lower part one crushes the husk, where then the seed will rotate in the bill, and the remaining husk is removed. Isn’t that cool? They are a smart bird, after all!
Nowadays, the number of wild parrots is decreasing due to the pet trade, habitat loss, hunting, and competition from invasive species. Sadly, the wild parrot is also knowns as being subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds. Not only for the wild one, but it is also happen to the true parrot. It is estimated that about 18 species of parrot have gone extinct since 1500, and most of all are from superfamily Psittacoidea or the true parrot. We must agree that this is a loss for us and need to stop. Wild parrot belongs to nature and they deserve to live and their habitat so does the true parrot. They need to be treated well.
And now, is it wrong to pet a parrot in our home?
First of all, remember that not every area have the same laws and regulation about keeping parrot as a pet and not every type of Parrot is okay to be kept at home. If it is okay to have one, make sure you prepare the things that you need to your Parrot. Prepare the cage, their foods, their drinks, and keep the cleanliness. Remember that adding a pet in your home, not only limited to parrots but also any type of animal, is just the same as adding a new member of the family. So treat them well. Play nice with them and make sure their need is fulfilled. We all can have good friends without harming any animals, right?