Significance to humans

Red Budgerigar

The popularity of parrots as pets is unequalled in any other group of birds, and one species, the budgerigar, ranks second to the goldfish as the world's most popular pet animal. Damage to crops by parrots has been reported from some countries, but there has been little objective evaluation of the problem. Losses experienced by farmers locally can be severe, but studies undertaken in Australia have shown that this damage is not economically significant at the national level. It has been...

Reproductive biology

Most parrot species appear to be monogamous and remain paired for long periods, perhaps for life. A notable exception is the kakapo, a flightless, lek-display species whose males take no part in incubation or care of the young. Pairs and family groups are discernible within flocks of gregarious parrots, with paired birds usually perching or foraging together and regularly indulging in mutual preening. Our knowledge of the nesting habits of parrots is patchy, and much of the available...

Evolution and systematics

Pigeons (Columbidae) form, along with the extinct dodo family (Raphidae), the order Columbiformes. Formerly pigeons were placed close to sandgrouse (Pterocliformes), which are related to waders (Charadriiformes), or to parrots (Psit-taciformes), but DNA hybridization showed no close relation between pigeons and parrots. Pigeons and waders share some characteristics, such as the form of palate and nares, the type of tracheobronchial syrinx (vocal organ), and the configuration of toe flexor...

Scarlet macaw

Psittacus macao Linnaeus, 1758, South America. Two subspecies. other common names French Ara rouge German Arakanga Spanish Gaucamayo Macao. 33 in (85 cm) 2.1-2.2 lb (1,060-1,123 g). Brilliant plumage with red, blue, green, and yellow. Bare face patch, yellow wing patch, and long, red tapering tail. A. m. macao northeast Bolivia and central Brazil north to Guianas, north Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica. A. m. cyanoptera southeast Mexico to Nicaragua. Lowlands, on dry ground in evergreen forest...