You walk by a bird shop, or visit the aviary at the zoo, and there may be several types of parrots. You study them, and begin to wonder, "What types of parrots are there anyway? How many types of parrots are there?"
Actually, there are more than 350 parrot types when you consider every species and sub-species in the group. Many of the most common parrot types are from Australasia and the tropics.
All parrots, of whatever parrot types or breeds they are, belong to the scientific order Psittaciformes. That scientific order is further broken down into two different parrot families: Cacatuidae and Psittacidae.
The Cacatuidae family includes only the Cockatoo, a bird that is native to Australia and islands near that continent.
The second parrot family, the Psittacidae, includes all of the true parrot types.
To most people, the cockatoo is a large white parrot with a feathered head crest that it can lift high in regal splendor.
That is, however, only one of the parrot types in this family. There are 21 different cockatoos, and not every one is white.
1. The palm cockatoo is mostly dark gray, with red cheek patches below the eyes - cheek patches that change to a deeper red when the bird becomes excited or alarmed.
2. The male gang-gang cockatoo is dark gray with a cherry red head and red crest. This parrot type is often called the red-headed cockatoo.
3. The Major Mitchell's cockatoo is often called a pink cockatoo due to its soft pastel pink shade.
4. The cockatiel's plumage is mid-grey on top, lighter grey underneath. It has an orange cheek patch, and a prominent white blaze on its wings. It has a much longer tail than the other cockatoos have.
So Cockatoos are not always a white parrot type, and not all cockatoos are the same in build.
This family includes all of the other commonly-known parrot types. The list that follows is not intended to be exhaustive, but in this family, you will find parrot types such as these:
1. African Greys: This is said to be the most intelligent of all the parrot types. A large gray parrot with a red tail, some of these bird have vocabularies approaching 1,000 words or more.
2. Amazons: This popular parrot type includes about 27 sub-types. Most are large, affectionate, and predominantly green.
3. Budgies: Officially known as a parakeet or budgerigar, this parrot type is small and colorful. It is one of the most popular parrot pets.
4. Conures: This parrot type seems to be a group of large parakeets. With long tails and strong beaks, these "clowns" come in a variety of colors.
5. Eclectus: Eclectus Parrots are unusual in their coloring. On the one hand, males are bright green, with beaks like bright candy corn, tails and wings of blue or red. Females, on the other hand, have red heads, blue breasts, and the same red or blue wings and tails. In place of the candy corn look, they have black beaks.
6. Lovebirds: Lovebirds are a small, stocky parrot type - among the smallest in the world. Many are green, sometimes with red faces or eye rings.
7. Macaws: Native to South America, this is the largest parrot type in wingspan and length. The blue and gold macaw is especially beautiful.
8. Parrotlets: These may look like parakeets at first glance, but this small parrot type has a broader body and tail than the parakeet.
9. Pionus: There are many parrot types under the name Pionus parrot, and this larger, quieter parrot comes in many varieties of color.
10. Quakers: This parrot type is often called a Monk Parrot or Grey-breasted Parakeet. It is a name that comes from facial feathering that resembles an old-fashioned Quaker costume.
There are many more parrot types than this article can list or discuss, even in a surface manner. You will find muc more information in your library or bookstore.
Best Parrot Types for Children's Pets
A final question is this: "What types of parrots are there that would make good children's pets?"
Many children are drawn to large parrots because of their colors or their reputation for talking well, but the large parrot types are not good pets for children. They require firm handling and training, and do well as pets only when the owner has had experience first with smaller parrots.
The best parrot type for a child's pet is the Budgerigar, aka budgie or parakeet. The small Budgerigar requires the least amount of care, and is easily trained to talk and do tricks. Budgies that are young, or those that have no cage mate, will learn most readily.
©2007, Anna Hart. An avid reader and researcher, Anna explores parrot information, and offers her gleanings at http://www.parrots-of-the-world.com If you want to read more about a specific parrot type, you wont want to miss Annas articles.
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