Parrots in the Rainforest


There are lots of colourful parrots in the rainforest.


Although some parrots do live in temperate climates and even inhabit dry areas, most of the world's 370 species of parrots live in tropical climate and in rainforests.


Parrots
belong to the order Psittaciformes, which is further divided to true parrots (Psittacidae), cockatoos (Cacatuidae) and New Zealand parrots (Strigopidae).

Scaly-Breasted Lorikeet, Single, Australia
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Most of the world's parrot species are found in South America and Oceania (including Australia) - a fact that suggests they originate from Gondwana continent.



Others include Pacific Islands, south and south-east Asia, Africa, Central America and some Caribbean Islands.

Parrots Talking to Each Other
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Parrots in the Rainforest: Bill, Diet and Intelligence
Parrots typically have strong curved bill, reflecting their diet - seeds, nuts, buds, fruit and other plant material. Some species also eat insects, and some, particularly lorikeets specialise in nectar. Almost all species lay white eggs and nest in tree hollows.

They are also some of the most intelligent and social birds, and they can imitate peoples' voices  - something that makes them popular pets and common targets for pet trade. Other threats they face are habitat loss, hunting, and competition from introduced species. 

Closeup of a Musk Lorikeet, Singapore
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Parrots in the Rainforest:
True Parrots (Psittacidae) is by far the largest group of Psittaciformes. Most species are predominantly green, with patches of red, yellow, blue and other colours. There are five subfamilies:

* Arinae - about 160 species of South American parrots, including the famous macaws

* Loriinae - about 50 species of lorikeets and loris, mainly New Guinean, but also
Pacific Islands', Indonesian and Australian parrots.

* Micropsittinae - six species of pygmy parrot, found in New Guinea, and also some neaby islands.

* Psittacinae - several different subgroups of mainly African and South-east Asian parrots.

* Platycercinae - several subgroups including rosellas, parakeets, budgerigars and broad-tailed parrots.


Eclectus Parrots: Male (Right) and Female (Left)
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Parrots in the Rainforest: Cockatoos
and Cockatiels (Cacatuidae) are quite different from true parrots. They have lost the green colour and are mostly
white, black or pink. Another distinctive feature is the mobile head-crest that true parrots lack. 


Leadbeaters or Major Mitchells or Pink Cockatoos
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The cockatoo family is only found in Australia, New Guinea, Philippines and Indonesia; and it contains three subfamilies:

* White cockatoos - e. g. salmon-crested, sulphur-crested, major mitchells, galahs and corellas.

* Dark cockatoos - e. g. gang-gangs, yellow-tailed blacks, red-tailed blacks

* Palm cockatoos - some of the smartest cockatoos with huge crests and beaks, which are only found in Cape York, Australia.


Kea, Picking Rubber Seal on Car, New Zealand
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New Zealand Parrots (Strigopidae) include Kea, Kākā and the flightless Kākāpo. These are the rare parrots that don't inhabit tropical regions. Kea is a large greenish-brown parrot that lives in the Alpine regions on South Island. Kākā and Kākāpō live on both South and North Islands. The flightless Kākā is the heaviest parrot in the world.



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