Why do parrots live long lives?

Why do parrots live so long?

Scientists knew that large birds and parrots live long lives, but now a new study reveals the mystery of parrot longevity.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany studied 217 parrot species (half of the known species of parrots), such as the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) in South America and the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita galerita) in Australia. They published their results in March 2022 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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What is the difference between the Parrot and the Pigeon?

What is the difference between the Parrot and the Pigeon?

The Parrot and the Pigeon are both species of birds.

The Parrot belongs to six families, whereas the Pigeon belongs to one family. The Parrot families are: Cacatuidae, Nestoridae, Psittacidae, Psittrichasiidae, Psittaculidae, and Strigopidea. The Pigeon is in the Columbidae family. 

The Parrot is arboreal, living in trees, whereas the Pigeon can be arboreal, terrestrial (living on the ground), or semi-terrestrial.

The Parrot has a slim, upright body, whereas the Pigeon has a stout body.

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Ochre-Marked Parakeet

The Ochre-Marked Parakeet (Pyrrhura cruentata) is a medium-sized bird in the Psittacidae family of parrots. It is also known as the Blue-Throated Parakeet and Red-Eared Conure. 

The Ochre-Marked Parakeet is predominantly green with red patches on its belly, back, and shoulder. The crown of its head is dark-brown to blackish, with mottling on the nape of the neck. It has a broad, bright-blue patch on its chest, extending thinly around the back of its neck to form a faint, thin collar. It has an olive-green tail with brownish-red below. It has a yellow-orange eye-ring and black eyes.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Red-Crowned Parrot

The Red-Crowned Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis) is a bird in the Psittacidae family of parrots. It is also called the Green-Cheeked Amazon Parrot or Mexican Red-Headed Parrot. 

The Red-Crowned Parrot is green with a bright red forehead and crown, dark-blue streak behind the eyes, and light-green cheeks. Some have red and blue feathers under their wings. It has a white eye-ring with bright yellow eyes. It has a beige beak and cere. It has grey or beige legs. 

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Port Lincoln Ringneck Parrot

The Port Lincoln Ringneck Parrot (Barnardius zonarius zonarius) is a medium-sized bird in the Psittaculidae family of broad-tailed parrots, related to the Rosellas. It is a sub-species of the Australian Ringneck Parrot.

The Port Lincoln Ringneck Parrot is mainly green. It has a yellow ring around the back of its neck. It has a dull-black head, back and rump. Its throat and chest are bluish-green. Its wings are brilliant green and its tail is blue and green. It has a beige beak and beige legs.

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Monk Parakeet chick

The Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) is the only parrot that builds a stick nest in a tree. Other parrots use a hollow in a tree trunk for their nest. 

The female Monk Parakeet lays 4-8 eggs, which hatch after about 24 days. The newly-hatched chicks are born altricial – featherless, blind, and helpless.

Monk Parakeet chicks open their eyes after about four days. They take time to gain all of their feathers. Initially, the down feathers make young chicks look fluffy with dirty-white feathers, and a few green feathers. The chicks have a large orange beak. 

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Mallee Ringneck Parrot

The Mallee Ringneck Parrot (Barnardius zonarius barnardi) is a sub-species of the Australian Ringneck. It is a medium-sized bird in the Psittaculidae family of parrots. 

The Mallee Ringneck Parrot is green with a yellow ring around the back of its neck. Its head is bright green with a dark-green strip from its eye to the back of its neck. Its back, rump and wings are blue to green. Its chest is bluish-green to turquoise green with a yellowish band across its abdomen. Its broad tail is green and blue. It has a light beige beak with a red frontal band.

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Salmon-Crested Cockatoo

The Salmon-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) is a large bird in the parrot family. It is also known as the Moluccan Cockatoo.

The Salmon-Crested Cockatoo has white-pink feathers with a peach tint, a slight yellow colour underwing and yellowish underneath its tail feathers. It has a large bright orange-red crest. It has a large grey hooked beak. The male has a dark-brown or black eyes. The female has brown to red eyes. 

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RESEARCH: African Grey Parrots help other parrots

African grey parrots voluntarily and spontaneously help other parrots to achieve a goal, without obvious immediate benefit to themselves. Research co-author Désirée Brucks of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany, announced this result in January 2020.

Parrots and crows are known for having large brains relative to the size of their bodies, and that they are good at problem-solving. However, earlier studies showed that crows don’t help other crows, so researchers wondered whether parrots help other parrots, explained Désirée Brucks and study co-author Auguste von Bayern.

In their new study, Brucks and von Bayern enlisted several African Grey Parrots and Blue-Headed Macaws to help the research team.

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Blue Masked Lovebird

The Blue Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata personata var.) is a small bird in the Psittacidae family of lovebird parrots. It is also known as the Blue Lovebird. It is a colour mutation of the Yellow-Collared Lovebird (Agapornis personatus), which is also called the Masked Lovebird. 

The Blue Masked Lovebird has a black head, blue body, and a white collar around its neck. It is white on its upper chest. The color occurs naturally in the wild. It has a wide white eye-ring around its eyes. Its beak is pinkish. 

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Great Green Macaw

The Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguous) is a large bird in the parrot family. It is also known as the Buffon’s Macaw or the Great Military Macaw. It is related to the Scarlet Macaw, the Military Macaw, and the Blue-and-Yellow Macaw.

The Great Green Macaw has mainly green feathers and a reddish forehead, with a pale-blue lower back, rump and upper tail feathers. Its tail is brownish-red tipped with very pale blue. Its bare, featherless facial skin is patterned with lines of short spikes, which are reddish in older parrots and female parrots. It has bluish eyes with a white eye-ring. It has a large, strong grey beak. 

The Scarlet Macaw, like other parrots, has its first and fourth toes pointing backwards.

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Kea

The Kea (Nestor notabilis) is a large bird in the parrot family. It is the world’s only alpine (high mountain) parrot. It is related to the flightless Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus).

The Kea is mostly olive-green, which means that it is well-camouflaged in trees. It has brilliant orange feathers under its wings. The feathers on its back and rump are orange-red, and some of the outer wing feathers are dull blue. It has a dark olive-brown face. Its blue-grey upper beak is large, narrow, and curved. It has a short, broad, bluish-green tail with a black tip. It has dark-brown eyes. Its cere, eye-rings, and legs are grey. 

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What are the similarities between the Alexandrine Parakeet and the Rose-Ringed Parakeet?

What are the similarities between the Alexandrine Parakeet (Psitacula eupatria) and the Rose-Ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)? 

Both the Alexandrine Parakeet and the Rose-Ringed Parakeet are Asian parrots with mainly green feathers and a thick red beak. 

The Alexandrine Parakeet has a red beak with yellow tips, whereas the Rose-Ringed Parakeet doesn’t have a yellow-tipped beak.

The Alexandrine Parakeet has a red patch on its shoulder, whereas the Rose-Ringed Parakeet has no red patch on its shoulder.

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Alexandrine Parakeet

The Alexandrine Parakeet (Psitacula eupatria) is a medium-sized bird in the Psittacidae family of parrots. 

The Alexandrine Parakeet has mainly green feathers with a light blue-grey sheen on its cheeks and nape (back of the neck). Its belly is yellow-green ad it has a red patch on its shoulders. Its tail is green and blue with a yellow tip, and its undertail is yellow. It has a large, thick, red beak with yellow tips. 

The male has a black stripe across his lower cheeks and a pink band on its nape. The female does not have a stripe on her cheek or nape. 

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Eastern Rosella

The Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) is a medium-sized bird in the Psittacidae family of parrots, or parakeets. It is also known as the White-Cheeked Rosella. 

The Eastern Rosella is brightly coloured, with a red head, white cheeks, red upper chest, yellow lower chest, and black and yellow-green back. Its shoulders are bright blue. Its wings and lateral tail feathers are bluish-white, and its tail is dark-green. Its legs are grey and its beak is white. It has brown eyes. 

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