parrot

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parrot

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Rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus).—Bruce Coleman Ltd.

Any of the 333 species of birds in the family Psittacidae. About 220 species of true parrots (subfamily Psittacinae) are found worldwide in warm regions (see parakeet). Many are brilliantly coloured. They have a blunt tongue and eat seeds, buds, and some fruit and insects. Their vocal apparatus permits many species to mimic human speech with great accuracy. The African gray parrot (Psittacus erithacus), intelligent and a particularly good talker, is about 13 in. (33 cm) long and is gray except for a red tail and white face; it lives up to 80 years. The 31 species of Amazon parrots (genus Amazona), also good mimics, are 10–16 in. (25–40 cm) long and predominantly green. Four other subfamilies are found chiefly around New Zealand and Australia, as are the cockatoos and cockatiel (family Cacatuidae); these are often considered parrots as well because they are classified with Psittacidae in the order Psittaciformes. See also kea; lovebird; macaw.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on parrot, visit Britannica.com.

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