Parrots are birds of roughly 393 species in 92 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is subdivided into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea (“true” parrots), the Cacatuoidea (cockatoos), and the Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots). Parrots have a genrally pan-tropical distribution with several species inhabiting temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere; in South America and Australasia.
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. They form the most variably sized bird order in terms of length. The most important components of most parrots’ diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, buds, and other plant material. A few species sometimes eat animals and carrion, while the lories and lorikeets are specialised for feeding on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree hollows, and lay white eggs from which hatch helpless young.
Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays, and magpies, are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Some parrots are intelligent and are able to talk at the level of a four-to-five year old human. Trapping wild parrots for the pet trade, as well as hunting, habitat loss, and competition from invasive species, have diminished wild populations, as they are being subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds.