AOLDEST EVER PARROT
A Major Mitchell’s cockatoo [Cacatua leadbeaterl] named Cookie first appeared at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in May 1934. Estimated to be a year old, he was given a hatch date of 30 Jun 1933. He became so popular that his birthdays were celebrated with an outdoor event, during which Cookie would receive a muffin-sized cake.
He died on 27 Aug 2016, aged at least 82 years 88 days.
are omnivores and will eat anything –
from their backs.
healthy sheep and using ^
Psittaciformes, the taxonomic order of parrots, contains almost 400 modern-day species and is divided into three superfamilies: Psittacoidea (“true parrots”), Cacatuoidea (cockatoos) and Strigopoidea [New Zealand parrots). The largest is Psittacoidea, with about 350 species, found mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, in tropical and subtropical regions.
The smallest superfamily of parrots by far is Strigopoidea, with only three surviving species. All are indigenous to New Zealand, and genetically distinct to other living parrots. The trio consists of the kakapo [see right), the kea [Nestor notabilis) and the kaka [N. meridionalis).
In 1788, English convict Thomas Watling was transported to New South Wales in Australia as punishment for counterfeiting banknotes in London. He kept a pet budgerigar [Melopsittacus undulatus), which he taught to say “How do you do, Dr White?” – a homage to the convict colony’s physician Dr John White, a keen naturalist.
Sexual dimorphism is a distinct difference in size or appearance between the two sexes of a given species. The male eclectus parrot [Eclectus roratus) has a plumage that is mostly bright green, while the female’s is bright red with a bold blue-purple nape band. As recently as the 1920s, this dramatic difference in colour had led to the assumption that the male and female eclectus parrot were entirely separate species.
Native to forests and woodlands in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, the mitred conure [Psittacara mitratus) measures up to 38 cm [14.96 in) long, due in part to its relatively long tail. The green-plumaged parakeet was traditionally housed in the “true” conure genus Aratinga, but after a major study in 2013 was moved to Psittacara.
The Abyssinian or black-winged lovebird [Agapornis taranta) can grow to 16.5 cm [6.5 in) long. Mainly green but with a striking red forehead in males, it is native to the east African countries of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Found in South America, the red-shouldered macaw [Diopsittaca nobilis) is the only member of its species. A popular pet on account of its small size and docile temperament, it is often dubbed the “mini-macaw” by the pet trade.
It measures no more than 30 cm [11.8 in) long and weighs just 165 g [5.8 oz).
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Almost 30 species of amazon parrot are currently recognized. At just 25 cm [9.8 in) long, the black-billed amazon [Amazona agilis) is the smallest. Native to mountainous rainforests in the heart of Jamaica, the numbers of this once-common species have dwindled owing to deforestation, specimen collection for the pet trade and poaching. now categorized as “Vulnerable” by the lUCN.
Oldest caged budgerigar
Born in Apr 1948, Charlie died aged 29 years 60 days on 20 Jun 1977. He had been cared for by J Dinsey of London, UK.
Categorized as “Critically Endangered” by the lUCN, the red-vented cockatoo [Cacatua haematuropygia) is estimated to number only 560-1,150 individual birds. The species has suffered an extremely rapid decline owing to destruction of its lowland forest habitat and capture by the cage-bird trade. Only remnant populations remain, scattered across certain islands of the Philippines.
Entirely confined to the island of New Caledonia off Australia, the last confirmed record of the New Caledonian lorikeet [Charmosyna diadema) was in 1913. However, a number of reliable eyewitness sightings have led the lUCN to conclude the species may still exist within the island’s wild and inaccessible areas of highland rainforest. Therefore the lorikeet is classified as “Critically Endangered” rather than “Extinct”.
Also known as the Caninde or Wagler’s macaw, | the blue-throated macaw [Ara glaucogularis) is confined to Los Llanos de Moxos, a small locality in northern Bolivia. Surveys of the species in the wild by the Armonia Association and the Loro Parque Fundacion estimate the number of individuals to be 350-400. It is categorized as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN, and confined to a special reserve currently occupying 4,600 ha [11,366 acres).
< SMALLEST PARROT
Native to both Papua and Papua New Guinea, the buff-faced fi pygmy parrot [Micropsitta pusio) measures as little as 8 cm [3.1 in) f when fully grown and weighs just 11.5 g [0.4 oz). There are six species of pygmy parrot in total – unusually, all efforts to breed them in captivity have failed. This has been attributed in part to problems maintaining the pygmy parrots’ diet of fungi and lichen.
Parrots have .• “Zygodactyl feet”
This means they have four toes on each foot: two facing forward and two facing backward
Research conducted at San Diego Zoo in California, USA, recorded shrieks from the Moluccan or salmon-crested cockatoo [Cacatua moluccensis) reaching an ear-splitting volume of 135 decibels. The cacophonous cockatoo is native to the Moluccas, an archipelago in Indonesia.
It has a predominantly white plumage with a pink crest, which it erects whenever it is agitated or excited. An affectionate creature, the cockatoo’s scream ensures it gets the attention it craves!
A LARGEST VOCABULARY FOR A LIVING BIRD
Owned by Gabriela Danisch of Bad Oeynhausen in Germany, Oskar the budgerigar could recite 148 words when tested on 8 Sep 2010. His repertoire included words in German, English and Polish.
The largest ever vocabulary for a bird is 1,728 words, achieved by a budgerigar named Puck. Owned by Camille Jordan of Petaluma in California, USA, Puck died in 1994.
A GREAIES I CONCENIRAIION OF PARROIS
Set on the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz on the Spanish island of Tenerife, Loro Parque [“Parrot Park”) is home to around 4,000 birds, with around 350 species and subspecies. Loro Parque has been able to breed chicks from rare species such as Spix’s macaw [Cyanopsitta spixii), which is listed as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN. Clockwise from top left: a scarlet macaw [Ara macao), rainbow lorikeets [Trichoglossus moluccanus) and a golden parakeet [Guaruba guarouba).
Found only on three tiny islets off New Zealand, the kakapo [Strigops habroptilus) is as unusual as it is rare. In addition to being the only flightless species of parrot, it also has a unique ability to retain body fat for the purposes of energy storage. It is therefore perhaps no surprise that the kakapo is the heavyweight of the parrot world, with mature specimens having tipped the scales at 4 kg [8 lb 13 oz).
Found only in Australia, the cockatiel [Nymphicus hollandicus) measures 30-33 cm [11.8-13 in) long. In contrast to other cockatoo species, its long tail feathers account for roughly half its length. Historically, there has been debate as to whether the cockatiel is in fact a parakeet, but recent biochemical and molecular tests have proved that it is indeed a true cockatoo.