May has gone to the birds: the 31st is World Parrot Day. Polly may be small, but she’s got loads of personality and charisma. These pretty birds are counted among the most intelligent of our feathered pals, along with corvids, such as crows and ravens. Read on as a local Dawsonville, GA vet talks about some of our most vivacious and beloved feathered friends.

How Many Species Of Parrots Are There?

There are roughly 400 types of parrots, officially known as psittacines. The parrot family tree has four branches: the Psittaculidae, or Old World parrots; the Psittacidae, which are the African and New World parrots; the Cacatuoides, or cockatoos; and finally, the Strigopidae, which are the New Zealand parrots, such as the kea, kākā, and kākāpō. 

What Kinds Of Parrots Talk?

Quite a few parrots can talk. The most renowned is likely the African Grey parrot. However, several other parrots have this ability. In fact, the bird who currently holds the record for knowing the most words is a budgerigar named Puck. That amazing little bird knew a whopping 1728 words, and is currently perched on the top slot in the Guinness Book Of World Records.

Here are some other birds that have the capacity to talk:

  • African Grey Parrot
  • Budgerigar
  • Rose-Ringed Parakeet
  • Moluccan Eclectus
  • Yellow-Headed Amazon
  • Macaw
  • Amazon Parrot
  • Cockatoo
  • Eclectus Parrot
  • Quaker Parakeet
  • Quaker Parrot
  • Cockatiel
  • Hill Myna
  • Barred Parakeet
  • Common Myna
  • Corvids
  • Quaker Parrot


However, it’s important to note that speech capacities also vary wildly from bird to bird. There are no guarantees that even an African Grey will talk. 

Speaking of African Greys, here’s a heartwarming tale: Recently an African Grey named Gizmo became a viral sensation. Gizmo had been rescued after being caged for 16 years. He surprised his new owners by speaking suddenly, and has since blossomed into a very happy and chatty bird. (You can follow the adorable bird online here.) Gizmo’s story speaks volumes about how emotional, sensitive, and loving these beautiful animals are, and how they thrive with love.

What Should I Consider Before Adopting A Parrot?

We always advise people to think carefully before adopting a pet. This goes double—actually triple—for parrots. While Polly is undoubtedly very fun and charming, she’s also a pretty high-maintenance pet.

Here are a few things to consider: 

Life Expectancy

This is a big one. Out of all our animal friends, parrots are among the most long-lived. Some can live to be over 100!  While some of the larger ones, such as Macaws and Amazons, have the longest lifespans, even smaller ones can live quite a long time. That’s a huge commitment. It’s also worth mentioning that parrots get very, very attached to their humans.

Birds Require Stimulation

Parrots are very intelligent, playful, and curious. Polly will need plenty of free time out of her cage, and lots of fun toys. You’ll need to rotate and change these up regularly to keep things fun and fresh for your little buddy. Ask your Dawsonville, GA vet for advice on choosing bird playthings.

Care Requirements

Polly will need a decent level of day-to-day care. You’ll need to provide fresh food and water, and clean her cage. 

As far as cleaning goes, you don’t need to do a deep scrubbing every day. We usually suggest doing a daily spot clean. That would consist of removing uneven water, providing fresh food and water, and changing the cage liner. (Tip: stacking sheets of newspaper or butcher paper in the bottom of the cage makes this pretty easy. Just pull out the soiled one off the top, and there will be a clean one under it.) You may also need to vacuum under your pet’s cage. 

Birds Are A Bit Messy

Polly isn’t the neatest roommate. 

Parrots Need A Lot Of Attention

These pretty birds require a lot of love and care. However, Polly can be very, very mischievous. You’ll need to stay on top of bird proofing and keep a close eye on your pet when she’s out of her cage.

Of course, there is a trade-off here. Birds can be lots of fun! You may find yourself laughing at Polly’s antics quite a bit. 

Polly Needs A Great Avian Vet

You’ll need to find a great doctor for your feathered friend. This can also be a great source of information when it comes to Polly’s care needs!

Bird Proofing Is A Must

While the average household contains things that are dangerous for any pet, our homes can be particularly hazardous for birds. To make your home bird-safe, you’ll need to be diligent about birdproofing. Ask your Dawsonville, GA vet for more information. 

Look Before You Leap

Generally, we would generally recommend doing lots of research before adopting a parrot. You’ll of course also need to consider your finances, time commitment, and other pets. Look into the different types of parrots, and learn about things like signs of sickness, do’s and don’ts, safe and suitable toys and treats, and bonding techniques. Your vet can also offer lots of advice.

What Is The Loudest Parrot? 

If you’re looking for a quiet pet, you’ll need to tread carefully here. Some of these birds have volume knobs that go up to 12!

Here are some of the loudest ones:

  • Cockatoos: 135 decibels.
  • Eclectus Parrots: 115 decibels.
  • Rose-Ringed Parakeets (Indian Ringnecks): 111 decibels.
  • Macaws: 105 decibels
  • Conures: 120 decibels.
  • Amazon Parrots: 124 decibels.
  • Lorie: 90 decibels.
  • Caique Parrots: 93 decibels.

As a comparison, a Boeing 747 is about 140 decibels. The average rock concert is around 100.  

If you want a quiet bird, you may want to consider a Cockatiel, Parakeets and Budgies, Pacific Parrotlet, or Senegal Parrot. (Though they aren’t parrots, finches and canaries are also easy on the ears.)

Who Started Parrot Day? 

The honorary holiday was founded by May 31st 2004 by the World Parrot Trust. The organization was founded by veteran and parrot lover Mike Reynolds, who was a staunch advocate for parrots until his death in 2007. The organization is still going strong today. You can learn more about them—and find out more about how to help parrots, at their website here.

How Do I Help Wild Parrots?

World Parrot Day is a celebration of these colorful and charismatic birds, but it’s also a call to action. Parrots are native to many tropical and subtropical regions. Many wild ones are threatened or endangered. In fact, as many as a third of wild parrots are listed as threatened or endangered. Several are facing extinction. The reasons for this are likely no surprise. Habitat Loss, pollution, and the black market trade for wild birds are the main culprits. While there are some protected habitats, unfortunately, most are either too small or do not offer the ideal habitats.

The news isn’t all bad, though. For instance, Polly is doing quite well on Príncipe Island. The small island, which is located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of Africa, has a very high parrot density, boasting 53 parrots per square kilometer. This is most likely because parrots were given a protected status early on, ten years before parrots made the endangered list. However, this is the exception rather than the rule. Most of the world’s wild parrot population are in a precarious position, with several on the brink of extinction. 

There are things you can do to help. Supporting conservation efforts is a big one. That may mean anything from donating to an organization that is working to protect parrots to supporting local legislation protecting your local habitat. (Even if there are no wild parrots nearby, these steps are all part of a larger movement.) You can also consider adopting a rescued parrot, though of course this is not something to take lightly. 

Book An Appointment With Your Dawsonville, GA Avian Veterinarian

Do you have questions about parrot care? Do you need to make an appointment for your feathered buddy? Please feel free to contact us anytime. As your local Dawsonville, GA pet clinic, we are here for you.