Intelligent, sociable and with beautiful plumage, parrots are birds that many people want to have in their homes. Nevertheless, the acquisition of a parrot should be considered, because it does not require the same care as more “classic” birds such as parakeets or canaries, they require much more attention and maintenance. But which species of parrot can you keep at home? And what are their characteristics? This is what we will see in this article.
The Gabonese Grey
The Gabonese grey or jaco parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is a parrot of the Psittacidae family. This parrot, known for its uniform gray plumage and red tail, is native to Central and West Africa. In the wild, it lives in the forests of these regions, with its cousin Timneh’s gray, in large groups of several hundred individuals.
The Gabon grey is frugivorous and granivorous, it feeds on seeds it finds in human plantations, and fruits found in the forests it inhabits. On average, it measures between 35 and 42cm, weighs about 410g and generally lives for 30 years in the wild, although individuals, especially in captivity, can live up to 80 years if well cared for.
In captivity, the Gabon grey is the most sold parrot in France. This bird fascinates because it has an extraordinary learning capacity. However, it will be necessary to take the time to educate it every day, and spend a lot of time with it. Being a sociable animal, the Gabonese Grey does not tolerate solitude for too long periods of time. To teach it to speak, nothing is better than repeating words over and over again until it remembers and repeats them.
Given its great popularity, regulations have been put in place in France concerning the acquisition of a Gabon grey. Today, it is in Annex 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which means that its trade has become prohibited. For more information, contact the SDCSPP (Direction Départementale de la Cohésion Sociale et de la Protection des Populations).
The Blue-fronted Amazon
The blue-fronted amazon (Amazona aestiva) belongs, like the Gabonese grey, to the Psittacidae family. It is certainly the second most famous parrot, especially for its beautiful plumage, green, yellow scales on the belly, sometimes the shoulders and around the eyes. Finally, its forehead is colored a pale blue, hence its name.
The blue-fronted amazon is native to South America, where it populates the rainforests from Brazil to Paraguay and from Bolivia to Argentina. It feeds on seeds, berries and fruits that grow in its natural environment. It measures on average between 35 and 40cm, weighs about 450g and has a lifespan in the wild of about 40 years, but just like the Gabon grey, it can live up to 80 years if it is well maintained in captivity.
In captivity, the Blue-fronted Amazon is not to be put in everyone’s hands. Although they can be very sociable, playful and endearing, they can also be very destructive and noisy. It is therefore not a bird that is very suitable for apartment life (neighbors may be inconvenienced by its noises). It will therefore need a master or mistress capable of managing its changing moods.
The Blue-fronted Amazon is also able to talk. Even if this ability is less developed than in the Gabonese grey, it is possible to teach her a few words, at least in some individuals, as others are simply not capable of doing so.
The Blue-fronted Amazon is a very curious bird, and its way of expressing itself is to nibble at anything that interests it. So remember to give it all kinds of toys to abuse in its cage, and be very careful if you let it out, because it could be attracted by an electric cable.
Last point, the blue-fronted amazon has a tendency to be overweight, so pay attention to the amount of food you give him and the amount of fat in it.
The animal is protected by CITES Appendix II or the Washington Treaty.
The blue and gold macaw
The blue and gold macaw (Ara ararauna) also belongs to the Psittacidae family. The blue and gold macaw is not so much represented in captivity, but it is well known for its natural beauty. Indeed, it has electric blue plumage on its back and wings, bright yellow on its belly, and a white face, zebraized with black.
In the wild, this parrot is native to southeastern Panama in the state of São-Paulo in Brazil, that is to say from the southern tip of Central America to western South America. He lives in groups, as well as in couples which, once formed, never separate, even in full flight. It feeds on seeds, nuts and berries found in the forests of these regions.
The Blue and Gold Macaw measures about 90cm, and weighs 1.3kg on average, which is quite heavy for a parrot. It lives an average of 60 years in the wild, and can live up to 80 years in captivity.
You will have to be well prepared to welcome a blue and gold macaw in your home, because the weight and size of the latter requires a fairly large cage. Moreover, being an animal that lives in a group in the wild, it does not tolerate solitude for too long, and can become very noisy, or conversely, get severely depressed. You must therefore be prepared to spend a lot of time with it and keep it occupied.
On the other hand, the blue and gold macaw is an outstanding acrobat, a very good talker, also capable of learning tricks. He is one of the most intelligent parrots, so he will never cease to amaze you.
The Blue and Gold Macaw is protected by CITES Appendix II or the Washington Convention (Appendix II).
The Rosalbin’s cockatoo
The Rosalbin cockatoo (Eolophus roseicapilla) is a bird that belongs to the Cacatuidae family. Its rather particular color is worth a certain interest from enthusiasts, since its plumage is gray on its back, wings and face, but its entire ventral part is pink.
The Rosalbin’s cockatoo is native to Australia, continent on which this species is very numerous. It feeds particularly on fruits and seeds, and unusual for a bird, it avoids wooded areas, staying on the edges of forests or in the few isolated trees of the plains, while also inviting itself in the heart of the city. This parrot measures on average 35 to 40cm long, weighs between 300 and 400g and generally lives for 40 years in the wild, and up to 60 years in captivity.
The Rosalbin’s cockatoo has adapted well to life in captivity. Even if it requires a lot of attention, like all parrots, the Rosalbin’s cockatoo is not very noisy (in spite of its few moments of madness), and it is very playful and accomplice with its master(s). However, it will be happier in a couple, and it will be necessary to give it toys that it can put in its beak, because just like the blue-fronted amazon, the cockatoo is very curious and likes to put everything it finds in its beak.
You now know the main species of parrots that you can own at home. Remember however, deciding to adopt a parrot is not something trivial, they can live for a very long time and require a lot of care and attention. In short, when they are in captivity, they are very dependent on the presence of humans, so think carefully before adopting such an animal, however beautiful it may be.