Parrot Adaptations: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Parrots
  • 0:52 Gripping Feet
  • 1:30 Hooks
  • 2:04 Chatterboxes
  • 2:31 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

Parrots are popular animals in books, movies, and television. These majestic birds are not only beautiful, but they also have specific adaptations that help them survive. In this lesson, you'll learn about parrot adaptations.


Long John Silver the pirate. The movie Rio. The game Angry Birds. What do these three things have in common? They all have something to do with parrots!

Parrots have long been a popular animal in books, movies, and television. They're often seen perched on the shoulders of pirates or saying 'Polly want a cracker?' But, parrots are more than just celebrities - these animals are beautiful and unique creatures. There are close to 300 different types of parrots, which include birds such as macaws, parakeets, and cockatoos.

Parrots live mostly in warm places, but they can be found in a variety of different places and climates around the world, including snowy, mountainous areas. And they have special adaptations, or characteristics that allow them to survive in their environments, helping them thrive in these many different settings.

Gripping Feet

Look out! There's a zygodactyl on the loose!

Don't worry, a gigantic dinosaur isn't rampaging through your town. A zygodactyl is a bird with 2 toes pointing forward and 2 toes pointing backward on each foot. All parrots are zygodactyls.

Think of their feet like the metal claw in a claw crane game. Much like the claw closes around a doll to grab your prize, a parrot's toes close around things. This adaptation helps parrots hang on tightly to the tree branches they use for their homes. Additionally, it helps them grip and hold the fruit and nuts they often eat. So, the next time you hear of a zygodactyl in your neighborhood, just remember there's no reason to panic!


Believe it or not, parrots have more in common with pirates than you might think. Both have hooks. While the pirate has a hook on his hand, the parrot has a curved beak that serves as its hook.

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