Parrot Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

There are many different kinds of parrots, though they all have some things in common. Come learn about parrots, find out if they can really talk and where you can find them, and discover some other cool facts about these birds.

What Is a Parrot?

Imagine walking into your friend's kitchen. You call their name and ask, 'Where are you?' Then you hear your exact words echoed back to you in the same tone. You look around, expecting to see another person, but you notice a colorful bird in a cage instead. You are looking at a parrot!

Parrots are colorful birds that have large, hooked beaks, and some are known to copy the way people talk. There are more than 350 different kinds of parrots, but they all have some things in common with each other.

Colorful Parrot with Hooked Beak
Colorful Parrot with Hooked Beak

Parrots can get very old and usually live to be around 60. However, many live even longer than that, reaching about 100 years. That is a lot of candles on a birthday cake!

The smallest kind of parrot is called a pygmy (pronounced PIG-me) parrot and it only grows to be about three and a half inches tall, which is less than half the length of an unsharpened pencil. The hyacinth (pronounced HI-uh-sinth) macaw is the biggest parrot and can get more than three feet tall, which is about the same as a typical three and a half year old boy.

Hyacinth Macaws with Two Toes Pointing Forward and Two Pointing Backward
Hyacinth Macaws with Two Toes Pointing Forward and Two Pointing Backward

All parrots have eight toes in all, with four on each foot. Two toes grow out forward and two point backward, making it easy for parrots to grab branches and push through thick leaves. These feet also make them great at climbing up the trunks of trees, and they are probably better at it than you are since all your toes face forward.

Where do Parrots Live?

Parrots like places that are warm and moist, and are found in jungles and rainforests in many places on Earth. In the wild, most are found in South America, Central America, Australia, New Zealand and nearby islands. People also keep parrots as pets.

Parrots are omnivores, eating both plants and meat, and use their hooked beaks like a built in fork and knife. They enjoy snacks of berries, fruit, flowers, nuts, seeds, insects and small animals.

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