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Biology Of Parrots, Species Of Parrots, Parrots In North America, Parrots And People

Parrots, macaws, lories, parakeets, and related birds, known collectively as psittacids, are 328 living species of birds that make up the family Psittacidae. The psittacids and the cockatoos (family Cacatuidae) are the only families in the order Psittaciformes.

Species of psittacids occur in Central and South America, Africa, Madagascar, South and Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. The greatest richness of species occurs in Australasia and South America. No native species of the parrot family now breed in North America, although one previously abundant species, the Carolina parakeet, is recently extinct.

Parrots are arboreal birds, living in and around trees. Most species breed in forests, ranging from temperate to tropical, but other species occur in savannas and other relatively open, treed habitats.

Parrots and their allies are beautifully colored birds, and they are also quite intelligent and personable. These birds are very interesting and vital components of their ecosystems, and sightings of psittacids are highly sought-after by bird-watchers and field ornithologists. Several species are also commonly kept as pets.

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