Members of the parrot family

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The parrot family

The parrot family is a large and complex family, ranging from small birds such as the loris, to large birds like the macaws. Many of them are C.I.T.E.S listed, primarily through habitat loss, as well as poaching by collectors for the lucrative exotics bird market.

A comprehensive list of all the parrot family members.

Parent taxa

Order Psittaciformes (parrots)

Family Psittacidae (parrots)

Genus Agapornis (lovebirds)

Lovebirds are a small group of parrots, measuring 12 - 18cms from head to tail, and have a predominantly green plumage. There are 9 species in the Genus. The common species; Fischer's, masked and peachfaced, and the rare species; Abyssinian, black-cheeked, black-collared, Madagascan, Nyasa and red-faced. They are natives of the African continent, and are named from their habit of preening each other constantly when kept as pairs. They are also sometimes known as 'bat-birds' due to their propensity for eating while hanging upside down. As pets, they are very tactile and intelligent. A pair were famously used in the Alfred Hitchcock's film, 'The Birds', and were the first of the avians in the film to develop a peculiarly aggressive pattern against humans.

Genus Alisterus (king-parrots).

This Genus consists of just one bird, the Alisterus scapularis - Australian king parrot - measuring around 42cm from head to tail. It is a very regal bird, the male being black with a red head, with a long tail. It is found in Queensland on the Eastern seaboard of Australia.

Genus Amazona (Amazon parrots).

Amazon parrots, as their name suggests, are from the New World, numbering some 27 species. They are largely green medium sized parrots, and are generally good mimics. Something that owners have discovered to their costs, especially when considering their longevity and that they can become an avian family heirloom, living around 80 years. They have been kept as pets since 1500 b.c. and it is believed Christopher Columbus may have given them their common name from the region where they were initially found. Twenty Amazon parrot species are C.I.T.E.S category 1 listed.

Genus Anodorhynchus (macaws).

This Genus is composed of the blue macaws, all found in South America and translates as no-tooth-nose. There are three birds in the Genus, and all are C.I.T.E.S category 1 listed. The world's largest parrot is an Andorhynchus, Anodoryhchus hyacinthinus - hyacinth macaw - which measures 90-100cm beak tip to tail. It is predominantely blue, with a yellow eye ring and beak base. It numbers around 2 to 5,000 birds in the wild and is endangered.

Another is Andorhynchus leari - Lear's or indigo macaw - named after Edward Lear, the poet famous for his nonsense verse, is 70-75cm long and is similar to the hyacinth, except the plumage is blue with a green tint. It currently numbers around 250 birds in the wild and is critically endangered. It is only found in caatinga 1 in Bahia, Brazil.

The last blue macaw is the Anodorhynchus glaucous - glaucous macaw- which is believed extinct, with the last bird dying in London Zoo in 1912. There have been infrequent reported sightings being recorded up to 1960. It is listed as critically endangered. It measures around 70cm and, although similar to Lear's, has a turquoise blue plumage with a grey-blue head. It is restricted to the south-east corner of South America. Reasons for its decline are uncertain.

Genus Aprosmictus (red-winged parrots).

Red-winged parrots - Aprosmictus erythropterus - are a native to Australia and Papua New Guinea. They are a green plumaged parrot with, not surprisingly, red wings, but only on the primaries.2 They 65cm long with a yellow-tipped green tail and a black head mantle in males and a pink-tipped green tail and no mantle in females. They are the only parrot to eat upside down, and are known to be aggressive. It is C.I.T.E.S category II listed.

Genus Ara (macaws).

There are twelve macaws in the Ara genus. There is an Ara nobilis - Hahn's macaw, but due to it's propensity to co-exist with Conures, it has been given its own Genus - Diopittica as detailed below.

Macaws are very distinctive birds, and possibly the best known, with their distinctive screeching call, sharp hooked beak, colourful plumage, very long tails and naked area around the eyes and cheeks. They are seen in most zoos, bird collections and anywhere else exotic wildlife is likely to be found.

Ara ambigua - Buffon's macaw is a yellow - green macaw (hence it's other name of great green macaw), measuring 85cms, with blue primary wing feathers and a red tail merging into blue at the tip. The lores 3 is red and prominent. Life span is around 60 years. They occur in groups of around six birds, usually in one area, only moving on when it's food source, the almendro tree (Dipteryx panamensis) becomes scarce. It is the second largest parrot. They are very noisy and can be aggressive, especially towards other birds. They are C.I.T.E.S. I listed.

Ara ararauna - blue and gold macaw is probably one of the two best known macaws, with its distinctive blue upperparts, and strong, bright yellow body. It also has a green forehead, and black feathers at the throat. It measures 90cms and lives for artound 25 years. In the wild it lives primarily on the palmfruits Inaja (Maximiliana regia) and Tucuma (Astrocaryum. They are a common captive bird, and declining in the wild. They are difficult to keep but, if hand-reared become a faithful 'one person' bird.

Ara auricollis - yellow-collared macaw is a 'mini' macaw,4 only measuring 38cms, with a predominently green plumage, with a brown forehead and crown, blue primarys and a brown tail becoming blue towards the tip, and a yellow collar, underwing and undertail.

Ara chloroptera - green-winged, also known as red and green, macaws are another well-recognised pet bird. Being predominantely red, it can be confused with the scarlet macaw, with blue wings, with a green upper edge, with blue tail-feathers trailing to red. They measure 90cms and have a 50 year life span.They have a wide distribution throughout the tropical rainforests, savannas and mangroves of South America. In the wild they feed predominantly on Uxi - Endopleura uchi, Jatobi - Hymenaea spec. and Bertholletia excelsa. They are C.I.T.E.S. II.

Ara couloni - blue-headed macaw is green overall, measuring 30cms which means it is a 'mini' macaw. The upper tail is a rich red colour while the lower is yellow and green. The head and wing primaries are an aqua blue. It is because of this many consider it be the most beautiful species in the world. It is also very rare only found in a very restricted area in eastern Peru, western Brazil and north-west Bolivia. It has an estimated wild population of 1 to 2.5 thousand, and is C.I.T.E.S. I listed. Its rarity means that it is rarely seen, even as a pet, and so very little is actually known about it.

Ara glaucogularis (also known as Ara caninde) - blue-throated macaw. C.I.T.E.S. I listed.

Ara macao - Scarlet macaw. C.I.T.E.S. I listed.

Ara manilata - red-bellied macaw.

Ara maracana - Illiger's macaw. C.I.T.E.S. I listed.

Ara militaris - military macaw. C.I.T.E.S. I listed.

Ara rubrogenys - red-fronted macaw. C.I.T.E.S. I listed.

Ara severa - severe macaw.

Genus Aratinga (parakeets)

Genus Barnardius (Australian ringnecks)

Genus Bolbopsittacus (guaiabero)

Genus Bolborhynchus (neotropical parakeets)

Genus Brotogeris (canary-winged parakeets)

Genus Cacatua (cockatoos)

Genus Callocephalon (gang-gang cockatoo)

Genus Calyptorhynchus (black-cockatoos)

Genus Chalcopsitta (lories)

Genus Charmosyna (lorikeets)

Genus Conuropsis (Carolina parakeets)

Genus Coracopsis (black parrot and Vasa parrot)

Genus Cyanoliseus (burrowing parakeet)

Genus Cyanopsitta (Spix's macaw)

Genus Cyanoramphus (Australasian parakeets)

Genus Cyclopsitta (fig-parrots)

Genus Deroptyus (red-fan parrot)

Genus Diopsittaca

Genus Eclectus (eclectus parrots)

Genus Enicognathus (Patagonian parakeets)

Genus Eolophus (galah)

Genus Eos (lories)

Genus Eunymphicus (horned parakeet)

Genus Forpus (neotropical parrotlets)

Genus Geoffroyus (singing parrots)

Genus Glossopsitta (lorikeets)

Genus Graydidascalus (short-tailed parrot)

Genus Guarouba

Genus Hapalopsittaca (neotropical parrots)

Genus Lathamus (swift parrots)

Genus Leptosittaca (golden-plumed parakeet)

Genus Loriculus (hanging-parrots)

Genus Lorius (lories)

Genus Mascarinus (Mascarene parrot)

Genus Melopsittacus (budgerigars)

Genus Micropsitta (Australasian pygmy-parrots)

Genus Myiopsitta (monk parakeet)

Genus Nandayus (Nanday parakeet)

Genus Nannopsittaca (neotropical parrotlets)

Genus Neophema (grass parrots)

Genus Neopsephotus (Bourke's parrot)

Genus Neopsittacus (orange-billed lorikeet and yellow-billed lorikeet)

Genus Genus Nestor (kaka and kea)

Genus Northiella (bluebonnet)

Genus Nymphicus (cockatiel)

Genus Ognorhynchus (yellow-eared parrot)

Genus Oreopsittacus (plum-faced lorikeet)

Genus Orthopsittaca

Genus Pezoporus (ground parrot)

Genus Phigys (collared lory)

Genus Pionites (caiques)

Genus Pionopsitta (neotropical parrots)

Genus Pionus (pionus parrots)

Genus Platycercus (rosellas)

Genus Poicephalus (African parrots)

Genus Polytelis (superb parrots)

Genus Primolius

Genus Prioniturus (racquet-tails)

Genus Probosciger (palm cockatoo)

Genus Prosopeia (shining-parrots)

Genus Psephotus (grass parrots)

Genus Pseudeos (dusky lory)

Genus Psilopsiagon

Genus Psittacella (tiger-parrots)

Genus Genus Psittacula (rose-ringed parakeets)

Genus Psittaculirostris (fig-parrots)

Genus Psittacus (grey parrot)

Genus Psitteuteles (lorikeets)

Genus Psittinus (blue-rumped parrot)

Genus Psittrichas (Pesquet's parrot)

Genus Purpureicephalus (red-capped parrot)

Genus Pyrrhura (parakeets)

Genus Rhynchopsitta (thick-billed parrots)

Genus Strigops (kakapo)

Genus Tanygnathus (great-billed parrots)

Genus Touit (neotropical parrotlets)

Genus Trichoglossus (island lories)

Genus Triclaria (blue-bellied parrot)

Genus Vini (vini lories)

1thorny scrub.2The feathers on the leading edge of the wing.3The area at the base of the upper mandible.4Mini macaws are smaller versions of their larger cousins, averageing 30cms, with more delicate beaks, and a lifespan of 20 - 25 years.

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