Talk:Parrot

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Parrot:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests: Include hypothetical species (recently extinct species that are not well documented). Make pages for redlinks.
  • Cleanup: Relationship with humans - choppy, crufty,
  • Expand: Systematics - has true parrot list but not cockatoos; extinctions.
  • NPOV: Aviculture and conservation - concerns about how neutral this is
  • Stubs: Many sections, particularly on biology, still kind of stubby
  • Verify: Statement highlighted below. Some scientific claims made about intelligence would benefit from citations from journals rather than news sites.
  • Wikify: Some cites use cite template, some do not. This needs to be standardised. Various weblinks used as cites in the text, these need to be turned into references.
  • Other: Image selection. There are a number of photographs on the wiki and commons to illustrate this article, but the wiki collection is not complete. There are about 100 parrot species without a photograph and many parrot species have only one photograph. If you have photographs of parrots (pets or in the wild) you could help the project by contributing better photographs including photographs of parrots from different angles (ie front, side and back), or of nests, chicks, in flight...). Please include the details of the species of the parrots or the location of the photograph, but, if you are not sure, we might be able to identify them after they have been uploaded.

    Parrot#Phylogeny compares the Cacatuoidea to the Psittacidae in respect of the Dyck texture - this comparison should now refer to the Psittacoidea

    Parrot#Phylogeny also says "Lorikeets were previously regarded as a third family" but this doesn't really make sense as there is no prior mention of families one and two.
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To do list[edit]

It is looking like this will be the next collaboration of the month, so here is a to do list to work on this article.

  • Poke Dysmorodrepanis regard the taxonomy and systematics.
  • Add sections per other high-end taxonomic group structure. Diet and intellegence exist; we need breeding, social behaviour, migration and movement, distribution and morphology.
  • We need to summarise some of the 'and human' sections, particularly feral parrots and pet parrots which have their own daughter articles. Feral parrots should discuss feral parrots in general, not be an exaustive list of different populations (that can happen on its own page).
  • Economic importance, of the pet trade, as a tourism reslource and as agricultural pests. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sabine's Sunbird (talkcontribs) 05:29, August 27, 2007 (UTC)
  • Numerous citations are bare URLs, these need to be changed (or better citations found).
  • Images, can I suggest that we scour Flickr and the commons for good shots of parrots in the wild? So many parrot photos (particularly on True parrots) are of cage birds, but wild birds are much preferable for discussing the whole order. A good representation of as many types of parrot as possible would be good, including some from South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia. The article will eventually be long enough that we can avoid a gallery too (with the temptation it provides for everyone with a pet budgie to add a 'me also' photo to it (look at gull for what I mean).

Anything else? Sabine's Sunbird talk 23:18, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Anonymous pops in* Wow, the later comment about grammar is right, but the article is far more detailed than it was a year ago, when I added the culture, conservation... like about a page of stuff. I figure we should address parrots in two sections, as stated above, wild state and parrots and humans. But I don't know if it's a good idea to simply summarize until there's enough information in a section so that it can stand alone as a healthy article. One thing you didn't mention is physiology, that would be a really useful addition as well, there's been some recent work on gustation and metabolism that's really cool. Then behavior can be be a subset of physiology, related in context to survival. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.227.219.84 (talk) 00:50, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
We tend to cover anything important regarding physiology in morphology, as there usually is only a few things that are unique to a family/order. Sabine's Sunbird talk 00:56, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
    • reply** I've just got done with reading a couple technical books on parrot behavior and physiology--would it be out of wikipedia's scope to talk about general trends in flock size, beak size, diet and patch foraging, that kind of thing? Or is that right on the mark? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.183.64.6 (talk) 01:04, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

feral populations[edit]

Is this bit suggesting that the US feral populations were the first in the world? If not, the second sentence is redundant. Jimfbleak 10:49, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

intelligence section[edit]

Could this section benefit from some discussion of Alex? ThuranX 03:20, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Basic writing[edit]

I don't usually take it upon myself to edit Wikipedia, but the language in this article is very...ungood. It does not sound professional in the least and it is riddled with basic English grammar problems (particularly with commas). It is written at a high school level. Hopefully a serious editor can take a look at this page. I love parrots and it's a shame to see their article in this kind of shape. 144.92.39.93 22:27, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

    • anon user comment** It needs cohesion, too. I think it's most important to get important information in, then edit language. The article has come a very long way in the past year when it was primarily phylogeny. For example, the story about the hyacinth macaw importer is a little out of place and the culture section reads like it's a bulleted list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.183.64.6 (talk) 00:58, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Oldest parrot?[edit]

Recent news stories ([1] and others) tell about a 55 mya parrot fossil from Denmark, Mopsitta tanta. How does this find affect the section Origins and evolution here?--Noe (talk) 20:40, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

contested statements removed[edit]

  • The term "true parrot" is not used by the majority of bird keepers, biologists and lay people and is a source of confusion {{Fact|date=September 2007}}.
  • Others lump all Psittaciformes into one giant family. {{Fact|date=December 2006}}
  • The chicks are altricial, usually hatched naked (although some have down). {{Fact|date=September 2007}} The female remains with the chicks for 1 to 2 weeks, again fed by the male, until the chicks are larger and have gained some feathering, and no longer require constant brooding. {{Fact|date=September 2007}} The chicks tend to huddle together to keep warm. {{Fact|date=September 2007}}
  • In 2004, Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper carried the story of a female macaw supposedly born in 1899, and subsequently a pet of Winston Churchill during World War II; the aged parrot, called Charlie, was reputed to curse the Nazis and Adolf Hitler.{{Fact|date=June 2007}} Subsequent research strongly suggested that the parrot had never belonged to Winston Churchill,<ref>{{cite news | title =Churchill's parrot gets the bird | publisher =BBC News | date =[[2004-01-20]] | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/3414323.stm | accessdate = 2007-09-09 }}</ref> although Charlie's great age was not in question.

Please do not return this information to the article without a citation. The last one has a ref saying the ownership of Charlie by Churchill is questionable but says nothing about the rest of the story and I did not see any signifigance in the that information alone to keep it in the article.--BirgitteSB 14:54, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Curious statements.[edit]

The following line is somewhat puzzling to me. The popularity, longevity, and intelligence of many of the larger pet parrots has led to many of these birds being rehomed during the course of their long lifespans. A common problem is that large parrot species purchased as cuddly, gentle babies will mature into complex, often demanding, adults that can outlive their owners. Due to these problems, and the fact that homeless parrots are not euthanized like dogs and cats, parrot adoption centers and sanctuaries are becoming more common. Cuddly fuzzy babies? Apart fro the word baby (surely young birds are chicks); young parrots are altricial and not exactly cute, to my mind they are rather ugly. At any rate POV all over. And an explanation as to why they aren't euthanised like mammals would help - is it because of their value? Sabine's Sunbird talk 00:20, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the emphasis there seems wrong. Trying to be objective: Chicks go through an early "ugly" phase, but by about 4 weeks they are absolutely delightful, I think. Similarly, juveniles can look more cute than adults to some. I should add that (in the UK) it is illegal to sell a parrot that is not fully feathered and is not cracking nuts for itself; this means that parrots can not be sold younger than about 10 to 16 weeks depending on the species, to give them a better start with potential new parrot owners. Bill Oddie has reported on TV that he thinks juvenile Robins are delightful, and this might help non-aviculturists understand the attraction and vulnerability of young chicks and juveniles. In addition, hand-reared parrot chicks think that their human owners are their parents. Parrots may have to be rehomed because of the commitment needed to look after them over a long period of time. Parrots, and often cockatoos, can cause problems by being too noisy, too demanding, or they start biting their owners or chewing furniture, and they are rehomed. I am fairly sure there are references in aviculture books about this.
Just to clarify, altricial chicks are ugly, but I still find them endearing. Especially cormorants, and they are about as ugly as they come. Most lay people I meet don't see the appeal. But if they are sold feathered and older then yes, that makes agreat deal more sense. Okay, so we need to tighten the language a bit. Sabine's Sunbird talk 22:25, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I *think* that the person that wrote that section may have been trying to suggest that a parrot is a 'baby' until it reaches sexual maturity at the age of three/five/whatever and starts to go through the drastic behaviour changes which so many parrot owners seem totally unprepared for. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 22:46, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I do not know who wrote the section under examination, but I guess that his or her heart was probably in the right place. Perhaps, a word change here or there might reduce potential misunderstanding. The meaning may be that that the parrot owner sees a juvenile (fully grown) parrot as their baby, and not that the parrot is a tiny "baby" chick. Snowman (talk) 23:25, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, we parrot-owned humans seem to have a tendency to think of our birds as 'babies', even if that is not technically the case. My indoor budgie is four and despite him being a fully mature adult and my knowing better, I still occasionally call him a 'baby budge'. For something like a Moluccan Cockatoo, which tends sticks to its owner like velcro when tame and *demands* to be held, stroked and cuddled for several hours a day, I guess it can be hard to see it as anything other than a 'baby' (perhaps in the quite literal 'human child' sense). --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 00:28, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
No different to any pet owner really. My Westie was a puppy until the day she died. Sabine's Sunbird talk 01:10, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Another problematic statement for me. There are many active conservation groups whose goal is the conservation of wild parrot populations. These groups tend to be supported the most by pet owners who care deeply about parrots. I realise that I may seem to be a nasty cynical sceptic with a dried out lump of coal for a heart, but I have trouble believing that statement. No doubt many pet owners are concerned and do contribute to help, but given that the pet trade is decimating the parrots and responsible for many of the declines, isn't that what a aviculturist would write to deflect criticism from his hobby? Cites please, to the effect of aviculture = most significant force in parrot conservation, and from a neutral source. And then reword for NPOV (care deeply....) Sabine's Sunbird talk 04:17, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

There are many parrot owners who have made sure that they bought parrots with leg rings which helps to show that they are captive bread. I guess that it is like wildlife TV programmes, seeing cute or amazing creatures on TV helps to get people interested in the conservation of what was filmed. In the past collecting wild animals for aviculture has done a lot of damage to parrots, and the article could give examples - perhaps, of the Lovebirds (some details on the wikipages). I think that their is more awareness now and the laws are stronger in many parts of the world. I understand that for the Blue-throated Macaw, it is relatively easy to breed, smuggled ones are seized by the authorities, and so trapping the wild ones has declined. There is probably some references for the history of aviculture and some recent conservation projects, perhaps the Echo Parakeet. Snowman (talk) 15:33, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not disputing that they do play a role, just that they are the biggest player. I could be wrong of course, I just feel like it is trying to deflect criticism (much like an oil company has stuff on their website about how much alternative energy research they do. I apologise unreservedly for comparing aviculture to big oil, btw. Sabine's Sunbird talk 22:25, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I do not know who wrote the wording in question. I have changed the emphasis to something less dogmatic, but perhaps someone has sourced material, and I expect it will be worked over again. Snowman (talk) 22:54, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to start hunting for sources. There is a lot that can be said, ranging from community conservation programmes (like Amigo De Aves in Costa Rica) to the RSPB support for Pacific lorikeets, to aviculture breeding programmes. Plenty of praise to go around for all concerned. Sabine's Sunbird talk 22:59, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Duplication[edit]

Parrot#Systematics - does this do anything we don't cover in the List of parrots (family)? The article is already long and destined to get longer.... Sabine's Sunbird talk 01:47, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

The parrot page is probably not complete without a tribe list, but the long list of all parrot species needs to be a linked supporting page. Snowman (talk) 09:32, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
We have two lists of tribes at present, one in the taxobox and one in the text. They don't even match. I'm not bothered which we keep, but we need to add the cockatoos if we keep the one in the text. Just one of many things really (I'm remembering again why I gave up last time,but I have HBW this time. Now I just need the time to read it all). Sabine's Sunbird talk 09:39, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
But there are different ways of classification - the taxobox says "(but see below)". Snowman (talk) 11:41, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
That is true of many families. For the average reader it is confusing, and when working on family pages in the past I have always shifted one off to a subpage and while acknowledging the existence of older taxonomies, focussing on the better more modern one (see Procellariidae). Space is going to be at a premium on this page, there is a lot still to add. Sabine's Sunbird talk 20:00, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
The main problem is that the opinions vary widely and wildly. But recent studies seem to result in much more clarity. It is not pretty for the old ideas....... -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:57, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Questions[edit]

  1. What about making a composite image, 300 px wide for the taxobox, using several images covering the diversity of the family. One cockatoo, one macaw, one Aussie broad-tailed and an African gray or so. Ideas?
  2. I want to make an phylogeny of the various tribes and extinct stuff, but i need to get a list of fossils that we have to add. For that, I need to know name, affinity and era. Good idea? -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:56, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Melchior de Hondecoeter[edit]

Is an Indonesian Greater Noble parrot the same as a Black-capped Lory? It is hard to believe, but the information I found on internet is confusing. Taksen (talk) 08:28, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

taxobox image[edit]

I believe we should choose a new taxobox image. The current one is inadequate as it is badly composed, backlit, and in an unnatural environment. We have a lot of images of parrots on Wikipedia, we can do better than this one for such a high profile article. The image chosen should fulfill most of the follwing criteria

  • technially compotent - frame the parrot well, light it well, pose it well, meaning show what the damn thing looks like
  • be of a wild bird - more likely to have a nice background that isn't a cage or something equally depressing. Reduces the temptation to have an editor replace it with a picture of their particular polly.

I'm not sure it really matters which of the three families it comes from, or where in the world. So, any suggestions? Sabine's Sunbird talk 04:43, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I do not know who put the image of the African Grey in the infobox. The previous infobox image was one of parrots in the wild, File:Aratinga aurea -Brazil-8-4c.jpg. I think that it is just as well to have a rotation of images on this page, and there are other good images too. I have just replaced the infobox image with one of a Varied Lorikeet; does any one know what sort of tree in is feeding in? Snowman (talk) 17:04, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
It was I who added the African Grey image a few weeks back. My reasoning at the time was that IMO, considering that WP articles are aimed at the general reader, the Parrot article should probably feature a familiar/famous/iconic parrot species in the taxobox. I had a look through the various images of large macaws and African Greys available on Commons at the time, trying to find one of a decent resolution, that wasn't too cluttered and that showed the whole bird. I don't know what the policy is on this - but personally, I don't have a problem with using an image of a pet/captive bird, if there's one that looks better than the wild images we have to work with. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 21:57, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
EDIT: FWIW, File:Papagaio (Fêmea) REFON 010907.jpg is one of my favourite parrot images on Commons. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 22:00, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
I suggest a sequence of the best photographs for the infobox image on this page. I liked the photograph of the African Grey parrot, which has been the infobox image for about five months since you added it here, so it has served the page well for a long time, and now it the turn of another image. Actually, I never did like the Amazon photograph that is one of your favourites. We have got a number of Blue-fronted Amazon images. I think this one of a feral amazon is one the best photographs of this species; File:Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) -8-2rc.jpg, except for the shadow across it. Snowman (talk) 22:54, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Gosh, I had not thought of rotating taxobox images. Not a bad idea really. Otherwise my preference would have been for the de facto type species the African Grey. I guess a budgie is the other candidate as the most familiar to everyone. I agree it is a nice amazon picture. Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:42, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy with a rotating system as well. I think that the image Snowman has selected for now is fantastic. I guess An exceptional captive image would be okay, but I still think that wild birds should be favoured (although I guess I am biased against them and if everyone else thinks they are okay I guess I lose!). I don't really see the need to have an iconic species, it almost strikes me as a kind of systematic bias. Parrots all have the same sort of structure, so people will recognise a parrot as a parrot even if they don't know which one it is. Sabine's Sunbird talk 04:40, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I also support Snowman's suggestion - and the inclusion of File:Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva) -8-2rc.jpg in the taxobox at some point. Might it be a good idea to compile a list of 'quality' parrot images for future use in this capacity at some point? As an aside, I personally *love* File:Cacatua moluccensis excited.jpg, though I don't think that one would be a good pick to represent the entirety of parrotkind... --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 22:46, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The detail and expression are awesome, and and I see no reason why a cockatoo isn't representative of parrotkind, but the image is rather spoiled by the wing-clipping, which is very very noticeable in that pose. Sabine's Sunbird talk 05:35, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Also, yes, I think it might be a good idea to collate a list of nice images for the taxobox. Sabine's Sunbird talk 01:12, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Over in the tree of life page Bob the Wikipedian suggested a random image selector - we could pick 10 good images and have them randomly show up each time the page is refreshed/opened. Sabine's Sunbird talk 09:51, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. A high quality example of: Afro-Asian parrot, Afro-Asian parakeet, Lovebird, Macaw, Lory/Lorikeet, Conure, white Cockatoo, black Cockatoo, Australian parakeet, New Zealand parrot. Or something along those lines. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 18:40, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
An Amazon too. I can't believe I forgot the Amazons! ;) --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 23:28, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that the random image selector might attract a lot of clicking and be a distraction to the more conventional content of the page. Perhaps the images could be changed manually from time to time. Snowman (talk) 00:00, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Most casual readers would be unaware that it was there - they'd get to the parrot page, there would caption match. Perhaps Hesperian would know about that. Sabine's Sunbird talk 00:57, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Image nominations[edit]

Feathers protect against microbiological damage[edit]

Feather colors are not just fun to watch but also useful. Bacillus licheniformis degrades feathers, especially white feathers. Red feathers with high levels of psittacofulvin are much more resistant. Recent research on this: Edward H. Burtt, Max R. Schroeder, Lauren A. Smith, Jenna E. Sroka, Kevin J. McGraw (2010): Colourful parrot feathers resist bacterial degradation, Biology Letters, The Royal Society, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0716. Ornithologician (talk) 16:54, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

1002 mm tooth fragment?[edit]

A single 1002 mm fragment

Found in the Origins and Evolution - 1002 mm = 100 centimetres = 1 metre, bigger than most parrots. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 118.90.31.43 (talk) 00:41, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Late reply but if you're still around, anon - thanks for pointing that out. I located the edits where that was added - back in March last year. This is really something that should have been spotted before - but that said, I've only just spotted this talkpage comment! --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 16:21, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

File:ParrotLMCMOCHE.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Zygodactyly[edit]

Are all parrots zygotadctyl? Some Wiki articles state it is some, so I assume not all is meant? FunkMonk (talk) 08:08, 7 November 2012 (UTC)


Amazons vs Greys[edit]

"Although most parrot species are able to imitate, some of the Amazon parrots are generally regarded as the next-best imitators and speakers of the parrot world." Citation needed? I've read that Amazons are roughly equal to African Greys in terms of mimicry/intelligence, they just have more hormonal issues which makes them harder to train in labs. --Webbie1234 (talk) 07:52, 18 January 2013 (UTC)