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Parrots: The Animal Answer Guide

by Matt Cameron Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 272 pages
AU$62.00 NZ$63.48
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.
Have you ever wondered what parrots eat in the wild? Or why so many species live in the Amazon? How intelligent are parrots? What is the worlds rarest parrot? Parrots: The Animal Answer Guide provides detailed, factual answers to the ninety questions most on our minds. There are more than 350 species of these colorful callers, ranging in size from the diminutive lovebird to the massive macaw. Many species can live to be octogenarians in captivity sometimes outliving their human caretakers by decades. The beautiful plumage of parrots and the ability to mimic sounds are both a blessing and a curse. A number of species are in danger of extinction because they are captured and sold into the pet trade by unscrupulous dealers. Fortunately, most parrot owners and retailers rely on captive breeding, although an appalling amount of wild collection continues. In addition to discussing parrot behavior and biology, Matt Cameron reveals the truth about the trade in wild parrots and explains what each of us can do to help save native populations. Whether you are a parrot owner, birder, ornithologist, or curious naturalist, you will find that Cameron asks and fully answers every question you have about these incredible birds.

1. Introducing Parrots
What are parrots?
Are cockatoos also parrots?
How many kinds of parrot are there?
Where do parrots live?
What is the current classification of parrots?
When did parrots evolve?
What is the oldest fossil parrot?
2. Form and Function
What are the largest and smallest living parrots?
What does a parrot's bill tell us about its diet?
Do all parrots have the same type of bill?
How fast can parrots fly?
Are there any flightless parrots?
Do a parrot's feathers wear out?
Are there any bald parrots?
3. Parrot Colors
Why are so many parrots green?
What causes the colors of parrots?
Do parrots see the same colors as humans?
What are the benefits of UV vision?
Do glowing parrots really exist?
Is there a reason for the color patterns of parrots?
Are there color differences between males and females?
Do a parrot's colors change as they age?
Is there much geographic variation in the color of a parrot species?
4. Parrot Behavior
Are parrots social?
Why do parrots form flocks?
How do parrots spend their day?
How do parrots communicate?
How smart are parrots?
Can parrots talk?
Do parrots play?
Do parrots fight?
How do parrots avoid predators?
5. Parrot Ecology
Do parrots migrate?
Which geographic regions have the most species of parrot?
How many parrot species live in an area?
How many parrots live in the Australian desert?
How do parrots survive in the desert?
Are there parrots in alpine areas?
How do parrots survive droughts?
Do parrots get sick?
Are any parrot species nocturnal?
Are parrots good for the environment?
Is it true that some moths depend on parrots?
6. Reproduction and Development
Where do parrots nest?
Do parrots nest at the same time every year?
Do parrots use the same nest every year?
How do parrots reproduce?
How many eggs do parrots lay?
Are nestlings in a brood all the same age?
What proportion of eggs hatch?
How fast do parrots grow?
Do both parents care for their young?
How long do young birds stay with their parents?
Do parrots pair for life?
Do any parrots have unusual breeding systems?
How long do parrots live?
7. Foods and Feeding
What do parrots eat?
Are there any predatory parrots?
How much food does a parrot need?
Are parrots fussy eaters?
How do parrots find food?
Why do some parrots eat soil?
8. Parrots and Humans
Do parrots make good pets?
What is the best way to take care of a pet parrot?
What should I do if I find an injured or orphaned parrot?
How can I see parrots in the wild?
Should people feed wild parrots?
9. Parrot Problems (from a human viewpoint)
Are some parrots agricultural pests?
Can parrots be a nuisance in urban areas?
Are parrots ever invasive species?
Do parrots have diseases and are they contagious?
10. Human Problems (from a parrot's viewpoint)
Are any parrots endangered?
Have any parrot species gone extinct?
What is the world's rarest parrot?
Will parrots be affected by global warming?
Why do people hunt parrots?
What impact does the wildlife trade have on parrot populations?
Can captive breeding benefit wild populations of parrots?
11. Parrots in Stories and Literature
What roles do parrots play in religion and mythology?
Did any early explorers or naturalists mention parrots in their writings?
What roles do parrots play in popular culture?
What roles have parrots played in literature?
How long have humans kept and bred parrots?
12. "Parrotology"
Why study parrots?
Who studies parrots?
Which species are best known?
Which species are least known?
How do scientists recognize individual parrots?
What is being done to save endangered parrot species?
What can people do to help parrots?
Appendix: Common and Scientific Names of Living Parrots
Selected Bibliography

"Essential reading for aspiring parrot students, and for anyone owning or contemplating a pet parrot or cockatoo, but also enjoyable and informative reading for anyone interested in parrots. The series seems a most worthy one, and this volume is highly recommended to bird enthusiasts."

Matt Cameron is an independent scholar and the author of Cockatoos.