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Sunday Fun Bird Facts

This post is sponsored by SAASA and Birds of Eden

Fun Facts about Amazonian Parrots

The Amazon Parrot – fun facts

1 - Amazon parrots have origins in several places in the wild, ranging from parts of South America to the Carribean to Central America and Mexico. Because their natural homes are so close to the equator, Amazon parrots thrive in warm, humid climates.

2 - When an Amazon parrot is fanning its tail, dilating its eyes and raising the feathers on the back of its head then you better watch out or risk being bitten!

3 - Amazon parrots in the wild are classified as threatened primarily due to the loss of habitat because of deforestation. Additionally, illegal trapping has contributed to the decline in population for many amazon species.

4 - When Amazon parrots were first discovered they were called "kriken" which comes from the French word for "screechers".

5 - The Yellow-naped Amazon is the national bird of the Honduras. The Imperial Amazon is the national bird of Dominica. The St. Vincent Amazon is the national bird of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Cuban Amazon is the national bird of the Cayman Islands. The St. Lucian Amazon is the national bird of St. Lucia.

6 - Cuba and The Dominican Republic are two countries that have had Amazon parrots on stamps. Amazon parrots have been featured on coins in the Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica and St. Lucia. The national flag of Dominica features the Sisserou Parrot (Amazona imperialis) of which sadly only about 200 still exist in the wild.

7 - Parrot Toes Are Zygodactyl. Like most other birds, parrots have four toes per foot. But instead of the usual three-in-front-one-behind arrangement, parrot toes are configured for maximum grip: two in front and two behind, like two pairs of opposable thumbs. Combined with beaks that can crack even the world’s toughest nuts, their unique feet make them formidable eaters, not to mention dexterous climbers.

8 - They taste with the roofs of their mouths. Though parrots do have some taste glands at the backs of their throats, most of their 300 or so taste buds are located on the roofs of their mouths. Compared with the 10,000 taste buds in a human mouth, the birds' palate may not seem like much, but parrots do show definite preferences for certain foods.

9 - Parrot feathers contain antibacterial pigments. A parrot’s brilliant plumage has a special defense against damage: Psittacofulvins, a bacteria-resistant pigment that only parrots are known to produce, give the birds' feathers their red, yellow and green coloration. In a 2011 study in Biology Letters, researchers exposed different colours of feathers to a feather-damaging bacteria strain and found that the pigments helped protect the glorious plumage from degradation.

10 - They form permanent pairs, mating for life.

Come back next week for more exciting fun facts from SAASA and Birds of Eden here on Lets Go Big Tunes blog page

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