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World Parrot Day

May 15, 2024

May has been taken over by the birds! World Parrot Day falls on the 31st of May. Polly may be small in stature, but she definitely exudes a vibrant and captivating presence, and fills our lives and homes with love, color, and sound. These stunning birds, along with corvids such as crows and ravens, are some of our most intelligent avian companions. Keep reading as a Rapid City, SD veterinarian talks about these colorful and cherished birds.

What Is The Total Number Of Parrot Species?

There are more than 400 different types of parrots, or psittacines. Polly’s family tree is categorized into four branches: Psittaculidae (Old World parrots), Psittacidae (African and New World parrots), Cacatuoides (cockatoos), and Strigopidae (New Zealand parrots, such as the kea, kākā, and kākāpō).

Which Parrots Can Speak?

Many parrots have the ability to communicate. Undoubtedly, the African Grey parrot is the most well-known. However, the most talkative bird on record may surprise you. Puck, a budgie, currently holds the record for having an extensive vocabulary. That remarkable (and super cute) little bird had an impressive vocabulary of 1728 words, earning herself the top spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Here are a few more birds that have the remarkable ability to mimic human speech:

  • Amazon Parrot
  • Cockatoo
  • Eclectus parrot
  • Quaker Parakeet
  • Quaker Parrot
  • Cockatiel Hill Myna
  • Barred Parakeet
  • Budgerigar
  • Rose-Ringed Parakeet
  • Moluccan Eclectus
  • Yellow-Headed Amazon
  • Macaw
  • African Grey Parrots
  • Common Myna
  • Corvids
  • Quaker parrot

Keep in mind that the ability to speak varies significantly among different birds. There is no guarantee that even an African Grey will be able to speak.

Speaking of African Greys, we have a heartwarming story to share: Recently, Gizmo, an African Grey parrot, captured the attention of the internet and became a viral sensation. Gizmo was recently liberated after spending 16 long years trapped in a cage. He surprised his new owners with his unexpected ability to speak, and he has since become a cheerful and talkative bird. (Stay connected with the adorable bird online here.) Gizmo’s story beautifully showcases the depth of emotions, sensitivity, and compassion that these incredible animals possess, and how they flourish when showered with love.

What Should I Consider Before Deciding To Adopt A Parrot?

We always encourage individuals to carefully consider the decision to adopt a pet. This is especially true for parrots. Although Polly is undoubtedly fun and delightful, she does require a bit more attention and care compared to other pets.

Here are a few things to think about:


This is a significant one. Parrots are known for their impressively long lifespans. Some live beyond the age of 100! Even the smallest of bird species have the potential to live for a considerable amount of time, although it is the larger species like Macaws and Amazons that boast the longest lifespans. That’s a very long term commitment, so taking Polly in requires a substantial level of dedication. Don’t proceed unless you are ready for that sort of commitment. Parrots develop deep emotional connections with their owners, and can experience significant distress when they are moved to a new home.

Polly Needs Toys

Parrots are lively, inquisitive, and highly clever birds. Polly will need ample free time outside of her cage. She’ll also require an assortment of engaging toys. In order to keep things fresh and fun for your little companion, it’s important to regularly rotate and change things up. Seek advice from your Rapid City, SD veterinarian regarding suitable bird toys and care guidelines.

Parrots Are High Maintenance

These beautiful birds require a significant amount of attention and care. Polly is quite mischievous. You’ll need to stay on top of bird proofing and closely monitor your pet when she’s outside of her cage. It is important to maintain a decent level of cleanliness in her cage and make sure she has access to fresh food and water at all times.

Regular cleaning doesn’t necessitate vigorous scrubbing on a daily basis. Generally speaking, we advise doing spot cleaning every day. That would involve eliminating waste, offering fresh food and water, and replacing the liner of the cage. (Tip: Placing layers of newspaper or butcher paper at the bottom of the cage can make this process easier. Simply remove the soiled one from the top, and you’ll find a clean one underneath.)

Parrots Are Skilled Entertainers

Although we have discussed some of the drawbacks, there are many positives. Our feathery friends are frequently incredibly funny and charismatic!

Finding An Excellent Avian Veterinarian Is Crucial

You’ll want to find a top-notch doctor for your feathered friend. This can also provide valuable insights into Polly’s care requirements.

Proper Bird-Proofing Is Essential

Although all pets face hazards in the average household, birds are particularly vulnerable to the dangers lurking in our homes. Birds are very fragile, and can easily be hurt! You’ll need to be very thorough in birdproofing.

Here are a few things that pose a threat to your winged friend:

  • Small/Sharp Items
  • Ropes And Corts
  • Other Pets
  • Open Doors And Windows
  • Fans
  • Window Dressings
  • Water (Sinks, Toilets, Pots, Fish Tanks)
  • Fumes (Perfume, Smoke, Candles, Incense, Cooking Fumes)
  • Mirrors

For more information, please reach out to your Rapid City, SD veterinarian.

Should I Adopt A Parrot?


Typically, we would suggest thoroughly researching before deciding to bring a pet into your home. For a parrot, that is accurate … and probably twelve times over. It is important to consider your financial situation, the amount of time you can dedicate, and any other pets you may have.

Exploring different types of parrots and familiarizing yourself with signs of illness, proper care guidelines, suitable toys and treats, and effective bonding techniques is crucial. Your vet can also give you a lot of advice. Make sure to carefully assess the situation before taking any action.

What Is The Loudest Parrot In The World?

When selecting parrots as pets, volume is definitely something to think about. Some are not very loud at all. Others have volume knobs that go all the way up to twelve!

These are some of the most boisterous:

  • Rose-ringed parakeets (Indian Ringnecks) – 111 DB
  • Macaws – 105 DB
  • Conures – 120 DB
  • Cockatoos – 135 DB
  • Eclectus Parrot – 115 DB
  • Amazon Parrot – 124 DB
  • Lorie – 90 DB
  • Caique Parrot – 93 DB

By contrast, a Boeing 747 registers at around 140 dB. An average level for a rock concert typically hovers around 100.

The Cockatiel, Parakeets and Budgies, Pacific Parrotlets, and Senegal Parrots are a few of the quieter parrot species. (Finches and canaries, although not parrots, are known for their quiet nature.)

What Is The Background Of Parrot Day?

The World Parrot Trust introduced the honorary holiday on May 31, 2004. The group was founded by Mike Reynolds, a passionate parrot enthusiast who dedicated his life to supporting these beautiful birds until his passing in 2007. The organization continues to thrive today. For more information about them and how you can assist parrots, visit their website here.

Book an Appointment With a Veterinarian Specializing in Avian Care in Rapid City, SD.

Do you have any questions about parrot care? Would you like to book an appointment for your feathered friend? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us whenever you need. We are here to assist you at your Rapid City, SD pet clinic!

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