World Parrot Day, celebrated on May 31, is a day that celebrates the parrot as a phenomenon. The order Psittaciformes includes 398 species of birds divided into 92 genera. Parrots are mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions. The order Psittaciformes is subdivided into three superfamilies: the ‘Psittacidae’ also known as the ‘true parrots,’ the ‘cockatoos,’ and the ‘Strigopidea’ which are known as the ‘New Zealand parrots.’ One-third of all parrot species are currently endangered, making them the birds with the highest aggregate extinction risk than any other bird group. Parrots have a pantropical distribution, with several species also living in temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere. Some characteristic features of parrots include strong, curved beaks, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed feet. A large number of parrots are vividly colored, with some being multi-colored. In the visual spectrum, most parrots exhibit little to no sexual dimorphism. They are the most variable-sized bird order, concerning their length.
History of World Parrot Day
The earliest record of a ‘pet parrot’ in the British Isles dates back to 1504 when Henry VIII owned an African Gray Parrot. The Age of Exploration lasted from the early 15th century to the early 17th century, and it was marked by European ships sailing around the world in search of new trading routes. Several animals had been brought back from these trips, for different purposes.
Parrots from India, Africa, and South America were some of the most common imports from these exploration trips. Not only are parrots colorful and easy to domesticate, but they also provided relatively easy transportation on the long, uncomfortable sea voyages back to Europe. Only a few people were aware of the needs of parrots, and this ignorance resulted in the death of many birds in transit. However, parrots did much better than more delicate bird species. The records of birds kept in menageries, the precursor to zoos, private collections of the elite, and artwork of birds from the 16th to 18th centuries list parrots, pheasants, ostriches, and other long-lived and relatively easy-to-keep birds. Most pet parrots are relatively “fresh out” of the wild, as they are only a few generations removed from the wild, and few owners allow parrots the opportunity to express and exhibit their most basic bird instincts, such as flying, flocking, and mate-finding.
World Parrot Day timeline
The first written evidence of parrots existing is in 1000 B.C.
The first evidence of talking parrots is in Persia, in 500 B.C.
The earliest record of pet parrots is in 1504 when Henry VIII gets one during the Age of Exploration.
Budgies are introduced to England.
World Parrot Day FAQs
What is World Parrot Day?
World Parrot Day is a holiday to honor the magnificent bird, and also raise awareness of the endangers it faces.
Can all parrots talk?
Most parrots can talk, and many parrots do, with training, but some parrots may never speak a word simply because of their individuality.
Can parrots fly?
Parrots can fly, except for the Kakapo, which is the largest parrot. However, most pet parrots do not fly much because they aren’t in the wild.
World Parrot Day Activities
Adopt a parrot
In celebration of World Parrot Day, you can adopt a parrot as a pet. They’re usually fun and talkative.
Donate to parrot conservation
Donate to a parrot conservation and contribute to efforts to save parrots from extinction. All parrots need a safe environment, whether it's a family home or in the wild.
Share media of your parrot online!
If you do own a pet parrot, you should share pictures and videos of it using the hashtag #WorldParrotDay. Even if you don’t own a parrot, read about the dangers they are currently facing and make your friends list more aware.
5 Interesting Facts About Parrots
Parrots can live really long
Parrots do live very long, with the average lifespan being 35 to 50 years.
Parrots have strong beaks
Parrots’ beaks are extremely strong and it is said that they can be strong enough to cause harm to a metal cage.
The biggest parrot is a Kakapo
The Kakapo, based in New Zealand, is the biggest parrot, weighing up to nine pounds but being unable to fly.
One parrot knew 1,700 words
In 1995, a parrot named “Puck” was in the Guinness World Records for knowing up to 1,700 words.
Parrots in the wild, mate for life
Parrots out in the wild can keep mating all through their lives.
Why We Love World Parrot Day
Parrots are fun
Parrots are very fun birds to keep as pets. If not for any other reason, but for the fact that you can teach them to speak.
Parrots are easy to train
Parrots are relatively easy to train. Most of the time they learn by imitation. So ensure that you repeat all the words you want your parrot to learn.
Parrots are beautiful
Parrots are beautiful because of their various bright colors. They’re just really aesthetically pleasing as birds go.
World Parrot Day dates