If you love parrots, you might wonder about their life in the wild. These extremely social birds typically live in community with one another. Since some congregations of birds have a different title, you may wonder what a group of parrots is called.
Do you know the old saying, birds of a feather flock together? It gives a pretty good indication of what a group of parrots is called—a flock. A flock is a term used for many other groups of birds as well. However, a group of parrots can also go by other names, such as company, prattle, or pandemonium!
Parrot Social Structure
You might notice how they’re always grouped together if you have seen pictures or watched documentaries about parrots interacting in the wild. While this isn’t the same for all parrot species, most enjoy the benefits of communal living.
Some groups of parrots choose to interact in the dozens. Others tend to gravitate towards a single mate. Then, rarely, others tend to go it alone.
Some Parrots Are Incredibly Social
Parrots are extremely social animals that love interacting with like species and have complex social structures. Most parrots are quite satisfied in a group as this helps with protection and scouting for food.
Often, parrots that flock together are safer in bigger numbers. It helps to have different roles within the company, making sure adults and their young stay safe. It can also be helpful to have multiple parrots searching for food to ensure the collective is cared for.
Some parrots have species-specific flocks. Others, such as Amazon parrots, conures, and macaws, can have mixed-species flocks.
Other Parrots Are Tolerant
In this example, we will use the bird of unmatched intelligence—the African Grey. In the wild, you can often see groups of African Greys together.
Science has discovered that even though these birds are typically united with others of their kind, they are more tolerant than social. They tend to group together out of survival necessity as opposed to social stimulation.
African Greys are considered gregarious, roosting together at night by the thousands. These numbers keep them safe from predators during vulnerable twilight hours. However, they break up into smaller groups for feeding during the day.
Not All Parrots Like Living in Groups
Almost all parrot species are highly social creatures. They congregate together in groups and have complex roles in the environment. However, not all parrots share this lifestyle.
For instance, the Kakapo is a solitary, flightless bird that defies what we know about parrots in the wild. These creatures have evolved to run on the ground with strong, muscular legs rather than take flight. This adaptation is likely due to the lack of mammalian predators in the area.
Unlike many other parrot species, the Kakapo is not monogamous. The Kakapo is considered a ‘lek breeder, ‘ meaning males perform rituals to attract their female mate in certain territories.
The females usually mate with several different partners during breeding. Even though the Kakapo is not quite as solitary as once thought, they are generally only seen together for mating and rearing young.
Parrots Finding Mates
Most parrot species mate for life. They are highly monogamous creatures with intense bonds. Once they secure a mate, they will remain faithful to this bird throughout their lifetime.
Even in the event of death, most birds will not pair up again. Although, it is not completely uncommon in some species for re-pairing to occur when a parrot loses its partner.
Parrots Raising Young
You know what they say. It takes a village to raise a child. No other species knows this quite like the parrot. While it’s up to mom and dad to take care of their babies, having a congregation of birds helps protect the young to ensure the species’ survival.
Predators of Parrots
Unfortunately, humans remain a top predator for parrots. Even though we often don’t raid and kill them, we do snatch them from their habitats and put them in questionable situations. Removing a parrot from its natural habitat will reverberate throughout the ecosystem.
In addition to humans, the most common predators for parrots include raptors, jungle cats, monkeys, bats, and snakes.
The Damage of the Exotic Pet Trade
The exotic pet trade has damaged the natural life cycles of parrots and many other animals. Humans have disrupted their natural structures so much that some species have become endangered.
Even though the pet industry is still a multibillion-dollar industry, more education and knowledge are being spread to citizens worldwide. Hopefully, by continuing to expose the industry, we can work to protect beautiful creatures, like the parrot.
Because of the inhumane practices, many chain pet shops have stopped displaying parrots. They have discovered that many of the creatures sold wind up in compromising situations, so they instead choose not to support the trade.
What Happens in the Bird Trade
In the exotic bird trade, poachers often go into the wild and capture birds in large numbers. They transport them, often in unsavory ways, such as in canisters. Many birds die during transport. Those that don’t will wind up in a display.
Parrots As Pets: Are They Socially Satisfied?
Providing a parrot with the type of social interaction they need can be extremely challenging, if not impossible. A human being alone does not have the necessary qualities to keep a parrot completely happy in a domesticated setting.
Birds often develop unsavory behaviors due to stress, depression, and loneliness. Some of the most common reasons for rehoming parrots involve unwanted behaviors that the owners can’t seem to fix.
However, you could consider this a parrot acting out due to insufficient care. Often this is no fault of the owners, it is basically a misconception of animal needs. Also, as pets, parrots are often not allowed to fly, taking away their primary and most rewarding capability.
If a parrot is not getting the appropriate amount of exercise, it can cause anxiousness and poor health. However, some folks know how to care for a parrot—providing necessary and rewarding activities and enriching their lives with companionship and freedom.
In suitable places, some bird lovers create aviaries for their birds to explore. They have multiple birds of the same species to provide a solid structure for each species. However, this isn’t the norm.
Should Humans Own Parrots?
Anyone who’s owned a parrot is likely biased towards the concept. However, realistically, we have to ask ourselves if it’s a best-case scenario for the bird. In some situations, a person will purchase a parrot with the necessary knowledge on the topic, giving that animal all of the care that it requires.
Unfortunately, many people get a parrot because it sounds like a cool concept without understanding the extreme responsibility that comes along with it. Parents have exceptionally long lifespans.
Even though we wish our dogs or cats lived longer, their lifespan is an easy-to-manage time frame. But if you have a parrot that is living 45 years or longer, so much can change in your life during that period. Parrots are often rehomed, surrendered, or released consequently.
The bird trade isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Rather than accepting this fate for exotic birds, we can aim to provide quality information to potential owners so they can decide if owning a parrot is really a suitable choice for them.
Now, you can tell your friends that a group of parrots is called a flock, company, prattle, or pandemonium. Which name is it that got your attention most? Parrots are incredibly unique animals with incredible social structures. It is our job as human beings to protect these animals from harm as much as we can.
While parrots as pets continue to be a hot debate, the pet industry isn’t slowing down anytime soon. If you love parrots, you can try advocating for them by volunteering, donating, or educating others.