Amazon parrots are very popular. They tend to be friendly, laid back, musical and good at mimicry. The most popular Amazon species are yellow napped, blue-fronted, double yellow headed and orange winged. Amazons tend to bond closely to one individual and can become aggressive towards others in the household.   African grey parrots are very popular; they talk well, but are highly intelligent and very sensitive. They often do not cope well with solitary living and frequently end up plucking. Also, parent-reared greys can be difficult to tame and handle. Greys are sub-divided into Congo, Ghana and Timneh greys, with the latter being the smallest without the characteristic red tail.
     
One of the largest species of parrot, this bird has a lifespan to match and lives for up to 60 years. The macaw is not only a stunning bird, it is extremely bright and is perfectly able to learn speech and other tricks. Such a clever creature is easily prone to boredom and needs to be provided with toys for chewing and climbing on and also with brain teasers to keep it occupied. Owners of these birds have to provide them with a lot of space too – not a bird to be taken on lightly.   This bird, originally from Australia, is relatively short-lived compared with its larger cousins – it has a lifespan of approximately 15 years. Although it is smaller than the Macaw, it still requires a good deal of space and, as with all other types of bird, should also have enough room to stretch its wings. These are charming and intelligent birds that enjoy interaction and training.
     
Naturalist explorer, John Gould first introduced Budgerigars to Britain in 1840. In 1838 he visited Australia on one of his expeditions and discovered some small green parakeets. On his return to Britain in 1840 he brought some of these birds back with him. It is thought that the name “Budgerigar” is an adaptation of the Australian Aboriginal name, “Betcherrygah”. Since that time, the Budgerigar has been bred in many different colours and has now become one of the most popular varieties of domesticated birds. They are small and make fun pets; with adequate handling they can be tamed to sit on your finger.   Larger than budgies, Lovebirds are still diminutive by some parrots’ standards! They are quite sturdy little creatures and boast a distinctive hooked beak. Most of these species originate from Africa and while they are not the most adept at learning speech, they make entertaining and colourful pets. They are social creatures and if you choose to keep one, it will require a fair bit of attention from you. If you keep a pair, they can keep each other company but may be less bonded to you.
         
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