What do they look like?
Parrots are most striking for their range of brilliant colours. These colours include shades of green, red, pink, yellow, blue, purple, black and white.
In some parrot species, male and female birds have the same colouring. In others, the female is the plainer of the pair. This has two advantages:
- it is the male who attracts the female to mate
- if the female is less obvious to predators, she has a better chance of surviving to breed and rear her young successfully.
Other features include:
- yoke-toed feet, with two toes facing directly forwards and the other two facing backwards, which helps parrots to hold food when eating
- a short, hooked bill with a bulging cere (the bare, wax-like structure at the base of the upper beak)
- a short neck and legs
- prominent eyes
- a large head with a compact, bulky body.