Parrot, the common name of an order of brightly colored, hook-beaked birds of the tropics. The family includes the macaws, cockatoos, parakeets, and other groups.Parrots have large heads, short necks, and a thick bills.
There are about 350 species of parrots. They inhabit a variety of habitats—especially forests—in the world's tropical and subtropical regions, including Central and South America, Africa, southern Asia, Australia, and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. The only native parrot of the United States, the Carolina parakeet, became extinct in the early 1900's.
Parrots vary in color, size, and tail length. In most species the plumage is green, yellow, red, white, or black with patches of red, yellow, or blue on the head, wings, and tail. Parrots range in length from 3 ½ to 40 inches (9 cm to 1 m), including the tail.
The parrot has a large head, a short neck, and a thick, powerful, down-curved bill. The eyes are small and, in some species, surrounded by a patch of bare flesh. Each foot has two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing backward. The feet and bill are used for grasping, grooming, and climbing. The parrot is unique among birds in using one foot to grasp food while balancing on the other.