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The Behavioural Importance of Food

Spreads for web 2

by Sally Blanchard

When it comes to food, some parrots such as Amazons and Eclectus eat with such gusto you would think that they hadn’t eaten for days while others, especially the small ones, are very dainty about their food consumption. This difference can be based on their species or on their early socialisation to food.

In the wild, while they are in the nest, parrot chicks are fed completely by their parents or occasionally birds that could be called nannies that are members of the family or flock. They are usually fed a sort of pablum that has been partially digested and regurgitated from the adult’s crop. As the process continues, the food may change to a less digested fare consisting of foods that will become their natural diet. When the babies fledge, they fly around with their parents and/or other members of the flock who teach them to eat the foods that are found in their environment. The vast majority of parrots are opportunistic omnivores. This means that they eat just about everything that is available.

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