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In issue 309 -
When an Older Parrot Has Never Learned Skilful Flight – Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens
In issue 309 -
Scarlet Macaws – were they really bred by indigenous people in the 12th century? Rosemary Low asks the question
In issue 309 -
Understanding the link between nutrition, hormonal behaviours and the avian endocrine system, Part 1 – The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran
In issue 309 -
The Yellow-eared Parrot – continues to expand its range in Colombia. By David Waugh, Correspondent, Loro Parque Fundación
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 The October 2023 edition of Parrots magazine (issue 309) will be available to download from 13th September via a link which will be emailed to subscribers. Single copies will be available from our online shop. You can save money by subscribing – find out more here.

Why Do Parrots Waste their food?

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

Parrots throw perfectly good food onto the floor because that’s what parrots do – according to a new study
By Devorah Bennu, PhD aka “GrrlScientist”. Evolutionary & behavioural ecologist, ornithologist & science writer

If you live with parrots, like me, then you spend a significant amount of money and time seeking out and buying a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds for your feathered friends. Unfortunately, you also spend a lot of time cleaning up after they’ve thrown this bounty onto the floor and walls. Why are parrots such slobs?

The authors of a recent study wondered the same thing after observing wild parrots wasting fruits, flowers and seeds that appeared to be perfectly delicious. They also noticed that wild parrots sometimes would eat a bite or two before dropping their tasty morsels. Wasting edible food just doesn’t make sense, so why do parrots squander this important resource?

To understand why parrots are so wasteful, conservation biologist and ecologist, Esther Sebastián-González, a postdoctoral fellow at Miguel Hernández University in Spain, and an international team of collaborators, identified a number of hypotheses that may explain parrots’ food wasting behaviours. These hypotheses broadly fall into two categories.

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