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In issue 303 -
Why ‘feeding a wide variety of different foods’ is a recipe for avian malnutrition – The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran
In issue 303 -
Timnehs and Red Tails – the Two Kinds of Greys – Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens
In issue 303 -
Lifetime behaviour changes in one lory – By Rosemary Low
In issue 303 -
Trade law discrepancies unhelpful for conservation – By David Waugh, Correspondent, Loro Parque Fundación
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Flower power is priceless!

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

By Rosemary Low

Many parrots take flowers and nectar as a significant part of their natural diet. We can offer our parrots cultivated flowers, wild flowers and tree blossoms. Note that when I use the word parrot, I mean all members of the parrot family, from parrotlets to large macaws. Far more parrot species feed on flowers than many people realise.

The large, colourful blooms of the many species of coral trees (Erythrina) are especially favoured, with their brilliant red or orange blooms that hang in clusters. In Colombia, for example, frequent visitors to flowering E.fusca are Weddell’s Conures (Aratinga weddellii) and Cobalt-winged Parakeets (Brotogeris cyanoptera). Apparently these parakeets are the man pollinators. This is unusual as most parrots (five other species feed on them) destroy the flowers in the process (Cotton, 2001).

In Peru I have seen Blue and Yellow Macaws eating the orange flowers of the coral tree (Erythrina). In Brazil prominent, common and beautiful flowering trees are Tabebuia of different species, and there Crimson-bellied Conures, for example, eat the flowers.

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