Summary: Parrots eat almonds, arthropods, bananas, beans, berries, bird seeds, blueberries, buds, canary seeds, carrots, collard greens, corn, dandelions, flowers, fruits, green beans, green peas, grubs, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, insects, kale, legumes, macadamia nuts, millet seeds, nectar, nuts, parsley, peanuts, pineapples, safflower seeds, scrambled eggs, seeds, snails, sow thistle, soybeans, spinach, strawberries, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, thistle seeds, vegetables, vegetation, walnuts and watermelons.
Parrots are very diverse birds with over 300 species in the family. Of those, about 150 different species are pets. In the wild, these birds would have a different diet from those that are kept as pets. Each one will differ as to what is included in that diet. Some parrots, for example, can be fed a seed diet but this is not recommended for all the parrots that are kept as pets. Some pet diets can be cooked or formulated in the domestic kitchen. However, depending on the species of parrot and whether or not they are wild can determine the diet that they eat.
A juvenile pet Lesser Jardine’s parrot eating vegetables (corn and green peas). © Love2bird.
Wild parrots have a varied diet in the wild. Their diet can include arthropods, buds, nectar, fruit, seeds and other animal prey. Each species will have a bit different diet. A swift parrot will eat nectar while the golden wing parakeet will eat snails. Keas can kill adult sheep (watch video on YouTube) and petrels that are small, while cockatoos will eat grubs.
Parrots that are keep as pets
A sheep killed by kea parrots in July 1907. © George R. Marriner.
When it comes to the species of parrots that are kept as pets, there are at least three different diets that can be used as a base to feed your pet parrot. Cooked diets, seed diets and formulated diets can all be used successfully. Seed based really isn’t recommended for many species. Cooked diets can be either made at home or purchased while formulated diets meet the nutritional needs of many different species of parrot.
Diet considerations for pet parrots
When it comes to feeding a pet parrot, you should take into consideration the needs of the particular species of bird that is owned. A formulated diet can work for most parrots while having the supplemental feed of nuts, vegetables and fruit. However, the nutritional needs of lesser-known species are still a bit of a mystery. One example is the eclectus parrot. This species is frugivorous, which means that they eat a lot of fruit and they have to have a lot of this daily, along with protein containing food.
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