Parrots of the Wild: A Natural History of the World's Most Captivating Birds


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Parrots of the Wild is popular science at its best, bringing together a broad range of research on parrots, looking at their evolution, perception, cognition, conservation, as well as wild parrot behaviour. The authors blend this with insights from own work on parrots. It’s a book that can be read for sheer enjoyment because it’s full of interesting facts, yet Parrots of the Wild also pulls together a lot of research in a way that makes it accessible for non-specialists.

This book is one of the best resources on natural parrot behaviour for people who own parrots, and who want to understand them better. The account of how parrots forage, and what they eat, can help owners to recreate opportunities for natural foraging behavious for their pets. Likewise, the accounts of courtship and social behaviour goes a long way to explaining how parrots relate to humans when they don’t have a parrot to relate to. This account can also help people wanting their parrots to breed, as can the information on nesting.

The account of conservation efforts reflects both how parrots’ traditional habitats are changing, and the impact of the trade in parrots for pets. Perhaps the most interesting stories are about wild budgies. We’ve been used to thinking of them as traditional pets, yet they have fascinating social lives in the wild.

All in all, Parrots of the Wild is well worth reading if you’re a parrot owner, an avian vet, or just generally interested in recent research on birds in the wild.