Do Parrots live in rainforests? Why do Parrots live in the rainforest? And More Things To Know

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Do parrots live in rainforests?

There are roughly around 398 species of parrots on earth and out of these nearly 330 species are known to survive in the rainforests.

They are most prominent in the rainforest and due to their colorful and vibrant appearance they match and camouflage so well in their surroundings.

Most of the parrots live in the tropical rainforest, while the rest of them have adapted themselves to living in the savannahs, mountains, deserts, and in various other sub-tropical regions as well.

Parrots that live in the rainforests are also called Rainforest parrots and they are included under the families of True parrots.

Most of the rainforest dwelling species of true parrots forming the superfamily Psittacoidea, fall under the family Psittacidae.

Most of the well-known rainforest-dwelling parrots includes many of the species of Macaws, Cockatoos, Lorikeets, Rosellas, Parakeets, and Lovebirds.

The Blue-and-Gold Macaw Parrot is one of the very popular rainforest dwelling macaw parrots that inhabit the rainforest in South America.


In the rainforest, they live in flocks called companies or pandemoniums and are very social animals that stay and roam in flocks.

Most of the world’s parrot species are found in rainforests of South America and Oceania (including Australia).

So, the large vast stretch of tropical rainforests in Colombia, French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil is home to a vast majority of rainforest dwelling parrots.

When in the rainforest, parrots don’t have to starve a lot for food as it’s their indigenous environment and is food is easily avialble to them.They simply spend 60% of their time looking for food and in the rest of the time they enjoy their daily lifestyle.

Blue-and-Gold Macaw Parrot (a large South American parrot) from Peruvian Amazonia area of the Amazon rainforest included within the country of Peru

Why do parrots live in the rainforest?

Parrots live in the rainforest because they have well-adapted to this type of environment and it’s their indigenous environment.

It is to be noted that the Tropical rainforests house the greatest diversity of living organisms on Earth which is more than 50% of all plants and animals found on land.

The majority of the parrots are those kinds of birds that are native to the rainforests mostly the Amazon rainforest.

Most of the parrot species inhabit only the rainforest, and a few of them are known to inhabit both tropical and sub-tropical forests by performing migration every year.

While a few of the parrots inhabit deserts, mountains only due to their unique type of adaptations that are not so common to the rainforest dwellers.

Researchers say that parrots evolved approximately 59 million years ago (Mya) in the tropical rainforests of and nearby Gondwana that incorporated parts of present-day South America, Africa, Arabia, Madagascar, India, Australia, and Antarctica.

Parrots are able to live in the rainforest due to their great adaptations to a varied omnivorous diet, intelligent social behaviors, defensive strategies, and various other noticeable physical adaptations that help them survive in the wild even in the instances of various difficult challenges.

There is a good energy flow in the food chain that the parrots as Primary consumers are part of. So, it is just one of the primary reasons why they are so fine within their ecological niche and ecological relationships in their surroundings that allow them to comfortably live in the rainforest.

The canopy structure of the rainforest also gives a big boost to their lifestyle and provides an abundance of places amidst the greenery for them to take shelter, feed upon, conceal, and perform various interactions between different species and the environment.

Being omnivorous they can feed upon both meat and vegetation. Although a majority of the species are herbivorous feeding on nuts, flowers, fruit, and buds.

They occupy the top tree branches and make use of the leaves, grasses, twigs, hollow spaces in the tree trunks to make shelter up in the trees. This helps them to stay away from the ground-dwelling predators.

Also due to their zygodactyl feet, that is having two toes pointing forward and two backward on each toe help the parrots to perch up in the tree.

Their strong and curved beak is just enough for them to tear the fruits, leaves, crack nuts, and crunch the insects, and tear the flesh from the body of the prey to eat.

Due to their body coloration they can camouflage very well and are finely able to conceal themselves from predators.

And, also that they use their beaks and talons to defend themselves from upcoming threats of predators.

They are intelligent and social animals and so their social interactions help them stay, feed, travel, care for offspring, and defend themselves in flocks.

They live in flocks with as many as 20 to 30 birds, and most of them mate for life being monogamous species. So, it’s rare for a predator to attack them due to their strength in numbers.

How does a parrot survive in the rainforest?

They have a lot of adaptations that help them survive in the rainforest. Many of these adaptions are mentioned under the heading “ Why do parrots live in the rainforest?” above.

So, here are some of the notable adaptations due to which parrots are able to finely survive in the rainforest are:

1. They can camouflage: Due to their diverse variety of feather coloration and beautiful body styling depending on the location and species type help them to hide well in their type of surroundings. And, it is nearly beneficial for them to defend themselves from any potential predator.

2. Their feeding habits: They are omnivorous birds meaning that they can feed on a variety of natural food ranging from meat to vegetation when in the wild. So, that’s why in the rainforest there’s possibly no chance for them to die out of starvation as they feed on insects, small mammals like mice, rabbits, etc, seed, flowers, fruits, leaves, and buds.

3. Their social behaviors: They live in groups of family members called flocks. They travel, feed, live, and communicate in social groups that enrich their social well-being in the wild. So, in a flock, they are better able to defend themselves, fulfill their daily needs, care for each other so well.

4. Their physical adaptations: They have zygodactyl foot, thick beaks, large toes and claws, strong flight muscles, skilled at flight, great eyesight with a field of vision of over 300°, ability to see ultraviolet light, and they also have a great far vision, binocular vision, and many more.

5. Their means of communication: Parrots are considered one of the most intelligent birds. They associate words with their meanings and form simple sentences that they use to communicate with each other in the wild. They are also able to mimic the sounds they hear. And their ability to can learn and understand very fast about their surroundings and ecosystem makes them really very smart animals.

ANSWERED: What do parrots in the rainforest eat?

First of all, it is to be noted that most parrots are omnivores in nature. Meaning that they can eat both vegetation and meat.

However, their indigenous food type is feeding on vegetation only. So, you will find them feeding on seeds, leaves, flowers, and fruits very often.

And, their adaptation to feed on meat and flesh helps them to stay healthy and strong in the rainforest when there is not the correct vegetational food available to them.

So, natively all of the parrots are herbivorous in nature, meaning that they feed mostly on plants and vegetation.

And, being omnivorous is what most of the parrot species of the rainforest have adapted to. But, still, there are a lot of parrot species in the wild that are strictly herbivorous in nature.

So, What do parrots in the rainforest eat?

Parrots in the rainforest feed on insects, grasses, leaves, fruits, flowers, buds, nuts, small rodents, and even on nonvenomous snakes and lizards.

Some parrots have also been reported to catch and feed on shrimps, crabs, shellfish, and fishes as well.

They are also seen to break the bones, crush, and feed on them by scratching and feeding on the meat as well.

For example, one of the most popular parrots is the Parakeet Parrot (also called lovebird) is an omnivore, meaning that it eats both plants and meat. So you will find its diet to be based on seed, fruits, soft leaves, flowers, and various other types of insects as well.

At what layer do parrots live in the rainforest?

There are 4 four layers in which rainforests are structured. These layers are emergent, canopy, understory, and forest floor layers.

The Emergent layer is the topmost layer, and the Canopy layer is the second top layer of the rainforest.

The Emergent layer at about 60 meters height is the sunny layer that constitutes the treetops and it gets the most amount of sunlight and rainfall and is exposed to the sky above. Foliage is often sparse on tree trunks in this layer.

The Canopy layer at about 30 to 45 meters height is the layer beneath the emergent layer that is characterized by a deep and thick layer of vegetation forming a dense network of leaves and branches over the two remaining layers.

Parrots mostly live and build their nest in the canopy layer of the rainforest where they can hide and stay protected from the adverse sunlight, rainfall, and wind blowing conditions while camouflaging better from any potential predators.

Parrots are also seen to move to the emergent layer of the rainforest in order to have a view of their territories, mates, flocks, food, and also to take a flight.

It has been seen that as a way of protection they may also opt to go up to the emergent layer of the rainforest if they feel there’s any threat to them and to their babies in the canopy layer.

Most predators can’t go to the emergent layer to prey and so the danger is minimum at this layer.

Also that the canopy layer ranging at a height of about 30 to 45 meters is also hard for many of the predators to reach up in order to get their hands on a parrot.

So, their kind of adaptation to be able to live and occupy the canopy layer and above helps them to stay away from any possible threats approaching them in the wild. This also gives a boost to their survival rate.

List of parrots that live in the rainforest

There are somewhere around 330 species of parrots that inhabit and are native to the rainforests.

Here, in this list, I will mention around 30 of the well-known and popular rainforest dwelling parrots.

List of 30 of the well-known and popular rainforest dwelling parrots:

No.Parrot SpeciesScientific NameRange
1.Festive ParrotAmazona festivaBrazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guiana, Peru, Venezuela
2.Vinaceous-Breasted ParrotAmazona vinaceaArgentina, Brazil, Paraguay
3.Iguaca ParrotAmazona vittataPuerto Rico
4.Finsch’s ParakeetAmazona finschiMexico
5.Red-lored ParrotAmazona autumnalisCentral and South America
6.Tucuman ParrotAmazona tucumanaArgentina, Bolivia
7.Lilacine ParrotAmazona autumnalis lilacinaWestern Ecuador to extreme south-western Colombia
8.Blue-cheeked Amazon ParrotAmazona dufresnianaFrench Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Brazil
9.Yellow-billed ParrotAmazona collariaJamaica
10.Yellow-shouldered ParrotAmazona barbadensisNetherlands Antilles, Venezuela
11.Rose-throated ParrotAmazona leucocephalaCuba, Bahamas, Cayman Islands
12.Cuca ParrotAmazona ventralisHaiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands
13.Diademed ParrotAmazona diademaNorthern Brazil
14.Hyacinth MacawAnodorhynchus hyacinthinusSouth America
15.Indigo MacawAnodorhynchus leariBrazil
16.Great-green MacawAra ambiguusHonduras to Ecuador
17.Blue-and-gold MacawAra araraunaPanama, Colombia, South-central Brazil
18.Red-bellied MacawOrthopsittaca manilataSouth America
19.Red-spectacled ParrotAmazona pretreiArgentina, Brazil, Paraguay
20.Scarlet MacawAra macaoAmazon Basin, Mexico to Colombia
21.Red-fronted MacawAra rubrogenysCentral Bolivia
22.White-fronted ParrotAmazona albifronsBelize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua
23.Blue-throated MacawAra glaucogularisNorth Bolivia
24.Illiger’s MacawPrimolius maracanaSouth America
25.Black-billed ParrotAmazona agilisJamaica
26.Orange-winged ParrotAmazona amazonicaSouth America
27.Hahn’s MacawDiopsittaca nobilisSouth America
28.Yellow-collared MacawPrimolius auricollisSouth America
29.Saint Vincent Amazon ParrotAmazona guildingiiCaribbean island of Saint Vincent
30.Coulon’s MacawPrimolius couloniSouth America
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