Blue-headed Parrot (Pionus menstruus)

The Blue-headed Parrot is a small parrot, measuring about 10 inches tall. It eats and disperses fruits and seeds from rainforest trees. Their strong beaks allow them to crack very hard nuts and get the good parts from inside. Parrots are very social and stay together in small flocks. As they fly around, their noisy calls are one of the distinctive sounds of the tropical rainforests.

Most parrots nest in hollow trees. Depending on the species, they lay from 1-6 eggs and both parents raise the young, sometimes with help by the young they raised the year before. Together, the Parents and the 1-2 year old young are called a "family group."

Parrots belong to order Psittaciformes and the family Psittacidae. Parrots are roughly divided into three groups: Parakeets, Parrots, and Macaws. Parakeets are smaller, often with pointed wings and tails. Parrots range from small (8" or 20 cm) to quite large (18" or 45 cm). Macaws, the most spectacular group, can grow up to 36 inches (90 cm) in length because of their long tails.

Copyright 1997-2007 Gerald R. Urquhart. For information on using this website in your classroom (which is free and highly encouraged), please contact Dr. Urquhart by email, urquhar5@msu.edu. Also, please send any comments or corrections to Dr. Urquhart.