What Foods Do Parrots Eat? – Typical Parrot Diet

What foods do parrots eat?  - Typical food for parrots

Parrots are one of the most popular companion birds for humans. Many people think of a very specific bird when they think of a parrot, but it’s important to remember that the term “parrot” actually refers to nearly 400 different species of birds in Psittaciformes order. In fact, if you are considering adopting a parrot as a pet, you should check the CITES treaty to make sure they are not legally protected.

One of the most important aspects of parrot care is their diet. For this reason, AnimalWised asks what food do parrots eat? Due to the diversity of parrots, it is difficult to establish a guideline that applies to all. However, we bring you this guide to the typical diet of parrots in the wild and in captivity.

You might also be interested in: Fruits and vegetables for parrots

Keeping parrots as pets is a big responsibility. While every companion animal needs its basic animal welfare freedoms, it’s important to remember how intelligent birds may be. Not only are they smart, but they form emotional bonds with humans and other birds that need to fulfill their social needs. Without them, the bird’s well-being may be at risk.

One of the most important needs is housing. We need to provide a clean environment that meets the specific needs of individual parrots. This means a cage that is spacious enough to allow them to move around, the ability to be in a larger space, accessories that stimulate development and much more. Basic health maintenance also requires us to start preventive medicine in the form of deworming.

Monitoring a parrot’s beak is also essential as it continues to grow throughout its life. If broken or damaged, it limits their ability to eat and perform other behaviors that can be difficult to manage. Conversely, they also have to wear down, which happens more naturally when they forage in the wild. Because of this, the beak may need to be polished or trimmed, which is best done by a professional.

To best avoid disproportionate growth, we recommend leaving objects in the cages that the parrots themselves can use to file their beaks. Some suitable bird toys include wooden toys for this purpose. For more information, see our article on the best toys for parrots.

Although it may seem strange to think of parrots as carnivores, the truth is that they are actually omnivores. Like all omnivorous animals, they can eat almost any type of food.

However, it is true that most of the parrots’ diet is based on food from of plant origin, not of animal origin. As we mentioned in the introduction, there are many different species that are considered parrots and not all of them will eat the same diet. This is due to the peculiarities of the species, but it is also closely related to the food available to them in their natural environment.

Generally speaking, the vast majority of parrots behaved like companion animals are:

  • Lovebirds
  • Cockatoos
  • Amazon macaws
  • African gray
  • Cockatiels
  • Parrots

All these animals are omnivores. While they eat a large amount of fruit, vegetables and seeds, they also enjoy small invertebrates such as insect.

What foods do parrots eat?  - Typical diet for parrots - Are parrots omnivorous?

With the exception of domestic parrots, the population of wild parrots is scattered throughout the world. I live in mild climate, usually in Africa, South Asia, Australia, South and Central America. There is an immense variety of species adapted to different habitats. A wild parrot’s diet will be largely based on the resources available to it.

What food do wild parrots eat?

The diet of wild parrots is not just what is available to them. It also depends on what they are able to catch. This is why most wild parrots will eat:

  • Fruit
  • Flowers
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Grains
  • Seeds
  • Insect
  • Tiny invertebrates

However, experts emphasize that parrots prefer a diet based on seeds and nuts. Not only are they suitable for the nutritional needs of parrots, but they are also tasty. They spend more energy trying to find them in the wild.

What do parrots eat in the jungle?

In the jungle, parrots have a a wide variety of foods available. They can consume a wide variety of plants. There are countless types of flowers, fruit trees, insects and more. The diet of the forest parrot stands out for its versatility.

In general, like other parrots, they feed largely seeds and plants available as well as on various insect species .

As with puppies and kittens of virtually any species, they will need a diet that is different from that of an adult animal. This is because they are still evolving.

In the case of baby parrots, they can be fed homemade food cereal and fruit. However, this is only in case of emergency. Ideally, you can find a specific bird food that is sold in pet stores. Choose one recommended by your veterinarian. They are specially designed to meet the needs of baby birds.

Commercial food for parrots is with a high protein content, something very important for their development. Any decent product should note the preparation and ingredients. They will need to be created using boiled or purified warm water, as this eliminates harmful chlorine. Portions have all their nutritional requirements and are usually fed approximately every 2 to 3 hours.

If you want to know when a parrot is hungry, you can listen to it twitter. When they feel hungry, they make this sound. The paste preparation should be creamy, i.e. not too liquid or stiff. Otherwise, the baby parrot will not be able to salt properly. This mimics the regurgitation of parrot mothers to feed their young. For more information, see our article on what birds eat.

What foods do parrots eat?  - Typical Parrot Diet - What do baby parrots eat?

Not all types of parrots are considered pets. Many are endangered or otherwise protected. They may also not be suitable for breeding in home environment. At home, we need both to control the parrots’ diet so that they eat appropriately, and to keep it varied so that they don’t get bored.

It is important that the parrot’s diet is balanced. Most parrots will tend to overeat unless they have limited food. Because they don’t have the freedom to fly and exercise like they do in the wild, they are more prone to becoming overweight and obesity. This is especially common if they only get the food they like best, i.e. seeds and nuts. While they are tasty and nutritious, they are also fattening.

Generally, daily diet of domestic parrots should be as follows:

  • 75% fruit and vegetables
  • 20% bird feed (seeds, etc.)
  • 5% Treats/Other

Not all fruits and vegetables are suitable for parrots to eat. To know more about the specifics, read our article on fruits and vegetables for parrots.

Different species of parrots have different diets. The reason is complex, but often related to their size. If you think your parrot may be sick, it may be due to a nutritional problem. AND balanced diet of parrots is vital to their well-being.

What do African gray parrots eat?

In the case of African grays, the proportions vary a bit according to the general parrot food chart we provided in the previous section. It is estimated that they should eat:

  • 60% parrot food
  • 30% vegetables and fruits
  • 10% seeds and grains

What do parakeets eat?

Australian parrots, better known as parakeets, have a very similar diet to the generic one mentioned above. In captivity, experts recommend feeding them grain (such as birdseed, millet or oats) and supplementing their intake of vegetables. Some of the best vegetables and fruits for budgies include:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Swiss chard

However, not all types of fruit are beneficial for parakeets, it should be noted that grapefruit is toxic to them. At some times in a parrot’s life, they may need more energy. These include when they develop into adults, when the temperature drops, and when the breeding season begins. In these cases, you can provide the birds with special food called breeding paste for birds. This is extra nutritious when they need it, but should be avoided at other times.

What do little parrots eat?

There are different types of small parrots in this category. These include:

  • Lovebirds
  • Other parrots (such as the monk parakeet)
  • Small conures

These birds weigh very little and measure only a few centimeters from head to tail. In captivity, specific food is prepared for these small birds. However, you will need to adjust the amount according to the size of the bird. We must emphasize that it is important to research the specific bird you need to feed. For example, small conures should have a small amount of dairy products in their diet. The rest of their diet is based on fruits, vegetables and grains.

What do green parrots eat?

The green parrot is one of the most common parrots in households. It is important to know its specific nutritional requirements. Many experts claim to feed them quality commercial preparations is sufficient, providing extra minerals and vitamins with supplements of green leafy vegetables such as kale or Swiss chard, as well as some fruit.

Adequate nutrition is achieved by providing a diet similar to what they would consume in the wild. However, some birds may need a little extra help. For example, some may need additional vitamins to improve their plumage. These should be dictated by a veterinarian, especially since the bird may be suffering from a health problem.

What foods do parrots eat?  - Typical diet for parrots - What do different types of parrots eat?

As we have already mentioned, the diet of parrots is varied and can include a rich variety of foods. However, there are certain foods that should never be given to parrots because they are potentially harmful and even fatal in certain quantities. Foods strictly prohibited for all types of parrots are:

  • Soda
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Juice
  • Coffee
  • Salt
  • Cocoa or chocolate
  • Sugar and sweets
  • Dairy products (in most cases)
  • Fish
  • red meat
  • Fried food
  • Artificial flavors/colors
  • Spice

We should provide the parrots with a diet that is based on natural food as much as possible. even commercial bird food should not contain foods that were reworked. While it is common sense that the above foods are bad for them, there are some that may seem okay but are actually toxic:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Eggplant
  • Avocado
  • Raw tubers
  • Fruit stones (apple, pear, etc.)

More information, you can check out this article on forbidden food for parrots. As we mentioned, not all parrots are native and some are even endangered. Watch the video below to learn more:

If you want to read similar articles like What foods do parrots eat? – Typical food for parrotswe recommend visiting our Homemade diets category.

  1. National Geography. Parrots Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.es/animales/loro
  • He failed; Sibson, RB; Kambala, E. G. (1966). Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand . Collins. London.
  • Frank Gill and David Donsker. New Zealand parrots, cockatoos and parrots . IOC World Bird List version 5.2. Retrieved from: https://www.worldbirdnames.org/bow/parrots/

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