Parrots are some of the world’s most popular birds– their intelligence and bright colors make them attractive pets. (Or course, you should do your research before buying a pet bird– in addition to being on the lookout for endangered species and unhealthy breeding practices, potential parrot owners should keep in mind that these birds might need more time, space, and attention than you’d expect, and some can live longer than humans!) But whether you appreciate parrots as pets or in their natural wild habitats, there’s a lot to learn about these birds.

The most recognizable parrots are probably the macaws– they’re big, flashy-colored, long-tailed birds. But there are hundreds of kinds of parrots, from the mossy-green flightless kakapos of New Zealand to the almost neon-bright rainbow lorikeets. They vary in size, too– hyacinth macaws are among the biggest, reaching a length of over three feet from head to tail, while the smallest pygmy parrots are barely three inches long!

Photo by Derek Ramsey, via Wikimedia Commons