NATURE tracks down the cockiest characters in the land down under in Parrots in the Land of Oz.
We keep them in cages in our homes, but in their natural state they are independent birds who can seek out water over hundreds of miles through pure instinct. We feed them seed from a pet store, but they can find food in a wide variety of habitats. We give them plastic toys and mirrors to play with when in fact in the wild some have figured out how to use tools to communicate and attract mates.
For tens of millions of years, parrots have survived and thrived in Australia even as the continent underwent dramatic changes, including some brought about by man. Though some, like the golden-shouldered Parrot are threatened, these tough Aussies have adapted well to deal with harsh life in the outback. Clever, resourceful, opportunistic and resilient, parrots may be Australia’s toughest survivors, and they’re certainly its most beautiful.
Online content for Parrots in the Land of Oz was originally posted January 2008.