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Birds USA: Small Birds Are Parrots Too!

Cockatiel, budgie, lovebird, parrotlet and Bourke’s

By Diane Grindol

If you own a small bird, such as a budgie or cockatiel,  and have ever considered attending a parrot conference, your first thought might be that you would be in the wrong place. Wrong! Our small birds are parrots, too. They might be small, but they are every bit as much of a parrot. And you’re in good company. Thousands, if not millions, of small parrots share our homes across this country.

The Beak Says It All: Our small birds fit the bill so to speak when it comes to classifying them properly as parrots. Look at your bird. The budgie, cockatiel, lineolated parakeet, parrotlet, lovebird or Bourke’s parakeet all have the characteristic downward-curved hooked upper beak (“hookbill”), which allows it to eat seeds. The only difference is that larger hookbills have larger beaks to break open hard nuts, while our smaller hookbills have small beaks to eat seeded grasses.

**For the full article, pick up the 2008 issue of Birds USA or click here to buy the issue.**


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