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Dancing Senegal Parrot


Type: Senegal Parrot
Genus: Poicephalus
Species: Senegalus
Subspecies: Mesotypus
Sex: Female
Weight: 120 grams
Height: 9 inches
Age: 16 years
Caped Cape Parrot


Type: Cape Parrot
Genus: Poicephalus
Subspecies: Fuscicollis
Sex: Male
Weight: 330 grams
Height: 13 inches
Age: 14 years, 4 months
Blue and Gold Macaw


Type: Blue & Gold Macaw
Genus: Ara
Sex: Female
Weight: 850 grams
Height: 26 inches
Age: 12 years
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Additional Top Articles
Stop Parrot Biting
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How to Put Parrot In Cage
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List of Common Parrots:

Budgerigar (Budgie)
Alexandrine Parakeet
African Ringneck
Indian Ringneck
Monk Parakeet (Quaker Parrot)

Mexican Parrotlet
Green Rumped Parrotlet
Blue Winged Parrotlet
Spectacled Parrotlet
Dusky Billed Parrotlet
Pacific Parrotlet
Yellow Faced Parrotlet

Peach Faced Lovebird
Masked Lovebird
Fischer's Lovebird
Lilian's (Nyasa) Lovebird
Black Cheeked Lovebird
Madagascar Lovebird
Abyssinian Lovebird
Red Faced Lovebird
Swindern's Lovebird

Lories and Lorikeets:
Rainbow Lorikeet

Sun Conure
Jenday Conure
Cherry Headed Conure
Blue Crowned Conure
Mitred Conure
Patagonian Conure
Green Cheeked Conure
Nanday Conure

Black Headed Caique
White Bellied Caique

Poicephalus Parrots:
Senegal Parrot
Meyer's Parrot
Red Bellied Parrot
Brown Headed Parrot
Jardine's Parrot
Cape Parrot
Ruppell's Parrot

Eclectus Parrot

African Greys:
Congo African Grey (CAG)
Timneh African Grey (TAG)

Blue Fronted Amazon
Yellow Naped Amazon
Yellow Headed Amazon
Orange Winged Amazon
Yellow Crowned Amazon

Galah (Rose Breasted) Cockatoo
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Umbrella Cockatoo
Moluccan Cockatoo
Bare Eyed Cockatoo
Goffin's Cockatoo

Red Shouldered (Hahn's) Macaw
Severe Macaw
Blue And Gold Macaw
Blue Throated Macaw
Military Macaw
Red Fronted Macaw
Scarlet Macaw
Green Winged Macaw
Hyacinth Macaw

Glossary of Common Parrot Terms

How to Teach Parrot to Break Open Large Nuts

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By Michael Sazhin

Friday September 10th, 2010

The first time I heard that someone else's Senegal Parrot could crack almonds, I was simply astonished. It just did not seem to me by the look of that beak that a Senegal could take an entire almond shell in its beak and snap it in half like a nut cracker. Likewise I was surprised that my Cape Parrot with quite a suitably sized beak for the job couldn't crack almonds either. Read on to find out how I taught both of my parrots to crack almonds on their own and how my Cape Parrot can even crack open a walnut now.

At first though I could give the parrots a nut and they would play a little bit but then eventually discard it. They were not motivated to spend a lot of effort chewing the nut because they were unaware of the fantastic reward inside. This is where I needed to provide some help.

Parrots eating peanuts

I learned that baby parrots do not come with the knowledge required to just break open a nut so some assistance is required on our part. The first step is to introduce the parrot to the food within the shell itself. By letting the parrot play with it, it will quickly realize that it tastes good and want more. The next step is to let the parrot play with the shell. Parrots are destructive and naturally enjoy breaking things so no doubt they will enjoy chewing up the shell itself. Use a nutcracker to break a nut and just give the shell to the parrot to experiment with.

Next start introducing the parrot to the concept that there is a tasty nut inside of the shell and it requires breaking open. At first try to break the nut directly in half and let the parrot eat the nut out of the half shell. Once it is has figured this out, you should be able to crack the nut progressively less and less until you no longer need to crack it at all. When introducing your parrot to its first uncracked nut, try to find the smallest one possible and that has some defects pre existent in the shell (such as small chips/cracks). If the parrot can succeed at breaking an easier nut on its own, it will be more motivated to spend long spans of time working on the difficult ones.

It turns out that my Senegal Parrot can crack open an almond and my Cape Parrot can even crack open a walnut. I realized that they do it somewhat differently than a nutcracker. Instead the parrots learn to chew open a hole in one side of the nut and then use the tip of their beak to scoop out the nut from inside or chew the hole wider. This is why parrots can still eat a nut that would otherwise seem too large to break with their beak. So go ahead and give it a try and just make sure that the parrot continues being rewarded all along the way.

This process probably happens naturally in the wild. Young parrots learn about nuts and difficult to reach foods by watching other parrots eating them. Furthermore the juveniles can find leftovers discarded by older parrots and nibble out what's left from the shells cracked by adults. We can simulate this same process by letting them watch us consume nuts and pre-cracking some for them to try.
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Trained Parrot is a blog about how to train tricks to all parrots and parakeets. Read about how I teach tricks to Truman the Brown Necked Cape Parrot including flight recall, shake, wave, nod, turn around, fetch, wings, and play dead. Learn how you can train tricks to your Parrot, Parrotlet, Parakeet, Lovebird, Cockatiel, Conure, African Grey, Amazon, Cockatoo or Macaw. This blog is better than books or DVDs because the information is real, live, and completely free of charge. If you want to know how to teach your parrot tricks then you will enjoy this free parrot training tutorial.
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