Monday, May 10, 2010

#247 Macedonia...Thanks Simeon!

These two stamps were issued in 2010 featuring Pets-Parrots.

Parrots are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most warm and tropical regions. The order is subdivided in three families: the Psittacidae ('true' parrots), the Cacatuidae (cockatoos) and the Strigopidae (New Zealand parrots). Parrots have a pan-tropical distribution with several species inhabiting the temperate Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is found in South America and Australasia.

Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays and magpies, are some of the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some parrot species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Trapping of wild parrots for the pet trade, as well as other hunting, habitat loss and competition from invasive species, have diminished wild populations, and parrots have been subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds.

Parrots are popular as pets due to their sociable and affectionate nature, intelligence, bright colours, and ability to imitate human voices.Parrots can make excellent companion animals, and can form close, affectionate bonds with their owners. However they invariably require an enormous amount of attention, care and intellectual stimulation to thrive, akin to that required by a three year old child, which many people find themselves unable to provide in the long term. Parrots that are bred for pets may be hand fed or otherwise accustomed to interacting with people from a young age to help ensure they will be tame and trusting. However, parrots are not low maintenance pets; they require feeding, grooming, veterinary care, training, environmental enrichment through the provision of toys, exercise, and social interaction (with other parrots or humans) for good health. Some large parrot species, including large cockatoos, Amazons, and macaws, have very long lifespans with 80 years being reported and record ages of over one hundred. Small parrots, such as lovebirds, hanging parrots, and budgies have shorter life spans of up to 15–20 years. Some parrot species can be quite loud, and many of the larger parrots can be destructive and require a very large cage, and a regular supply of new toys, branches, or other items to chew up. The intelligence of parrots means they are quick to learn tricks and other behaviors—both good and bad—that will get them what they want, such as attention or treats.

The popularity, longevity, and intelligence of many of the larger species of pet parrots has led to many of these birds being re-homed during the course of their long lifespans.

A common problem is that large parrot species which are cuddly and gentle as juveniles will mature into intelligent, complex, often demanding adults that can outlive their owners. Due to these problems, and the fact that homeless parrots are not euthanized like dogs and cats, parrot adoption centers and sanctuaries are becoming more common.

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