Looking Out for Parrots

How can we keep parrots safe? Scientists are making tests. The tests tell if a bird is wild or not.

One test looks at parrot feathers. It shows what a parrot eats. This tells where it comes from.

Protecting parrots works. Here’s an example. Once, there were only 13 Puerto Rican parrots in the wild. Scientists bred them in breeding centers. Now, hundreds of these birds live in breeding centers and in the wild.

Scientists will keep looking for solutions. They know parrots are worth protecting.

What Can You Do to Help?


Think twice before buying a bird.

Make sure this is the right kind of pet for you.


If you already have a pet bird, give it a good life.

Play with your parrot.


Support groups helping birds, like these:

• World Parrot Trust

• Parrots International

• Wild Bird Trust

• BirdLife International


Learn more!

Start here:
• humanesociety.org
• avianwelfare.org
• cites.org


Spread the word.

green‑cheeked conures

Alex, the African Gray

Irene Pepperberg is a scientist. She studies the way animals learn. In 1976, she bought an African gray parrot. She named him Alex. She wanted to teach him a few words.

Alex learned more than 100 words. He also created new words of his own!

He could describe objects, shapes, and colors. He could do math. Alex also understood concepts such as none, same/different, and bigger/smaller.

Alex proved to the world that “birdbrains” can be pretty bright after all.