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Pet Birds Trivia Questions and Answers

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Related Questions & Answers:   Other Domestic Animals    Wild Birds    Specific Bird Species    Wild Birds UK    Pet Rodents    Birds for Kids (Animals for Kids)   Birdwatching / Birdfeeding   

1. Many years ago I knew a pair of the longest and heaviest flying parrots in the world. Samson and Delilah were the most beautiful shade of blue and, as a breeding pair, worth rather a lot of money. What type of parrot were they?


Answer: Hyacinth macaw

Interesting Information:
The hyacinth macaw is over 3 ft (100 cm) long from head to tail and is a deep shade of blue. They have yellow rings around the eyes and a yellow strip of skin either side of their black beaks. If you are lucky enough to get close to the birds, you will see that there is a subtle change in the colour of their feathers and are paler on the head, gradually darkening towards the tail.

Although prices vary over the years, a breeding pair of hyacinth macaws will cost several tens of thousands of pounds (30,000 in 2008). Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Parrots That I Have Known
 
Some incorrect choices:
Blue macaw, Gerald's macaw, Soldier macaw

2. What is the Quaker's other common name?


Answer: Monk Parakeet

Interesting Information:
They are called the Monk parakeet for the pale feathers on top of their heads which looks like a monk's tonsure. There are several explanations for why they are called Quakers, possibly for the sounds they make, possibly for the scalloped ruff on their upper breasts bearing a resemblance to an old-fashioned Quaker neck cloth. No one is certain. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Quaker Parrot
 
Some incorrect choices:
Kamudas Parakeet, Junipers Parakeet, Argentine Shouting Parrot

3. What does the term "budgerigar" mean?


Answer: good to eat

Interesting Information:
The correct choice was "good to eat." The native Australians caught budgies and ate them, thinking they were quite tasty. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: A Quiz About Budgerigars
 
Some incorrect choices:
little parrot, Australian parrot, grass bird

4. Parrots belong to which taxonomic order?


Answer: Psittaciformes

Interesting Information:
Though some are close to extinction, there are currently around 350 living species in the order Psittaciformes. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Parrots of the World
 
Some incorrect choices:
Echnidodermata, Passeriformes, Sittidae

5. What part of a sun conure is zygodactyl?


Answer: feet

Interesting Information:
A sun conure is a bird in the parrot family. Their zygodactyl feet are perfect for climbing and gripping. This is great because sun conures love to climb and gripping helps keep them from falling off branches, toys, and other sticks. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Sun Conures
 
Some incorrect choices:
beak, wings, stomach

6. Through what body part do African grey parrots make their words and sounds?


Answer: through the hole under their jaw

Interesting Information:
African grey parrots can make an amazing range of sounds, including mimicking animal sounds, sounds such as doorbells and telephones, and mimicking individual voices. Their own natural "voice" has a somewhat mechanical sound to it.
When I come to visit, Emma says, "Hi, Em" and "Hi, Emma" in my voice, and makes a clicking sound that I make to her when I ask her if she wants a kiss. She only does this when I'm there. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Share the Fun with African Grey Parrots
 
Some incorrect choices:
through their beak, through their nostrils, none of these

7. Where does the name 'canary' come from?


Answer: Canary Islands

Interesting Information:
Canaries gain their name from the Canary Islands, but they can be found on several other island groups e.f. Azores, Madeira. The name Canary is Latin for "of the dogs" and this name came about due to the islanders having many dogs or "canines". Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Canaries- Feathered Minstrels
 
Some incorrect choices:
Yellow Sea, The Gold Coast, Crete

8. Sometimes my parrot crouches down low on his perch, stretches his neck out in one direction, and flutters his wings. What does he want to do?


Answer: Go somewhere

Interesting Information:
This is the posture parrots take when they're about to fly. For a wing-clipped parrot, it usually indicates that they want to be taken somewhere in the direction they're stretching out their neck. I call it the "birdie divining rod"! Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Why Does My Parrot Do That?
 
Some incorrect choices:
Be fed, Go to sleep, Take a bath

9. When you put a paper bag in a male's cage for him to play in and he attacks you if you get too close afterward, what behavior does it mean you have stimulated?


Answer: Nesting Aggression

Interesting Information:
It's just nesting aggression. To alleviate this problem, remove the bag. A cockatiel is perfectly capable of nesting in a hole as big as a man's fist, so remove any holes you may see of this size if aggression continues. My male usually goes through these behaviors in the summer breeding season, and will attack my female as well as a nearby hand. (I don't allow my birds to mate) Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Cockatiel Behavior Quirks and Problems
 
Some incorrect choices:
Happiness, Displaced Aggression, Wild Behavior

10. What genus does the cape parrot belong in?


Answer: Poicephalus

Interesting Information:
Poicephalus means varied-colored head, something that fits these birds very well. Even though it is green, the Cape does not belong with the Amazons (amazona); Brotogeris is the canary-winged, tovi and grey-cheeked parakeet genus, and Psittacus is the African Grey. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Cape Parrots
 
Some incorrect choices:
Brotogeris, Amazona, Psittacus

11. The Goldcheek cockatiel is very similar, if not identical, to what other mutation?


Answer: U.K. Pastelface

Interesting Information:
Goldcheeks are currently quite new and rare. They are a mousy brown color (the oil helps them absorb vitamin D, which is good for the plumage. Goldcheeks don't have oil.), have peachy colored cheeks, a bit of yellow on the face, and some whitish spots upon the head. My female is a goldcheek. This is almost definitely a sex-linked breed, every single one I've seen (both in person and in pictures, and through owners) has been female. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Cockatiel Color Mutations
 
Some incorrect choices:
Lutino, Charcoal, Australian Platinum

12. What color are wild Australian budgerigars (parakeets)?


Answer: green

Interesting Information:
Green parakeets are the color of wild parakeets, but breeders have produced budgies in many colors and shades, from white to turquoise to periwinkle. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Some Budgie Questions
 
Some incorrect choices:
blue, albino (white), lutino (yellow)

13. What physical characteristic indicates the gender of a budgie?


Answer: the colour around the nostrils

Interesting Information:
If the area around the nostrils (referred to as the cere) is pinkish-brown, it's a female and if the cere is purple or blue, the bird is a male. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Budgies (Parakeets)
 
Some incorrect choices:
the length of the tail, the pitch of the tweet, the size of the head

14. When I met George the first time, she said "Hello". Which female parrot, with a continental name, was wrongly sexed as a chick?


Answer: African grey

Interesting Information:
There are only two sure ways to sex a parrot. The best is to have them DNA tested and the other is to wait for the parrot to do what George did, and that is to lay an egg.

The African grey is thought to be one of the most intelligent parrot species and, like all larger parrots, can live to a very old age. Living sixty years in captivity is not unusual. The grey feathers are lighter around the eyes and legs and they have a red tail.

George was not a great talker, but her range of sounds was brilliant. She would copy the time pips on the radio and often had me rushing to answer the telephone. Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Parrots That I Have Known
 
Some incorrect choices:
Australian grey, European grey, American grey

15. What is the scientific name for a sun conure?


Answer: Aratinga solstitialis

Interesting Information:
Sun conures have very colorful feathers that include the colors yellow, orange, red, green, and blue. Every sun conure varies in color. The younger sun conures are mostly green because their feathers have not matured yet. The colors will change as the sun conure ages. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Sun Conures
 
Some incorrect choices:
Ara ararauna, Cardinalis cardinalis, Zenaida macroura

16. Softbills are especially vulnerable to which disease?


Answer: Iron storage disease

Interesting Information:
In iron storage disease, aka "hemochromatosis," excess iron is stored in various body tissues, including the liver, heart, lungs, and other organs, which damages them and eventually causes the death of the bird. Iron storage disease is poorly understood, but feeding a diet low in iron seems to be a good idea. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Toucans, Touracos, and Mynahs
 
Some incorrect choices:
Macaw wasting disease, Psittacine beak and feather disease, West Nile virus

17. Whenever I put my lory on my shoulder, he tries to stick his tongue in my ear. Why does he do that?


Answer: It looks like a flower

Interesting Information:
Lories and lorikeets have specialized "brush-tongues" for extracting nectar and pollen from flowers. In fact, most of their diet in the wild consists of nectar from flowering trees. He probably thinks your ear is a flower, and is trying to get at the nectar!
I actually don't recommend keeping any parrot larger than a budgie on your shoulder. There's something you always notice about pirates: They always have a parrot on their shoulder, and they always have an eyepatch! Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Why Does My Parrot Do That?
 
Some incorrect choices:
He's an audiologist, To bite you, He's bored

18. What is the Quaker parrot's scientific name?


Answer: Myiopsitta monachus

From Quiz: Quacky Quakers
 
Some incorrect choices:
Podicipedidae ruficollis, Sula variegana, Polysticia hyemalia

19. What is the name of the other, rarer subspecies of grey? Congo is one, what's the other?


Answer: Timneh

Interesting Information:
Timnehs are smaller than Congos, they have a light part on their upper mandible, they are darker, and they have maroon tails, as opposed to the Congo's red. If you said "Angola", "Ghana" or "Togo", those aren't subspecies. Those are local variations. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: African Grey Parrots

20. Which sex at maturity usually has a lovely coral-colored patch on the head?


Answer: Female

Interesting Information:
Females of the species are usually prettier than males, an exception to the avian rule. Unlike the South American parrots who are not sexually dimorphic, Capes usually are, with females generally having more color on the face. The patch in males is either absent, or tiny and disappears with maturity. This is NOT a way to tell between male and female, they are not ALWAYS dimorphic. I've never seen an adult female without one, but I have seen immature males with a very large coral crown area, or an adolescent female without a patch. This comes back at maturity. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Cape Parrots

21. The lutino cockatiel inherits this deformity through its parents and the majority of lutinos have it. What is it?


Answer: Baldness

Interesting Information:
Any cockatiel can inherit these, but the lutino is particularly known for it. Lutinos are yellow with red eyes. Lutinos are sex-linked recessive, and they are almost definite females. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Cockatiel Color Mutations
 
Some incorrect choices:
Splayed hips, Wing deformities, Lack of oil

22. Parrot experts would have us believe that it is only the males that can talk, which may explain why Captain, an Indonesian parrot, was misnamed. What breed is this delicately coloured white and salmon pink bird?


Answer: Goffin's cockatoo

Interesting Information:
Also known as the Tanimbar corella, the parrots appear to be white with salmon spots on the cheeks. Upon closer inspection, Captain was actually very pale pink in places with darker feathers on the face, crest and tail. If kept in pairs the sexes are easier to see as the females are slightly smaller than the males. Captain used to call out her name to me in greeting. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Parrots That I Have Known
 
Some incorrect choices:
Pink lady, Crested macaw, African pink

23. What is their Latin binomial?


Answer: Myiopsitta monachus

Interesting Information:
The latin name just means 'monk parakeet', which is something of an opportunity wasted.
The other three names also belong to South American parrots; Brotogeris tirica is the plain parakeet, a near relative of the quaker. Bolborhynchus orbygnesius is the Andean parakeet, and Pionus fuscus is the dusky pionus. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Quaker Parrot
 
Some incorrect choices:
Brotogeris tirica, Bolborhynchus orbygnesius, Pionus fuscus

24. Parrots in this group are small cousins of the macaw and include nandays, blue-crown and cherry-heads.


Answer: conures

Interesting Information:
Conures are a popular and varied group of parrots that range in sizes that are as small as a parakeet to slightly smaller than an Amazon. They are found in Central and South America. Cherry-headed conures, native to Ecuador and Peru, form the largest part of the feral parrot population in San Francisco. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Parrots of the World
 
Some incorrect choices:
amazons, cockatiels, senegals

25. Emma loves to have lots of toys in her cage. Which type of wood is best for a perch?


Answer: all of these

Interesting Information:
Emma also loves shiny toys, and perches covered with different types of cloth and rope. African grey parrots are wary of new things, so introduce new toys gradually. It is important, however, to periodically vary toys and cage decorations, to stimulate your pet. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Share the Fun with African Grey Parrots
 
Some incorrect choices:
fir, willow, alder

26. In the spring and summer, my parrot always takes over one of my cabinets, shoving everything out and spending long hours sitting in it. I don't mind that. But why does she try to chase me away whenever I walk by?


Answer: She thinks of it as her nest site

Interesting Information:
In the spring, female parrots can become hormonal. Longer days mean it's the breeding season, and so they should act accordingly-- by trying to find a mate and a nest site. Any dark and semi-enclosed area can apply.

It's not a good idea to let them take possession of their new "nest." They can be very territorial, and your parrot's attempts to chase you away could escalate into severe bites. Also, the darkness stimulates egg-laying, a health risk you probably don't want your parrot to take unless you want her to breed. Difficulty: Very Easy.

From Quiz: Why Does My Parrot Do That?
 
Some incorrect choices:
It's her new favorite toy, You didn't need the cabinet anyway, You need to remodel the kitchen

27. Quaker parrots are native to which geographic location?


Answer: South America

Interesting Information:
The origin of Quaker parakeets ranges in South America from Paraguay, Uraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and in to parts of Brazil. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Quacky Quakers
 
Some incorrect choices:
Australia, Mexico, Africa

28. What is the name of the famous grey (the first and oldest of the three), known for being able to identify color, material, shape, and more? Dr. Irene Pepperberg is his companion.


Answer: Alex

Interesting Information:
Grif and Kyo are the other two. Zimmy is my grey, who I adopted as a previously-owned bird. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: African Grey Parrots
 
Some incorrect choices:
Grif, Kyo, Zimmy

29. Which color will a cape parrot NOT have on its head?


Answer: Blue

Interesting Information:
I've seen capes with all these colors except blue. I don't believe that these birds can produce blue pigments. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Cape Parrots
 
Some incorrect choices:
Yellow, Orange, Grey

30. Which cockatiel mutation inherits a lack of oil from its preen (uropygial) gland?


Answer: Goldcheek

Interesting Information:
This deformity prevents the bird from being waterproof and gives the feathers a different texture. They also can't absorb vitamin D as well as a normal bird. I believe that this breed also inherits a deformity which prevents wing and tail feathers from growing back properly. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Cockatiel Color Mutations
 
Some incorrect choices:
Lutino, Silver, Cinnamon

31. What color is the cere (the area above the beak) of most male budgies?


Answer: blue

Interesting Information:
When parakeets are young, both the male and female cere are beige or pink. They change color as they age. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Some Budgie Questions
 
Some incorrect choices:
beige, pink, brown

32. Budgies were first brought to the UK as pets in which century?


Answer: Nineteenth

Interesting Information:
Most sources give 1840 as the first year budgies were seen in Britain, with the first breeding from them dating from the 1850s. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Budgies (Parakeets)
 
Some incorrect choices:
Fifteenth, Seventeenth, Twentieth

33. Which small, mostly green, South American parrot usually lives in flocks and can be see as far apart as Argentina, Los Angeles, Florida and Israel?


Answer: Nanday conure

Interesting Information:
Also known as the nanday parakeet and the black-hooded parakeet, the nanday conure that I met was a happy little bird. To call Peter green is to do him a dis-service. Although small, he is as brightly coloured as his larger cousins. He wears a cap of black feathers, scarlet feathers on his legs, blue feathers on his chest and several different shades of green over his body.

The various flocks in USA and Israel are thought to have bred from released pet birds. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Parrots That I Have Known
 
Some incorrect choices:
Green cockatoo, Emerald macaw, Phillip's parakeet

34. Where is the Quaker's native range?


Answer: Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil

Interesting Information:
Quakers prefer a more temperate climate than their bigger South American cousins, and were originally found in these areas. They have expanded their range in recent years into Chile, Paraguay and Bolivia - they are hardy enough to survive in cold climates, even snow!
Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Quaker Parrot
 
Some incorrect choices:
Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, Southern and Central United States, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic

35. Where do wild budgies lay their eggs?


Answer: in tree holes

Interesting Information:
Budgies lay their eggs in tree holes, usually to protect their eggs and young from predators. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: A Quiz About Budgerigars
 
Some incorrect choices:
in budgie-made nests, none of these, on the ground

36. What percentage of a Quaker's diet should be table food and pellets?


Answer: 80-90%

Interesting Information:
80-90% of a Quaker's diet should be pellets and table food. A main diet of pellets
supplemented with fresh food is very healthy. The more variety you offer your Quaker, the better, such as (adding with pellets) fruits, vegetables, breads, and grains. A fruit juice can also be substituted for water when it benefits your bird. Birds are, for the most part, lactose intolerant so giving them large doses of dairy can prove to be "uncomfortable" for your pet. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Quacky Quakers
 
Some incorrect choices:
20-40%, 40-60%, 60-80%

37. Does the male or female grey have the squared-off head, as opposed to the oval head?


Answer: Male

Interesting Information:
Even at hatching, their heads are very different in appearance. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: African Grey Parrots

38. When a cockatiel wags his tail like a dog, what might it NOT mean?


Answer: "I'm thirsty"

Interesting Information:
A thirsty cockatiel displays similar behaviors to a hungry one, running its beak over flat surfaces. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Cockatiel Behavior Quirks and Problems
 
Some incorrect choices:
"I'm happy", "My tail is out of place", "That was interesting"

39. Cape parrots have undergone a taxonomic reclassification. Which cape is the only TRUE cape now? Fusicollis, Suahelicus, or Robustus?


Answer: Robustus

Interesting Information:
There supposedly aren't any Robustus capes (Poicephalus robustus robustus) in the U.S. I have a Suahelicus (Poicephalus fusicollis suahelicus, formerly Poicephalus robustus suahelicus). The most commonly kept subspecies is the Fusicollis (P. fusicollis fusicollis, formerly P. r. fusicollis), but Suahelicus capes occasionally turn up. Of course, it's rare that you'd even find a cape! There are only about 500 in captivity and 350 in the wild. :( Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Cape Parrots

40. Which vulnerable status, mainly green, parrot has a distinctive red patch on the forehead?


Answer: Tucuman Amazon

Interesting Information:
Freddy, the Tucuman Amazon was a domineering, medium sized (12 inches/31 cm) parrot. A short tailed, solid looking bird with a few red feathers on the wings who was fiercely independent. My friend rescued him as a young bird and only got to hold him properly thirty years later in the latter stage of his final illness. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Parrots That I Have Known
 
Some incorrect choices:
Red-headed cockatoo, Red-fronted parrot, Amazonian red-headed parrot
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