Parrot, or Psittacus, L. a very numerous genus of birds, occasionally imported from the East and West-Indies: they are too familiarly known to require any description.
Parrots, in their natural state, build nests in the hollow parts of trees, and their whole deportment much resembles that of apes ; they sneeze, clear the throat, yawn, sigh, and laugh, not unlike human beings ; and, contrary to the custom of all other birds, they skip about by placing the whole foot or heel on the ground. These prattlers inhabit only the warmest climates; are of various sizes, from that of a sparrow to a hen; and often attain, even in captivity, the age of 100 years. They subsist chiefly on fruits and seeds ; but, when tamed, do not refuse flesh, and even fish. Their favourite food consists of sugar, nuts, and bread soaked in wine, to, which they only prefer the seeds of the carthamus, or bastard-saffron ; the latter are exceedingly grateful to their palate, though, when given to other animals, such seeds produce a purgative effect.-Parsley and its seeds are fatal poi-sons to this variegated bird.
In their native climates, parrots are very spirited creatures ; but, •when domesticated, they often become peevish, and lose their peculiar sprightliness. When confined in cages, they are subject to frequent fits of the epileptic kind, to which they at length fall victims ; unless relieved by a warm and dry temperature, as well as the frequent enjoyment of fresh country-air; for the smoke and cold of winter in towns equally tend to shorten their lives.