Are you looking for a partner for your parrot? Interesting! Do you also wonder “can parrots mate with other birds if I keep them together?” You will get all the answers here. Let’s see.
Parrots are a large species. They are also the most common bird to pet around the world. A few parrot owners may be concerned that keeping two parrots in the same cage might cause them to breed. While some are eager to let their parrot breed and create new kinds of species.
Nevertheless, it is not as straightforward as it may seem. There are a lot of things to consider before you let your parrot breed with other parrots or different birds. Let’s know more about whether parrots can crossbreed or not.
Can Parrots Crossbreed?
The answer to this question is sometimes. Some parrots can crossbreed while others can’t. Parrots exist in around 360 different species, which is a lot.
More often than not, parrots need to find other parrots of the same genus to mate with and have offspring with. But some parrots can crossbreed with other birds and create hybrids. Mixing different types of birds creates very interesting color patterns and behavior. But the hybrids of the same genus may have a slightly better and healthy lifestyle.
In simple words, if two birds are too genetically different then they can’t interbreed.
What is a Hybrid Parrot?
A hybrid parrot is a parrot whose parents belong to different species. They are exceedingly scarce in nature, but they’re not that rare in captivity.
As you know, all parrots have the same DNA. But this fact alone doesn’t decide if parrots can interbreed or not. There are many things to consider.
Hybrid birds are mainly formed because pet parrots have no other choice but to mate with birds in their vicinity. The main problem that arises here is their captivity and loneliness.
The main downfall of inbreeding and crossbreeding is that the hybrid birds formed by the process are not always fertile and healthy. This may shorten their lifespan.
While in the wild, parrots have a plethora of choices to select their mating partner. Let’s see some main hybrid parrots known.
Some examples of Hybrid Parrots
One example of crossbreed among parrots is that all macaws and lovebirds can crossbreed with other birds. Parrots in the same family but different genera can also sometimes interbreed, like cockatoos and cockatiels. Conures cannot reproduce with budgies since they are extremely different genetically.
- Ruby Macaw – Cross between the Scarlet Macaw and the Green-winged Macaw.
- Sunday conure – Hybrid of the Sun conure and the Jenday Conure.
- Galah-tiel – Cross between a Cockatiel and a Galah Cockatoo.
- Camelot Macaw – Cross between the Scarlet Macaw and the Catalonia Macaw.
- Harlequin Macaw – Hybrid of the Blue and Gold Macaw and the Green-winged Macaw.
There are many such hybrid parrots, but they don’t have any names yet.
Which parrot species can interbreed?
In scientific language, there are approximately 400 different species of parrots which are divided into 5 taxonomic families. Each parrot family has about 92 different genera. Amazing right!
Let’s see some parrots which can interbreed.
- Two Macaws can interbreed producing hybrids. For example, the Harlequin Macaw. Characterized by their calmness and placid nature, they are also very affectionate like other parrots. These qualities are inherited by their parents namely, the Blue and Gold Macaw and Green-winged Macaw.
- A Macaw and a Hyacinth Macaw interbreed to form several hybrid species. One example is the Caloshua Macaw. It is a hybrid of the Blue and Gold Macaw and the Hyacinth Macaw.
- Two Conures from the same family interbreed to form popular hybrids within this genus. Examples are the Sunday Conure (Jenday Conure X Sun Conure) and the Nansun Conure (Nanday Conure X Sun Conure).
- Another possible combination of the same family Conure interbreed is the Green-cheeked Conure X Crimson-bellied Conure.
- Conures from different families can also interbreed. One possible hybrid is Green-cheeked Conure X Sun Conure. However, these hybrid chicks may have health issues.
- Next comes the Cockatoos. Various possibilities are there within the same family. One example of the Cockatoo interbreed is the Galah-tiel.
- Now comes the Lovebirds. They are the most common and popular species of parrots. These cute little birds also interbreed among the same family to produce hybrids. But sadly, these hybrids may not always be fertile.
Disadvantages of Crossbreeding Parrots
Before crossbreeding your parrot, you may want to know about the ill effects of this. But don’t worry, you will clear all your doubts here.
- Crossbreeding on a large scale may result in a lesser diversity among species.
- The mutations occurring as the result of high scale crossbreeding may get out of control and can cause serious genetic mutations.
- The risk of being infected with a disease increases among the parrot hybrids with the same genes. Suppose if a parrot has a disease, then the parrots having the same gene as the infected one, become more vulnerable to that disease.
- If breeders are looking to create some particular traits by cross breeding parrots, then it may be a discomfort for the parrots. Those individual traits produced may damage the parrot’s health or impair them in some way.
- Poor eyesight, infertility, depression, weakness are some of the health problems in hybrids.
- While cross breeding different species, some genes may be lost in the process and can’t be brought back in the gene pool.
There are many things you should consider and take care of before trying to crossbreed your parrot absentmindedly. The breeders should take precautions and should not at any cost, force the parrots to mate.
Finding a new trait in a bird species is not worth it when you know the process might be harmful to the bird.
Yes, parrots can crossbreed, but not all. Go take care of your little friends.