Parrots are birds, they can fly with no difficulties as this ability come naturally to them, most parrots will fly at 2 months old, some of them won’t get the chance to learn how to fly and may lose this ability forever, especially in captivity.
However, in the wild, parrots fly daily. They fly for food, looking for new areas to settle, and for breeding. They may fly just out of boredom.
And in this article I will try my best to answer a few questions about the parrots flying ability, How far can parrots fly, how fast can parrots fly, and how high can parrots fly.
And without further ado, let’s dive into this:
Table of Contents
How High Can Parrots Fly?
Parrots’ family members are all able to fly, except the flightless Kakapo parrot, who lost his ability to fly thousands of years ago.
But unlike the Ruppell’s griffon vulture (the highest flying bird) that can fly as high as 37.000 feet. parrots do not reach this height.
There are 3 major reasons for that. 1 is that most parrots do not migrate from one area to another. Migration can force birds to fly as high as 28.000 feet, just like what we see with bar-headed geese.
2 is that parrots are not predators, they don’t need to fly to these heights to hunt or to expand their eyesight for food. what parrots eat is mostly in trees and in the ground. Therefore, parrots do not need to fly this high.
3 is that flying high can increase the risk of getting preyed on by hawks, eagles, and many more flying predators that usually fly high to increase their eyesight looking for food.
Are parrots able to reach these heights?, the answer is no, parrots can not reach altitudes like Ruppell’s griffon vulture or the bar-headed goose.
So, How high parrots can fly?. Most Parrots fly relatively low, they won’t exceed 1000 to 3000 feet unless they are migrating for long distances. At that time, parrots can reach a height of 8.000 to 10.000 feet. However, not all parrots migrate. The migratory parrots are few, and they are the orange-bellied, blue-winged, and swift parrots.
And to be honest, there are no dedicated studies about how high parrots can fly, especially since they are not a migrating species, and there are a lot of parrot breeds.
But if you are asking about what is the highest-flying parrot, the answer would be the Corella parrots, although they are not a migratory breed, they can fly in flocks up to 10.000 feet high. They are native to Australia, and they fly at this height from the grasslands to forest trees looking for food.
How Fast Can Parrots Fly?
The speed of flying parrots can differ clearly, depending on the size of the parrot, and the breed more precisely, smaller parrots like parrotlets, lovebirds, or even budgies fly slower than the bigger breeds.
Bigger breeds have bigger wings and wider wingspans. For example, macaws can have a wingspan of 45 inches.
So, the wider the wingspan, the faster the parrots can fly, and the fastest parrot can reach a speed of 50 miles per hour and only that.
So parrots are not fast flyers like the Peregrine falcon that reach a flying speed of 200 miles per hour when diving steeply in the air.
How Far Can Parrots Fly?
The farther distance parrots can fly is 150 in one flight, the Orange-bellied Parrots Hold this record. They migrate twice a year from mainland Australia to Tasmania.
The distance is around 300 miles, but they rest on king island almost halfway. Over a period of a few days, they reach their destination.
Besides that, researchers have radio-tracked swift-flying Thick-billed Parrots on a non-stop flight of 100km, and Spring migration flights have covered 320km in one day. However, this is not always the case with Thick-billed parrots.
Other than that, non-migratory bigger breeds of parrots fly farther miles per day than the smaller breeds, precisely African greys, amazons, macaws, and cockatoos.
They can fly as far as 50 miles per day looking for food. They need to rest every 10-15 miles, though. And if they couldn’t find something to eat, they’ll probably fly to reach a distance of 100 miles away from the point they start.
Smaller breeds of parrot fly only 15 miles per day.
Do Parrots Like to Fly?
It’s like asking, do we like to walk, and the answer differs from one person to another. Some people find walking very entertaining and some of them will say no, setting on the couch talking or watching Tv is more entertaining than walking.
However, flying for parrots is instinctual. They have wings; they can fly built-in with their bodies. But do they actually like flying?.
Well, the answer depends on the circumstances they have. For example, parrots in the wild can fly whenever they want, and most probably they won’t enjoy flying because, to your knowledge, flying can be very exhausting for parrots. So they may enjoy observing the forest from a high branch.
Imagine a parrot that can fly (he learned how to fly) setting all the time inside his cage with no interaction or mate to accompany him.
Well, the answer is obvious. Of course, he will love to fly around exploring and exercising his wings.
Other than that, parrots actually need to fly. They need to fly to find food, find a mate, or a good nesting tree to have babies and raise them. Even the pet parrots need to fly, at least for exercising.
Are Parrots Good at Flying?
Birds are the perfect creatures built for flying. Most birds can make sharp maneuvers in the middle of the air with no difficulties.
But for parrots, it’s not necessarily the case, yes they can fly and glide and all of that. But, the skill level differs from one breed to another, and, for example, African greys are not the best flying parrot. So are Macaws and cockatoos.
Smaller breeds of parrots are most likely to develop advanced levels of flying skills.
But in their natural habitats, parrots show another amazing feature they use routinely, which is climbing.
From one branch to another, parrots won’t spread their wings and fly to it, instead they would use their beaks and strong claws to climb reaching the branch that contains more food or the one they laid their eggs in.
In conclusion, knowing the answers to these questions is quite difficult, because you are talking about a lot of parrots breeds, and every breed needs an independent study to determine the answers.
for example, the Rappell’s griffon vulture flying height was determined after one collided with an airplane at 37.000 feet high.
So we can say that this flying height of Rappell’s griffon vulture was actually determined by coincidence, and maybe in the future, we can find answers.
The same also goes for the speed and the distances parrots can fly. There are no precise studies to answer these questions. And yes, that is about it. I hope you find this article helpful and informative.