Many volumes could be filled with what has been written on bird nutrition. Unfortunately, these are rarely based on sound scientific research. The sad truth is that nobody knows exactly what constitutes a complete diet for many bird species. This is compounded by the diverse nature of the birds, in that there are differences among species both in behavior and their natural history. It is probably truthful to say that they don’t all have the same requirements.
There are many other factors that influence avian nutrition in captivity, including maintenance in a foreign climate, breeding status vs. pet and other environmental stresses.
Three facts are true about the nutrition of the parrots particularly:
- None of these birds would, in the wild, eat a diet of high oil seeds (sunflower, safflower, peanuts, etc.).
- The use of oil seeds as the foundation of a bird’s diet leads to nutritional deficiencies and eventually death.
- Typically birds that live to an older age eat a wide variety of foods, often eating from the table with their owners