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Parrots is a order birds that includes about 350 species. They are usually grouped into two families: the Cacatuidae (cockatoo), and the Psittacidae (parrots), but one may find many variations, some sources divide parrots into three families. (The term "true parrot" is not used by the majority of bird keepers, biologists and lay people and is a source of confusion. It is often easier to say "Family Psittacidae" to refer to this group.)Parrots can be found in most warm regions of the world, including India, southeast Asia, Souther regions of North America, South America and west Africa. By far the greatest number of parrot species come from Australasia, South America, and Central America. No parrot's natural range currently extends into the United States, although the Carolina Parakeet and Thick-billed Parrot once ranged into southern states.

Studies with captive birds have given us insight into which birds are the most intelligent. While parrots have the distinction of being able to mimic human speech, studies with the African Grey Parrot have shown that some are able to associate words with their meanings and form simple sentences (see Alex and N'kisi). Along with crows, ravens, and jays (family Corvidae), parrots are considered the most intelligent of birds.