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Birds have been kept by people for thousands of years. Most historians believe that birds began being kept as companions about four thousand years ago. Today millions of people keep birds as pets. Virtually all pet birds are of three breeds; parrots, finches, and doves (pigeons).

There are 315 colorful species of parrot. All parrots have large heads, short necks, strong feet with two toes in front and two in back, and strong, thick bills, with the larger hooked upper mandible. Their upper mandibles are hinged to the bones of the head. They like to eat seeds and fruits. [view breeders]
Finches are the largest family of birds. Finches are found in most parts of the world except Australia. Finches have stout, conical bills that they use to crack open the seeds. Finches are considered the most highly developed all birds. They are classified into three groups. One group is those with small, triangular bills, such as the canary, sparrow, bunting, towhee, junco, chaffinch, bullfinch, and goldfinch). A second group is those with thick, rounded bills, as the grosbeak and cardinal. The last group is the crossbills, rose-colored northern birds. [view breeders]
Smaller members of the pigeon family are often referred to as Doves. The names dove and pigeon can be used interchangeably. [view breeders]