Do parrots have taste buds? © Getty Images

Do parrots have taste buds?

Generally, birds have a less developed sense of taste than humans, but they still need a way to avoid poisonous foods.

Asked by: Kerry Russell, by email

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Yes, but not many. Parrots’ taste buds are found in the back of their throats and on their tongues and, like ours, can distinguish sweet, sour, bitter and salt. But whereas humans have about 9000 taste buds, parrots have only about 350. Many birds need to be able to taste bitter so as to avoid poisonous foods, but only a few, such as parrots and hummingbirds, can taste sweetness.


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