It’s possible to understand why pirate ships would keep a cat as a pet, to catch any mice or rats on board, but why would a pirate want a parrot?
However, there are many logical reasons for keeping a parrot.
They don’t eat a lot, a very good thing if there is little food left on the boat.
They aren’t very big, so if there isn’t much food on board the crew won’t try to eat them.
They like people, so they won’t attack the crew.
They can be taught tricks, a great way to pass time on those long boring cruises.
They can keep you company, even if what they say is sometimes not the right thing.
They can talk, which makes them seem smarter than your average pet.
They make you look important, after all how many talking parrots are there at sea?
They were worth a lot of money, no wonder every pirate wanted one.
Pirates probably got their parrots from the wild, off of uninhabited islands they visited or they stole them in the same way they stole gold and jewels.
There are over 300 different species of parrots across the world, ranging from 7.5 cms (3 inches) in height to a metre (33 inches). However the favourite parrot species of the pirates was the Macaw. Highly intelligent birds, that love nothing more than being taught tricks and learning to speak, these medium to large parrots are native to Africa and South America and can live for up to 30 years.
All in all an ideal companion for a pirate who spends most of his life at sea.