There are some 35 to 45 million pet birds in the United States. Modern bird owners are continuing a pet bird tradition that goes back at least 4,000 years to the ancient Egyptians, who are often credited with keeping the first pet birds. The ancient Chinese are known to have kept pheasants. From writings dating back almost 3,000 years, we know that both Persians and Indians kept parrots and other birds as pets, as did the ancient Greeks. Aristotle studied and wrote about his pet bird, Psittace. The name of Aristotle’s bird is the root of the scientific name for all parrots, Psittacine. The Alexandrine parakeet is named for Alexander the Great; tradition has it that one of Alexander’s generals granted him one of these birds as a gift following the invasion of northern India in 327 a.d.