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Poicephalus Parrots

pic poicephalus meyers
Brown headed Parrot Red bellied Parrot Ruppels Parrot Red fronted Parrot
Yellow fronted Parrot Senegal Parrot WPT Cape Parrot Brown necked Parrot
pic poicephalus

There are nine species of Poicephalus parrots but only four species are commonly kept as pets: the Meyer's Parrot, Senegal Parrot, Red-bellied Parrot and Brown-headed Parrot.

Physically, Poicephalus parrots are considered a medium sized parrot.  They have stocky bodies, large heads and beaks and short tails.

Poicephalus parrots are often described as easy-going,affectionate, playful and curious.  Although they do need daily interaction they also can be independent and entertain themselves if provided proper enrichment and lots of toys to chew.

These medium sized parrots are not as noisy as many other parrot species and they prefer a quiet home environment.  Given proper socialization they can bond to the entire household and make excellent pets and loyal friends.  Poicephalus parrots are also intelligent and can often learn to talk and perform tricks.

poicephalus mapPoicephalus parrots are native to the African continent. Their habitat is characterized as open woodlands and savannas.

This species diet cinsists of fruits, leaf buds, and seed.  They are also considered to be agricultural pests due to their fondness for corn and millet crops.

Poicephalus parrots nest in tree hollows.

Many of the Poicephalus species are threatened by illegal trapping activities for resale to the pet trade.

The Cape Parrot population is significantly threatened by Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD).  Sadly, as of 2010, there were only an estimated 1200 Cape Parrots remaining in the wild.


View a video of the critically endangered Cape Parrot:
Poicephalus meyerii
Source: Xeno-canto

Listen to Meyer's Parrots in the wild:

View a video of Meyer's Parrots:

Source: The Internet Bird Collection

View a video of Senegal Parrots:

Source:The Internet Bird Collection

To see more pictures and obtain information about individual Poicephalus species click on the links below:


Life Span:

25 - 40 yrs.


8 - 13" (21 - 34 cm)


3.5 - 12 oz. (100 - 330 grams)



  • Poicephalus, derived from Ancient Greek, means "made up entirely of head". Indeed, the birds in the Poicephalus species seem to have large heads and beaks relative to their body size.
  • The only color you don't find on a Poicephalus parrot is blue.
  • The Zulu name for the endangered Cape Parrot is "uPholi"
  • Poicephalus parrots have been featured on postage stamps by several countries including Guinea,Chad and Cambodia:


stamp Poicephalus stamp Poicephalus2 stamp Poicephalus3

  • Gambia has featured the Senegal Parrot on a 100 Gambian Dalasis banknote: 
  • banknote senegal

  • Do a Cape Parrot jigsaw puzzle.
  • Take a quiz about Poicephalus parrots.
  • Print a Poicephalus coloring page.
  • Watch a Senegal Parrot perform 20 tricks in two minutes!

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