. Senegal parrot
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- Scientific Name: Poicephalus
- Common Name/s: SENEGAL PARROT.
- Sub Species in country / area of origin: 3 ... Yellow bellied = Poicephalus senegalus senegalus,
Orange bellied = Poicephalus senegalus mesotypus, Scarlet
bellied = Poicephalus senegalus versteri.
- Origin / Distribution:
Western and central Africa.
- Habitat In Wild: Savannah
woodlands and open areas with some tall trees. Will forage in
- Status In Wild: ?
- Status In (Australian) Captivity:
- Age To Sexual Maturity: ?
- Adult plumage: attained at about
- Best breeding years (estimate):
- Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic Surgical
or DNA sexing is recommended.
- Colour mutations: No
- Availability: Specialist
- Temperament: Hand raised
Senegal Parrots are often kept as companion birds or pets. Pet
birds will often bond only with one person and may bite other people
who try to handle them. Birds that bond with people will
generally not want to have further interaction with other Senegal
parrots and are therefore no longer useful as breeders. Not
easy to breed as they are often nervous and aggressive birds.
As a pet, they are not suitable for children.
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $12,000
- Description Of Adults:
- Length: Approx. 230 - 260 mm (or approx. 9
- 10 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx 150 - 160 gms (or approx 5 ozs)
Poicephalus parrots: There
are 9 in this group and they are medium sized parrots that come from
Africa. Five are represented in Australian aviaries by the Cape
Parrot, Jardine Parrot, Meyer's Parrot, Red bellied Parrot and the
Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced /
Government Regulations & By-Laws:
Refer to " Government Laws " web page.
Housing Requirements: Refer to "
Housing Birds " web page for general
details on the housing of Non Australian Parrots or read on for specific
details for this parrot.
One pair per aviary. Needs a good supply of fresh branches to chew.
Can be housed and bred in a cage,
suspended cage or in an aviary. An indoor cage for one bird can be about
one metre long.
Housing these birds for breeding is not
as easy as with most other parrot species. To introduce birds to
each other and getting them into the new cage is a delicate process
requiring constant observation and patience. Newly introduced
birds may attack the other bird and may cause severe injury or even
death. Talking to successful Senegal breeders is well advised
prior to purchasing these birds.
These birds have to be gradually
introduced to each other. Both birds will be in their own cage and
be able to see each other. Next the cages can be side by side and
subject to constant observation for any aggression. If this seems
safe they will sit as close as possible to each other but still within
their own cage. They may then be allowed to be placed together in
another neutral cage and observed for any signs of aggression.
Once they have accepted each other and start the mutual acceptance act
of mutual preening the birds should then be safe to be placed into their
new breeding cage or aviary. Even when in their new breeding cage
or aviary, careful observation has to be maintained to monitor for signs
of aggression. If aggression is observed at any stage the birds
should be separated.
Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up.
This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds
some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These
natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced
regularly. The birds will chew any flowers and fruiting
bodies on the branches.
Senegal parrots need a variety of bird
toys and bird play gyms in the cage or aviary so that they can entertain
themselves and as a reason to keep physically active and mentally
Diet / Feeding: Refer to "
Feeding Birds " web page for general
details on the feeding of Non Australian Parrots or read on for specific
details for this parrot.
Natural diet includes seeds, berries,
nuts and fruits, plus flower and leaf buds.
Aviary diet usually include a seed mix plus
a variety of fruits and
a variety of vegetables. Green leafy vegetables such as
silverbeet, endive, spinach. Soaked or sprouted seed if available.
Quality commercial parrot pellets can form part of a balanced food
Nesting: A basic overview only. Dimensions
are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's
preferences and the birds preferences. Parent bird's preferences can
also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the
bird was hatched and reared. If space allows, offering a choice of
sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations
within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.
Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in
it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Try and keep that one
for their exclusive use. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box,
the other ones can generally be removed. If the "spare" boxes are to be
removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is
cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites,
parasites and pathogens.
- Nesting months:
- Log / Nest-box:
/ depth - mm (or approx. - inches)
- Log internal
diameter approx. - mm. (or approx. -
- Nest-box internal dimensions approx.-
mm square (or approx. - inches square)
- Diameter of
hole approx. - mm (or approx. - inches)
- Inspection hole (square or round)
(or approx 4 inches)
- A removable top / lid can be a
useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
- Location and height
of log / nest-box ......
- Angle of log or nest box ...
- Nesting log / nest-box material:
Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable
- Who incubates the egg/s:
Hen / cock / both share.
Nest inspections are generally not
Senegal parrots can be encouraged to use
their natural instinct and abilities of making a suitable nest by the
owner blocking the nest entry hole with a piece of non toxic pine
timber. The birds will chew through the pine timber and then start
to remodel the inside of the nest box to meet their requirements.
The ritual of removing the material the owner has placed in the nest box
will start. Many parrot breeders place additional pieces of pine
timber in the nest box for the birds to chew up. The birds chewing
on the pieces of soft timber may distract the birds from removing too
much of the preferred nest material.
Timber nest-boxes generally require a
climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both
logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100 mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole
to be just big enough to squeeze through.
More details on
parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of
parrot nestbox/log photos
can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos"
web pages. Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests"
and "parrot nestbox photos" in
the navigation bars.
Breeding: Egg Colour
White. Clutch/s per year 1. Eggs
per nest 3. Incubation
approx. 26 - 27 days. Fledge approx. 9 -
Independent approx. another ? weeks.
Not easy to breed as they are often nervous and aggressive birds.
Tend to be erratic breeders.
These birds need more privacy than most other species of parrot if
they are to be successful breeders. The nest box should be at the
highest possible point in the cage or aviary and the entrance hole to be
in a shaded or dark position. Light should not be able to enter
the nest box.
Cuttlefish bone should be available before and during the breeding
season. Overseas breeders increase the protein food levels prior
to and during the breeding season. This is achieved by either
changing the type of parrot pellets or by adding or changing to a higher
protein supplementary food.
These birds can become aggressive during
breeding season. Nest boxes are best
positioned so the nest inspection can be carried out from outside the
aviary. Nest inspection is best done when the adult birds are out
of the nest.
Artificial incubation and hand
rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site. It is
too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.
Health Issues: Refer to "Avian
Health Issues" web page for information and references.
- Worming and parasite control
and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are
considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on
this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues"
web page option.
- Avian medicine is advancing
at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.
References: Refer to references listed on "Book References"
- Australian Birdkeeper
- ABK Vol 13 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 2001 Page 318-320 ( Part 2 ).
- ABK Vol 13 Issue 5. Oct-Nov 2000 Page 247-249 ( Part 1 ).
- ABK Vol 13 Issue 2. Apr-May 2000 Page 106-107
- ABK Vol 12 Issue 12. Dec-Jan 2000 Page 628-629
- ABK Vol 12 Issue 9. Jun-July 1999 Page 452-453
- ABK Vol 10 Issue 9. Jun-July 1997 Page 448-449
- ABK Vol 9 Issue 1. Feb-Mar 1996 Page 24-25
- ABK Vol 5 Issue 2. Apr-May 1992 Page 83-84
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