It is quite often we are asked for advice about the perfect bird for an individual or for a family - sometimes as an addition to the established flock and sometimes it comes from a desire to have a pet larger than a keet or tiel but NOT as large as a
One of the first species that comes to mind is one of the Poicephalus species. This would be a SENEGAL, MEYER’S, RED BELLIED, JARDINE or possibly a CAPE PARROT.
I personally LOVE the African Parrots - they seem to have delightful personalities, be extremely smart and love to play, even the cranky Congo’s can be endearing, when they want.
Just a bit of information about the location of the Poicephalus:
SENEGAL PARROT – CENTRAL WEST AFRICA
MEYER’S PARROT - CENTRAL & SOUTHERN AFRICA
RED BELLIED PARROT – CENTRAL EASTERN AFRICA
JARDINE PARROT – CENTRAL AFRICA
CAPE PARROT – COASTAL WESTERN AFRICA & SOUTHERN AFRICA
I think the popularity is due to their small stature and wonderful, playful personalities. They love to be held and petted and can learn many words. These little bundles are not aware of their small size, about 9 inches in length and 125 grams…. quite stocky little bodies. They have personalities of much larger parrots. They love playing with toys and socializing with their families.
They are not “seasonal breeders” such as Amazons so they can be found almost all year round and don’t seem to have the hormonal surges as some species.
They are extremely active and love toys. They love anything they can chew and destroy - their little beaks are quite busy - cardboard pieces, cotton rope toys, leather strips and bells to name a few and most love to play on a colorful swing. They also take great delight in playing and sleeping on their backs, looking a tad like “road kill." They love playing with foot toys while laying on their backs also.
As far as nutrition, these little sweeties love to eat. They are very easy to feed because of the adventurous nature they will usually try anything at least once. Their beaks are quite strong so don’t be misled by their small size. They can bite and really hurt. They love cracking almonds and pine nuts and love fruit and veggies.
We will have some Red Bellied Parrot babies and I think a Meyer’s or two in the Nursery soon…..stop by and introduce yourself to these wonderful little imps.
Now go and plant some beautiful flowers in your garden and Happy Mother’s Day