Senegal Parrot

Senegal Parrot

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Family
Tribe
Genus
SPECIES
Poicephalus senegalus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
25-50 yrs
WEIGHT
120-170 g
LENGTH
20-25 cm

The Senegal parrot is a resident breeder across a wide range of west Africa. It makes migrations within West Africa, according to the availability of the fruit, seeds, and blossoms which make up its diet. This bird is considered a farm pest in Africa, often feeding on maize or millet and is very popular in aviculture.

Distribution

Senegal parrots are found in countries in West Africa and migrate within this range depending on food availability. These birds live in open woodland and savanna.

Senegal Parrot habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Senegal parrots are gregarious birds, continuously chattering with a range of whistling and squawking calls. Outside of the breeding season, they are often seen in small flocks of 10 to 20 birds. Active during the day Senegal parrots spend their time foraging in trees, preening, and resting. They are shy when around humans and usually fly high or hide in the tall treetops.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

These birds are herbivores (frugivores, granivores). They feed mainly on fruit, seeds, grain, and blossoms but may also eat locust beans and young tree buds.

Mating Habits

INCUBATION PERIOD
27-28 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
12 weeks
FEMALE NAME
hen
MALE NAME
cock
BABY NAME
chick
BABY CARRYING
3-4 eggs

Little is known about the mating system in Senegal parrots. They nest in holes in trees, often oil palms, usually laying 3 to 4 white eggs. The eggs are incubated by the female for about 27 to 28 days. Newly hatched chicks have a sparse white down and they do not open their eyes until about 2 to 3 weeks after hatching. They are dependent on the female for food and warmth who remains in the nest most of the time until about 4 weeks after hatching when the chicks have enough feathers for heat insulation. During this time the male brings food for the female and chicks and guards the nest site. From about 2 to 4 weeks after hatching the female also begins to collect food for the chicks. The chicks fly out of the nest at about 9 weeks and they become independent from their parents at about 12 weeks after hatching.

Population

Population threats

The biggest threat to Senegal parrots is extensive trapping of wild birds for the pet trade; this has led to them being listed as an endangered species, along with all parrot species. Senegal parrots are also trapped and killed because they often eat seeds on fields and damage crops.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the total population size of the Senegal parrot. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Hand-reared Senegal parrots are one of the most popular parrots to be kept as pets. They make for a good companion and are quite friendly compared to other parrot species.
  • Senegal parrots that were caught in the wild do not usually become tame, and do not make good pets.
  • The calls of Senegal parrots are generally high pitched whistles and squawks, but they are not as noisy as many other parrot species.
  • Senegal parrots are not famous for their talking ability, but they can learn to say a couple of dozen words.
  • As pets, Senegal parrots can mimic sounds of their surrounding; some of them may include the creak of a door or ring of the telephone. Sometimes they can even learn simple tricks.

References

1. Senegal Parrot on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senegal_parrot
2. Senegal Parrot on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22685295/155304773

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