Senegal Parrots (Poicephalus senegalus) Species Profile: Diet, Vocalization, Housing
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Poicephalus senegalus

There are 3 subspecies of Senegal Parrots:
Poicephalus senegalus senegalus
Poicephalus senegalus versteri
Poicephalus senegalus mesotypus

In the wild, Senegal Parrots are shy and avoid being approached. This behavior has a tendency to remain, even in captivity, unless they are handled and socialized at an early age. Throughout their lives, they need human interaction, gentle handling, and stimulation to remain tame and gentle. Of the three subspecies, the best-known member of this genus is the nominate Poicephalus senegalus senegalus.

Senegals are quite entertaining in some of their more comical behaviors, such as rolling up in a cloth, lying on their back, or hanging and swinging upside down for extended periods. Although not great talkers (comparatively), they can and will learn to mimic and have a relatively quiet voice. Their antics, size, and more reticent nature make the Senegal a good choice for apartment dwellers. Average cost is from $250-$700, depending on whether purchased from a breeder or a retail store.

Quick Stats:   Senegal Parrots
Family: Psittacidae
Origin: Central-western Africa
Size: 9"
Coloration: Overall green, while paler and more yellow on the rump; tail brownish-green; lower breast and abdomen yellow tinged with orange; grey bill and head; yellow iris and brown legs.
Diet: 65-80% high-quality commercial diet (pellets, crumbles or nuggets). The rest of the diet should consist of 15-30% vegetables and 5% fresh fruits, with an occasional nut. Use many varieties of fruits and vegetables, washed thoroughly. No avocados or fruit pits. See Basic Nutrition for Psittacines (Parrot Family) for more information.
Cage Size: Minimum 30" H x 36" L x 30" W
Grooming: Trim beak, nails, and flight feathers as needed.
Compatibility/Disposition: May do well with others of this genus and other parrots if introduced at a young age. Can otherwise be very territorial and aggressive.
Vocalization: A quiet voice. Good with mimicry and often develop extensive vocabularies. Sounds include low-key whistles, chirps, squeaks, and assorted chattering. In the wild, their call consists of short screeches and high-pitched whistles.
Playfulness: A shy bird that needs consistent gentle handling to remain tame.
Life Span: 35+ years
Age at Maturity: 2-3 years
Nesting Sites in the Wild: High in hollow trees.
Breeding Season: September-November
Sexing: Reliable only by DNA or endoscopy.
Special: Physical development is precocious compared to other parrots.
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