Poicephalus is a genus of parrots, meaning it contains various species of parrots.
The poicephalus parrots are colorful birds known for their playful and outgoing nature. They are although social, but might not like close contact. So, cuddles are off the menu!
The genus’ binomial nomenclature itself is piocephalus. But in this context, we’ll take that name as the birds’ common name.
Many poicephalus parrots love to be petted, but mostly all of them don’t like close contact. They are usually a mix of brown, red, and green and have a small size.
Typically, a poicephalus parrot can live up to 30 years. These are vocal communicators.
Poicephalus parrots include these species:
- senegal parrot
- Meyer’s parrot
- Red-bellied parrot
- Brown-headed parrot
- Red-fronted parrot
- Cape parrot
- Brown-necked parrot
- Ruppell’s parrot
- Yellow-fronted parrot
- Niam-Niam parrot
Except for the yellow-fronted parrot, or poicephalus flavifrons, all other species originate from Africa. The yellow-front hails from Ethiopia. The top four in the list are the most popular poicephalus parrots.
Generally, poicephalus parrots have big heads, strong bones, and a stocky build. Their tail feathers are broad and blunt. Out of all the parrot species in the world, the poicephalus guys are known as one of the calmest and quietest.
Poicephalus parrots make amazing pets as they’re very friendly and understand human companionship. Couple that with their quieter nature and smaller size and you get parrots that are very good for apartment life.
Most parrots thrive on a pellet-based diet. The poicephalus parrots are no different. However, it’s your responsibility to ensure that they get enough raw, fresh food as well: fruits and vegetables that are finely chopped.
You can opt for a number of products as most of the poicephalus parrots like a lot of foods.
Make sure that the cage has a good height and many horizontal bars. Poicephalus parrots love to climb up, unlike many other pet birds (like doves, for example).
The more they’re able to climb about, the busier and happier they’ll be. You can complement the fun by adding some rope knots, rope toys, ladders, differently sized perches, and toys that can be chewed or broken.
Aspergillosis is a common fungal disease in birds that the poicephalus parrots are prone to. You need to ensure that the environment is clean and the place where they live is bacteria-free. Infections can develop out of the blue but a clean environment, stress-free living, and a healthy and balanced diet can make sure that your parrot is safe from them.
Behavior and nature
Unlike many other, more popular parrots, the poicephalus guys aren’t very cuddly. You can try but most probably, they won’t like the close contact. However, in many cases, I’ve seen that poicephalus species parrots brought up by human owners since the time when they were little babies often let their owners pet them and handle them regularly. But mostly, they dislike human touch.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that the poicephalus parrots are not affectionate.
They like to be petted every once in a while, and you can try scratching their heads and necks – which is something they’re very appreciative of. In general, these parrots can be considered very playful, affectionate, and outgoing.
Sometimes, they can be phobic, stressed, scared, or just shy. In that case, give them some time to adjust to their new environment. During this time, make sure you interact with them in a respectful and calm way and keep away any shouting, forced interaction, or other negative elements. If you force them a lot to interact, they will have no choice but to bite you when you try to touch them and that’s a very bad sign.
They might be quiet in their lifestyle, but not when it comes to vocalization!
Poicephalus parrots can replicate human speech quite well. The red-bellied parrots are the best among the poicephalus species when it comes to talking.
They aren’t really known for talking but they’re pretty good when it comes to imitating words and sentences. And they’d do it at weird times, so be sure of what you speak around your parrot!
Different poicephalus parrots are priced differently. Not to mention that if you manage to get one from your local breeder, the cost will be less. And an online retailer that has to include shipping charges will of course charge more.
Let’s see how much are these priced.
- Senegal parrots: From $200 to $500 usually, but certain higher-quality parrots are sold for as much as $1,000 to $1,500 as well, so make sure you compare well.
- Meyer’s parrots: They typically cost anywhere from $400 to $800 but some can cost much higher.
- Red-bellied parrot: They are also similarly priced to Meyer’s parrots at $400-$800, although it’s not rare to get them for less than $400 on certain occasions.
- Brown-headed parrot: They can cost anywhere from as little as $200 to as much as $800. It usually depends on the region as these aren’t available everywhere and where they are, it depends on how successful the breeder has been with them.
The last six on the poicephalus parrots list are not very popular, therefore unavailable for many. These include the red-fronted parrot, the Cape parrot, the brown-necked parrot, the Ruppell’s parrot, the Yellow-fronted parrot, and the Niam-Niam parrot, which doesn’t even have a picture on Wikipedia.
If you want one of these, the best you can do is find a breeder to ask or post in parrot forums about where you can find a breeder who has them.
The top four are, however, very popular and readily available in pet stores as well, besides through the local breeders and online retailers.