Senegal parrot(Poicephalus senegalus)
Genus – poicephalus
There are two subspecies:
- Poicephalus senegalussenegalus (the nominate subspecies): this subspecies has a yellow vest; its native range includes Senegal, southern Mauritania, southern Mali to Guinea and Lobos Island.
- Poicephalus senegalus versteri: this subspecies has a deep-orange/red vest; its range is from the Ivory Coast and Ghana east to western Nigeria.
Senegal parrots are about 23 centimeters (9.1 inches) long, weigh about 120 to 170 grams (4.2 to 6.0 ounces). They have a relatively large head and beak for their overall size, and feathers form a short broad tail. Adults have a charcoal grey head, grey beak, bright yellow irises, green back and throat, and yellow underparts and rump. The yellow and green areas on a Senegal parrot's front form a V-shape resembling a yellow vest worn over green. Young Juveniles have dark grey, almost black, irises, which change to light grey.
Senegal parrots are birds of open woodland and savanna. They flock most commonly in countries in West Africa.
It is a gregarious species, continuously chattering with a range of whistling and squawking calls.
Senegal parrotshave a diet that consists mostly of fruit, seeds and grain. They may also eat locust beans and young tree buds.
Senegal parrots nest in holes in trees, often oil palms, usually laying three to four white eggs. The eggs are about 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) long by 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) wide. The eggs are incubated by the female, starting after the second egg has been laid, for about 27 to 28 days. Newly hatched chicks have a sparse white down and they do not open their eyes until about two to three weeks after hatching. They are dependent on the female for food and warmth who remains in the nest most of the time until about four 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 two to four 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.
Senegal parrots live an average of approximately 25–30 years in the wild, and have been known to live for 50 years in captivity.
Because it is on the smaller size, a Senegal parrot does not require a huge cage. At the minimum, it needs a cage with a 20-inch by 20-inch footprint and 28 inches in height; larger is always preferable. The cage should, of course, be more substantial if you are keeping two birds. Bar spacing should be about 3/4 inch.Equip the cage with several horizontal bars to serve as perches. Prospective owners should also plan to invest in a variety of toys and accessories for their birds. Senegals can be strong chewers, so it's a good idea to provide them with toys to exercise their beaks.
"Sennies" as they are affectionately referred to by many owners, bond strongly with their owners and thrive on daily interaction with them. Those interested in owning a Senegal should be willing to make time for handling and socialization with the bird every day. Interaction time is rarely a burden since these birds are often content to sit on your shoulder.
A Senegal parrot should get at least 1 hour a day of outside-of-cage time on a play stand or another bird-safe area. Provide toys like small foot toys, bells, balls, chewable leather, and wood toys. These items will entertain your Senegal while away from its enclosure. They love to climb and can be quite the little acrobats. These birds will appreciate a variety of swings, ladders, and other toys to explore.
Senegals kept as pets should eat a varied diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy seeds such as flax, hemp and chia seed, tree nuts, and a high-quality formulated pelleted diet. In general, feed Senegal parrots eat 1/4 cup of food per day. Provide a seed/pellet formulated mix every morning. Give as much as the bird will eat. Supplement pellet food with fruits and vegetables. Consider making chop, which is a freshly frozen diet that you can learn to make. It's an easy and convenient method of providing your Senegal parrot with a wide variety of vegetables, grains, and vegetable protein. As with any companion bird, provide fresh water in a clean bowl daily. Avoid giving an all-seed diet; this menu is extremely unhealthy and can lead to illness or even death from nutritional deficiency.