Senegal Parrot Fact File
Credit: peterichman from York, Yorkshire, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Wild 35-40 years
Captive 35-40 years
The Senegal parrot is found across areas of western Africa.
They are herbivores who use their small grey beak to feed on a range of fruits, seeds and grains.
Breeding takes place in a tree hollow where the female will incubate between two and four eggs.
These birds are among the most heavily traded in the world. They are captured from across their range to be sold globally as pets.
Read on to learn more about these brilliant birds.
What does the Senegal parrot look like?
The Senegal parrot features a grey head with green feathers across the back and in a distinctive V-shape across the chest. This turns in to yellow feathers on the lower body.
On the head they have a striking yellow iris with a round, black pupil. The bill is colored grey. Their legs are brownish.
An average Senegal parrot will measure 23cm (9in) long with a wingspan of up to 15cm (6in) across. Their weight is typically around 125g (4.4oz). Males and females share similar appearance.
What does the Senegal parrot eat?
Senegal parrots are herbivores which feed on fruit, seeds and greenery. In areas of human habitation they will also feed on cultivated crops such as millet.
Credit: Juan Emilio from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, España, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Where can you find the Senegal parrot?
Western Africa is the native home of the Senegal parrot. Here they can be found in the following countries – Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Côte d'Ivoire; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone and Togo.
What kind of environment does the Senegal parrot live in?
These animals make their home in lowland savannas and woodland. They will also live alongside humans in agricultural areas and villages.
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How does the Senegal parrot produce its young?
Breeding takes place from September to November.
The nest is created within a tree hollow.
In to this hollow the female will deposit her clutch of between 2 and 4 white shelled eggs. Females incubate the eggs for around 28 days.
Young first leave the nest at nine weeks old but are not independent until 12 weeks old.
Sexual maturity occurs at 2 years old for females and 3 years old for males.
What does the Senegal parrot do with its day?
It is most common for these birds to be seen in a small group though when food is plentiful larger flocks tend to form. This has become increasingly common as cultivated crops ripen at the same time.
These birds are considered shy and will fly off due to any disturbance.
Their vocalization is a whistling noise which becomes more raucous when threatened. These birds are able to mimic human voice. They will become nosier when excited.
Credit: Public Domain
Predators and Threats
What is impacting the survival of the Senegal parrot?
Populations of the Senegal parrot are currently believed to be deceasing but the species is still considered abundant.
The largest threat to the survival of the Senegal parrot is trade. Over the 30 years to 2014 over 800,000 were exported from Africa to fuel this trade. It is yet to be determined if this level of trade is sustainable for this species.
Some are also persecuted due to their habit of taking seeds from farmers fields.
They are also known as the yellow-billed parrot.
As a parrot they can hold food in their feet and lift it up to their head. They tend to favor either the left or right leg much like people with their hands.
Credit: liz west, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Alderton, D. and Barrett, P., 2019. The complete illustrated encyclopedia of birds of the world. Lorenz Books.
BirdLife International. 2019. Poicephalus senegalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T22685295A155304773. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T22685295A155304773.en. Downloaded on 24 October 2021.
Northern Parrots. 2021. Senegal Fact Sheet. [online] Available at: <https://www.northernparrots.com/senegal-fact-sheet-blog86/> [Accessed 24 October 2021].
Koehler, K. 2001. "Poicephalus senegalus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed October 23, 2021 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Poicephalus_senegalus/
Seneca Park Zoo. 2021. Senegal Parrot | Seneca Park Zoo. [online] Available at: <https://senecaparkzoo.org/animal-pages/senegal-parrot/> [Accessed 24 October 2021].