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Cape Parrot

 (Poicephalus robustus)
 
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Cape Parrots interacting
© Cape Parrot Working Group

Did You Know?

The Cape Parrot was once the nominate of the species Poicephalus robustus. It is now considered to be a separate species.

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WPT has worked with numerous partners to help save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Poicephalus robustus

Species Profile

Genus: Poicephalus | Species: robustus

Size:

34cm (12.5 in)

Weight:

310-400g (11-14 oz).

Races including nominate:

one

Colour Adult:

Both adults have varying plumage; head and neck dull olive/golden, scalloped with darker brown; orange/red band across the crown in female (absent in males); dark green back and wings; green rump and underparts (tinged with blue); orange/red thighs, bend of wing, and carpal edge; black/brown tail; dark brown eye; white/grey eye ring (bare); and horn-coloured bill.

Colour Juvenile:

Green to yellow/brown head and neck, body dark green/olive. Orange markings lacking in all juveniles. Head may appear silver after 9-12 months.

Call:

Loud, very vocal, including five distinct calls described as tzu-weee, zu-wee, zz-keek and a nasal zeek. Piercing series of screeches emitted in flight. Softer sounds of contentment while at rest. Voice similar to Meyer’s Parrot but more grating. Captive birds mimic human and other sounds.

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More Information:

Arkive
Avibase
Handbook of the Birds of the World

Cape Parrot Working Group

Content Sources:

CITES
African Parrot Society
A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998
xeno-canto Cape Parrot, Danckwerts, Daniel XC247358
Parrots: Status Survey and Conservation Plan 2000-2004, Snyder, McGowan, Gilardi and Grajal, 2000.
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1989.
Vanished and Vanishing Parrots, Forshaw, 2017.
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.

Click photo to visit gallery

Cape Parrots interacting
© Cape Parrot Working Group

Did You Know?

The Cape Parrot was once the nominate of the species Poicephalus robustus. It is now considered to be a separate species.

Programs & Projects

WPT has worked with numerous partners to help save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Poicephalus robustus

Species Care

Captive Status:

Rare

Longevity:

20-25 yrs

Housing:

Walk-in aviary, minimum length 2.1m (7 ft), or indoor cage minimum length 1.8m (6 ft).

Diet:

Cooked beans and pulses, boiled corn; sunflower, dry, soaked or sprouted; walnuts greatly favoured, fruit, especially apple, orange, banana, rearing food made from: hard-boiled egg, wholegrain bread and carrot, all ground to crumbly consistency; fresh vegetables such as: carrot, celery, green beans and peas in the pod; complete pellet.

Enrichment:

Bathing; foot toys, destructible (non-toxic) toys such as wooden block, vegetable tanned leather and heat sterilized pine cones; non-destructible (non-toxic plastic) toys, food-finder toys, preening toys, different texture and size hanging perch toys, fir, pine, elder or willow branches, push-and-pull toys (sliding up and down), vegetable tanned leather toys.

Nest Box Size:

Vertical box, 12" x 12" x 24" (30.5cm x 30.5cm x 61cm).

Clutch Size:

2 to 4

Incubation Time:

28-30 days

Fledging Age:

10-11 weeks

Hatch Weight:

9.5-12g (0.3-0.4 oz)

Peak Weight:

Not recorded.

Weaning Weight:

Not recorded.

Click photo to visit gallery

Cape Parrots interacting
© Cape Parrot Working Group

Did You Know?

The Cape Parrot was once the nominate of the species Poicephalus robustus. It is now considered to be a separate species.

Programs & Projects

WPT has worked with numerous partners to help save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Poicephalus robustus

Species Wild Status

World Population:

1767 (Cape Parrot Big Birding Day, 2017)

IUCN Red List Status:

Vulnerable

CITES Listing:

Appendix II

Threat Summary:

Threatened by habitat loss, illegal capture for the wild-caught bird trade, and persecution as a crop pest.

Range:

Endemic to eastern Republic of South Africa, from Eastern Cape Province to southern KwaZulu-Natal, with an isolated population in Limpopo Province.

Habitat:

High altitude Afromontane mistbelt yellowwood-dominant Podocarpus forest patches above 1,400m (4,200ft).

Wild Diet:

Prefers Podocarpus seeds, which make up about 70% of their diet. They have also been recorded feeding on apples, plums, cherries, acorns, pine seeds, and Eucalyptus flowers.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Feeds in trees only, preferring fruits high in the canopy and then moving down. Birds roost communally in flocks of up to 20 in large Eucalyptus or Podocarpus trees. Food nomadic that travels vast distances (up to 100km) to preferred feeding sites, often staying for weeks to exploit food resources. Mainly arboreal, Cape Parrots come to the ground only for drinking.

Clutch and Egg Size:

2 to 4, rounded, glossy eggs, 34 x 28 mm (1.3 x 1.0 in)

Breeding Season:

September-December, but has been recorded in May.

Related Links:

AvianWeb
Article: Taking Flight - Cape Parrot Identified as New Species

Click photo to visit gallery

Cape Parrots interacting
© Cape Parrot Working Group

Did You Know?

The Cape Parrot was once the nominate of the species Poicephalus robustus. It is now considered to be a separate species.

Programs & Projects

WPT has worked with numerous partners to help save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Poicephalus robustus

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