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Cape Parrot

 (Poicephalus robustus)
 
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Wild Cape Parrot
© Cape Parrot Working Group

Did You Know?

The Cape Parrot was once the nominate of the species Poicephalus robustus. it is now considered by some to be split from the rest of the species.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Poicephalus robustus

Species Profile

Genus: Poicephalus | Species: robustus

Size:

34cm (12.5 in)

Weight:

260-330g (10.9-14 oz)

Races including nominate:

one

Colourization 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.

Colourization 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.

More Information:

Avibase
Wikipedia
Article - Cape Parrot is Distinct Species

Content Sources:

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

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Cape Parrot
© Cape Parrot Working Group

Did You Know?

The Cape Parrot was once the nominate of the species Poicephalus robustus. it is now considered by some to be split from the rest of the species.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to 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, low-fat cheese 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 available

Weaning Weight:

Not available

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Cape Parrot
© Cape Parrot Working Group

Did You Know?

The Cape Parrot was once the nominate of the species Poicephalus robustus. it is now considered by some to be split from the rest of the species.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Poicephalus robustus

Species Wild Status

World Population:

Less than 1200

IUCN Red List Status:

Least Concern (Due to being grouped together with its two closest congeners)

CITES Listing:

Appendix II (Due to being grouped together with its two closest congeners)

Threat Summary:

Critically endangered due to habitat loss, illegal capture for the wild-caught bird trade, and persecution as a crop pest.

Range:

Endemic to the Republic of South Africa, extending from the Amathole and Transkei regions, to southern KwaZulu-Natal, and an isolated forest in the Limpopo Province.

Habitat:

High altitude Afromontane mistbelt mixed Podocarpus forest patches above 1,400m (4,200ft) and lowland/coastal forest during feeding forays.

Wild Diet:

Prefers Podocarpus fruits, but feeds on a variety of seeds from tree species distributed in Afromontane mistbelt forests. They have also been recorded feeding on exotic food resources such as apples, plums, cherries, acorns, pine seeds, and Eucalyptus flowers (possibly due to the low availability of food resources in their indigenous habitat).

Ecology and Behaviour:

Feeds in trees only, preferring fruits high in the canopy and then moving down. They roost communally in flocks of up to 10 parrots 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 this food resource. Quite shy and easily disturbed when feeding.

Clutch and Egg Size:

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

Breeding Season:

All year round, peaking in the period July to February.

Related Links:

AvianWeb
Article - Taking Flight: Cape Parrot Identified as New Species
Research: Abundance and activity patterns of the Cape Parrot in two afromontane forests in South Africa

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Cape Parrot
© Cape Parrot Working Group

Did You Know?

The Cape Parrot was once the nominate of the species Poicephalus robustus. it is now considered by some to be split from the rest of the species.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Poicephalus robustus

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