Senegal Parrot

Poicephalus senegalis

Order: Psittaciformes

Husbandry Information

Housing Requirements

Diet Requirements

  • In the wild, Senegal parrots eat seeds, fruit, and grain.
  • In captivity, they are fed Zupreem Parrot Pellets and fruit.

Veterinary Concerns

Notes on Enrichment & Training


Colony or Breeding Management


Individual Identification


Programmatic Information


Temperature Guidelines



Tips on Presentation

Touching Techniques

Tips on Handling


Potential Messaging

Acquisition Information


Comments from the Rating System

  • Seneca Park Zoo: Good because they are more open to extra handlers, but still requires a lot of work to be able to handle.
  • Buffalo Zoo: No touch for the public, but a good beginner bird for staff and docents. Temperament varies greatly with personality.

Natural History Information

Range and Habitat

As its name suggests, this species is from Senegal – but also from many other countries. There are three subspecies:
Poicephalus senegalus senegalus – found in southern Mauritania, southern Mali to Guinea, and the island of Los. This subspecies has a yellow belly.
Poicephalus senegalus versteri – found in the Ivory Coast and Ghana east to western Nigeria. This subspecies has a red belly.
Poicephalus senegalus mesotypus – found in eastern and northeaster Nigeria, northern Cameroon, and into southwestern Chad. This subspecies has an orange belly.
This parrot prefers moist woodlands and on the edges of the savannas.

Physical Description

The Senegal’s head is gray, and the body is mostly green. The breast and belly ranges in color from lime-yellow to deep orange. The body markings form a “V” with a green point running down the breast bone. The eyes of an immature parrot are grey; as the parrot matures, the eyes turn yellow.
This parrot is 120 to 150 grams in weight, and 8 to 9 inches in height. Males are slightly larger and stockier, have larger, less-rounded heads, and have yellow vent feathers (the females’ are green.)

Life Cycle

Female Senegal parrots reach sexual maturity at 1 to 2 years of age, and males are mature at 3 years of age. 2 to 6 eggs are laid at two-day intervals. The incubation period is about four weeks, and the chicks are usually ready to leave the nest when they are 9 weeks old. By 12 weeks of age, Senegal parrots are usually completely independent.
Lifespan in the wild is 15 to 25 years. In captivity, they can live 20 to 30 years.


In some areas, Senegal parrots are considered a nuisance because they have a tendency to raid farmers’ crops. They are playful and independent birds that enjoy climbing, chewing, and playing. They can become aggressive when they reach sexual maturity – males moreso than females.

Threats and Conservation Status

Senegal parrots have no special conservation status at this time.

Did you know…




Contributors and Citations

  • The Philadelphia Zoo