Poicephalus rufiventris...............................................................By Gideon Scheepers


The Red Bellied Parrot, Poicephalus r. rufiventris does not as its name suggests have a red belly but rather an orange one. It has the head, back and wings grey-brown. The lower back to the rump has a yellow-green tinged with blue colour. The under tail-coverts and thighs are bluish-green. The iris is red and eye ring black. It also has a black bill and grey legs and feet. The female looks similar to the male but she lacks the orange on the belly, her's is green. . The young birds could either look like the mother or the father, and the adult plumage is only obtained at one year old. They grow to around 22 cm. There is another sub-species Poicephalus r. pallidus it looks similar to rufiventris, but has the head a greyish-brown and the upper breast is paler.

Range and Habitat

Red Bellies Poicephalus r. rufiventris are found in Africa in central to southern Ethiopia and northeastern Tanzania. Poicephalus r. pallidus is found in eastern Ethiopia and Somalia. They prefer savannah and acacia (thorn tree) scrubland, especially with baobab trees. They are seen in pairs and small family groups.




Housing in Aviculture

They are well suited to small gardens as they are not that noisy, they can be housed in conventional and suspended aviaries. We use suspended aviaries for all our smaller Poicephalus species, they are also supplied with a natural nest log or a boot shaped nestbox.

Breeding in Aviculture

These birds are being bred on a more regular basis in South Africa, we do tend to breed more females than males, this is a big problem when trying to set up new pairs. They should be housed in a quiet, dark corner, away from any traffic. Our pairs breed best in the winter. They will have a clutch of 3 to 4 eggs, the incubation lasts 25 - 26 days. The young are fledged after 60 days.

Pet Quality

Same as most other Poicephalus, they make great pets, will learn to talk, but in a slightly raspy voice.


I know of a pied and a red-suffused mutation, if you have any more info or photos please send them to Gideon


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