Poicephalus rueppellii .......................................................By Gideon Scheepers
The male is mostly dusky brown with a silver grey on the ear coverts and crown. It has a slightly green wash on the back. The rump and under tail coverts are washed with blue. The hen is the most colourful of the two , she has the rump , lower back and upper tail a bright blue and the under tail a duller blue. They both have bright yellow patches on the shoulders.They are small square tailed parrots being only 22 cm in length.
Range and Habitat
They originate from a small area in the old South West Africa (Namibia) into Southern Angola. They are usually observed singly or in pairs and sometimes even small groups. They eat wild figs and various tree seeds; they will also eat buds grains and fruits.
Housing in Aviculture
Ruppels can be housed in conventional aviaries or suspendeds. We supply them with natural log nestboxes, 40 cm deep and 25 cm in diameter. Two sturdy perches front and rear, the rear one higher, for them to sleep on at night.
Breeding in Aviculture
They are fairly easy to breed once established. My pairs lay 3-5 and occasionally 5 eggs, incubation is 27 days, the hen starting to incubate from the second egg, laying intervals being 2 days apart. The hen incubates alone, but the male is always in the box with her. We take the chicks at 14 days to 21 days old and handrear them. They are easily feeders and usually present no problems when it comes to feeding, they are always eager to eat. I have found that when pulling chicks at a later stage they seem to be afraid and difficult to feed. My pairs breed mostly in the winter months, and early summer.
As mentioned before the male and female can easily be told apart , when they are mature , with the hen having the bright blue on the rump. It must be remembered that youngsters will also have a blue rump , but it is brighter than the females.
They make great pets and are not noisy, they are mid sized parrots and will learn to talk. They have a gentle disposition. Their voice is a raspy one, and typical of Poicephalus parrots.
I know of a cinnamon mutation only. If you know of any please contact me at Gideon. and a pic would be appreciated.
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