Poicephalus senegalus .............................................. By Gideon Scheepers


The head and face is grey with silver ear patches, the belly, lower breast and under tail coverts are yellow. The upper parts being bright green. The iris is yellow in mature birds and black grey in immatures. They are relatively small square tailed parrots being only 24 cm in length.



Range and Habitat

They originate in Africa from Senegal and Gambia to Guinea to southern Mali, Ivory Coast and Ghana. They prefer open woodland areas. 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

They can be housed in aviaries or suspendeds, we house ours in 60 cm X 60 cm X 1.2 m suspended aviaries with great success. We supply them with natural log nestboxes, 40 cm deep and 25 cm in diameter.

Breeding in Aviculture

They are fairly easy breeders once established, although I find them very inconsistent, with pairs going down 2-3 times a season and the next season not even looking at the nestbox. My pairs will 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 seldom in summer.

Visual Sexing

There is a way to determine the sex of Senegals by looking at them, but this needs a trained eye. Several methods are used, but even so I still like to have them sexed by a vet. Adult Senegal parrots can be sexed by careful examination of the under-tail coverts. To do this successfully requires an understanding of what to look for, and where. Adult male Senegals typically have pure yellow under-tail coverts and it is quite rare to see even a hint of green feathers in this area. An adult female Senegals will typically have a mixture of green and yellow in the under-tail coverts. Any trace of green in these feathers indicates a female.

Pet Quality

They make great pets and are not noisy, they are mid sized parrots and will learn to talk, they can sometimes become possessive of its owner, but in a nice way. Their voice is a raspy one, and typical of Poicephalus parrots.


The only mutations I know of are: Opaline, pieds, an almost pure yellow (not lutino), cinnamon and a faded or dilute, if you know of any others please send a photo with a description and some history to Gideon

Dilute/faded Senegal Parrot Hen





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