Classification Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae Scientific Name Poicephalus Meyeri Other Common Names N/A
Species Description The Meyer's Parrot (Poicephalus meyeri) is a
small (about 21 cm), stocky African parrot. Meyer's parrots display
a dull brown head, back, and tail, green abdomen, blue rump, and
yellow thighs. Six subspecies of P. meyeri, which vary in home
range, in size, and in markings, including extent of yellow markings
on the head and wings and intensity of turquoise markings on the
abdomen or rump are recognized.
They have adapted to many woodland habitats, including savannah
woodlands, wooded grasslands, and forests bordering watercourses or
agricultural land. Though they normally travel in pairs or small
flocks, wild Meyer's parrots may gather in larger numbers when food
is plentiful. Their wild diet includes fruits, seeds, nuts, berries,
and cultivated crops.
Habitat They occur in several woodland types including
miombo, savanna woodlands, wooded grasslands and forests bordering
watercourses or agricultural land.
Distribution Meyer's parrots are native to the plateau
woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa.
Captivity Meyers tend to become more independent as they
reach sexual maturity and adult males may become aggressive during
breeding season. While they are not great talkers, they have some
limited mimicking ability.
Young Meyers adapt readily to
new surroundings and should be well adapted to many novel
experiences at a young age. Adult birds are less adaptable to
unfamiliar environments and dietary changes.
Summary Parrots, also known as psittacines, are birds
of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order
Psittaciformes, found in most warm and tropical regions. The order
is subdivded in three families: the Psittacidae (true parrots), the
Cacatuidae (cockatoos) and the Nestoridae. Parrots have a
pan-tropical distribution with several species inhabiting the
temperate Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of
parrots is found in South America and Australia.
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong curved
bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet.
Most parrots are predominantly green, with other bright colors, and
some species are multi-colored. Cockatoo species range from mostly
white to mostly black, and have a mobile crest of feathers on the
top of their heads. Most parrots are monomorphic or minimally
sexually dimorphic. Extant species range in size from the Buff-faced
Pygmy-parrot, at under 10 g (0.35 oz.) in weight and 8 cm (3.2
inches) in length, to the Hyacinth Macaw, at 1.0 meter (3.3 feet) in
length, and the Kakapo, at 4.0 kg (8.8 lbs) in weight. They are the
most variably sized bird order in terms of length.
most important components of most parrots' diets are seeds, nuts,
fruit, buds and other plant material, and a few species also eat
insects and small animals, and the lories and lorikeets are
specialised to feed on nectar from flowers, and soft fruits. Almost
all parrots nest in tree holes (or nestboxes in captivity), and lay
white eggs from which emerge altricial (helpless) young.
Parrots, along with crows, jays and magpies, are some of the most
intelligent birds, and the ability of some parrot species to imitate
human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Trapping of wild
parrots for the pet trade, as well as other hunting, habitat loss
and competition from invasive species, have diminished wild
populations, and parrots have been subjected to more exploitation
than any other group of birds. Recent conservation measures to
conserve the habitats of some of the high-profile charismatic parrot
species has also protected many of the less charismatic species
living in the ecosystem.