Avian Species Menu

Meyer's Parrot

Meyer's Parrot

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Species Organizations

National Audubon Society
Website: www.audubon.org
Cornell Lab of Orinthology
Website: www.birds.cornell.edu
The Avian Web
Website: www.avianweb.com

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.

The Meyer's Parrot has six subspecies:

Poicephalus meyeri meyeri (the nominate subspecies)
Poicephalus meyeri saturatus
Poicephalus meyeri trasvaalensis
Poicephalus meyeri matschiei
Poicephalus meyeri damarensis
Poicephalus meyeri reichenowi


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.

The 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.


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