Avian Species Menu

Red bellied Parrot

Red bellied 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

Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae
Scientific Name
Poicephalus Rufiventris
Other Common Names
Species Description
In the wild, Red Bellied Parrots live in small groups or pairs. They eat fruits, seeds, and grain, living in woodlands or savannas. Although quieter than many parrots, Red Bellied Parrots are good talkers and can produce a variety of noises and sounds, both learned and instinctive. Although shy at times, Red Bellied Parrots are easily excited by new people and may talk excessively to attract attention! They are affectionate and loving with people they are familiar with and love attention. Once Red Bellied Parrots are acclimated, they become quite hardy. Before they are comfortable with their new handlers, they may be quite shy and some have even died flying into the mesh walls of their cages. After they settle in, Red Bellied Parrots become quite hardy and confiding. New birds should be allowed temperatures warmer than 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but after they are settled, they may be kept at temperatures as low as 50 degrees.

Red Bellied Parrots usually reach maturity at 12 months of age, when they will be about eight and a half inches in length. Red Bellied Parrots have grayish brown wings, heads, and backs. The lower back has a blue tinge, although it is predominantly yellow-green. The breasts, under-wing coverts, and cheeks are washed with orange. The under-wing coverts and thighs are aqua green. Red Bellied Parrots have black periopthalmic rings and red irises. Their bills are black and their feet are gray. Sexing may be achieved visually; males have orange bellies and females have green bellies. Immatures both have orange coloration over their bellies.

The Red-bellied Parrot nests in tree cavities. The eggs are white and there are usually three in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about 28 days and the chicks leave the nest about 63 days after hatching.

Red-Bellied Parrots originate in the savannahs of Eastern Africa. They live in the brush and feed off of the acacia fruit. This particular fruit hangs upside-down in a bell fashion, so that the only way for the red belly to get to the fruit inside is to hang upside down and crane his head around to get the fruit.

These birds are naturally occurring in eastern Africa, from central Ethiopia to northern Tanzania.

Red Bellied Parrots should be fed a good basic seed or pellet diet supplemented with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, including greenfood. Wood offered to your Red Bellied Parrot will probably be much appreciated, and plenty of exercise is important as well. They should be housed in a cage which allows plenty of room for moving around and playing.

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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