Classification Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae Scientific Name Poicephalus Rufiventris Other Common Names N/A
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.
Habitat 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.
Distribution These birds are naturally occurring in eastern
Africa, from central Ethiopia to northern Tanzania.
Captivity 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.
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.