Senegal Parrot - Poicephalus senegalus

Senegal Parrot - Poicephalus senegalus

Average Lifespan: 35 Years

Average Length: 23cm (9 Inches)

Average Weight: 120g - 150 g

Colouring: Green, Orange, Yellow, Grey

Juvenile vs. Mature Plumage: Immature plumage duller, beak pink at base of upper mandible in very young birds. Iris dark grey, often giving the eye a near black appearance. The grey head darkens with age. 


Summary: This species occurs through the savanna woodland belt of West Africa, north of the rainforest belt from Mauritania through to south-western Chad, north-eastern Cameroon, and northern Central African Republic. The species undertakes seasonal movements in at least parts of its range, moving into dryer areas during the wet season.


  • Poicephalus senegalus senegalus (nominate form)
    • Overall mostly green, charcoal grey head, and a ‘V’ of yellow beginning from inside the shoulders of the bird and extending downward on the abdomen toward the bird’s tail


  • P. s. mesotypus
    • Reichenow’s orange-bellied parrot
    • Similar to nominate form except lighter green, orange abdomen, and green extends further down abdomen creating a deeper ‘V’ 


  • P. s. versteri
    • Red-vented parrot
    • Same as nominate form except darker green wings and back, ‘V’ begins yellow-orange and becomes orange-red down the abdomen

Wild Status

The species is listed under CITES Appendix II.

POPULATION TREND Decreasing, Least Concern 


Nest Box: 16" x 8" L-Box

Frequency of Breeding in Canada: Up to 3 Clutches per Year

Age of Maturity: Female 2 Males 3

Avg. Clutch Size: 3 - 5

Incubation: 27 to 28 Days

Weaning: 10 -13 Weeks

Breeding Season: 

In the wild, breeding takes place toward the end of the rainy season which occurs in the fall from September to November in Africa. 

Breeding Difficulty: With a compatible pair this is not hard with a supportive diet and housing.  Senegal Parrots prefer a smaller cage and a nest box that is very private. No light should be able to shine into the nest box.  They tend to like more protein when feeding chicks.  Hours of light for pair do not tend to change breeding habits. They like a less busy area to be housed in and do not like nest inspections. They can be very cage aggressive at breeding time.  Breeding happens Nov. to Feb. in Canada but can happen outside these times as well.


Should be tested by DNA for Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) and cleared prior to breeding.

Genetics / Mutations

Proper Pairing: Birds which have a history of producing unhealthy offspring or other genetic defects should not be bred. It is important to avoid crossing birds which are related (i.e. parent-offspring pair) as these pairings increase the likelihood of a genetic defect in the young produced. Any bird which is not in good breeding condition should not be bred. 

Inheritance: there are photos of senegals which appear pied. A photo of a bird which is nearly all yellow with some orange also exists. Some sources have referred to this as “lutino” but the eyes, beak, and feet retain their pigment thus the bird cannot be lutino. There is a photo of a senegal which appears to be a blue mutation. Also a bird which appears to be an olive green colour and lacks the brightly coloured ‘V’ these birds are so well known for. However, none of these colour forms or varieties have proven a pattern of inheritance and therefore they cannot be considered as genetic mutations at this time.


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