Where are they Found? Inland areas of central and Eastern Africa
Latin Name: Poicephalus meyeri
Talking Ability: Low – able to learn 12 or so words
Noise Level: Reasonably Quiet
Size: Average Height 22.5cm weight 120 grams
Lifespan: 25 – 30 years
The Meyer’s parrot come from the same family of birds as the more well-known Senegal parrot. In the US with their more liberal bird importation laws they are one of the most popularly found aviary birds after the Senegal parrot. Here in Australia however insufficient numbers had been brought into the country prior to Australia closing its doors to the importation of exotic birds and thus they are exceptionally rare here and can command extremely high prices.
They are fairly common in Inland this South and South East and Africa though their numbers have certainly dropped as a result of habitat destruction. They normally gather in pairs or small groups that flocks of over 50 are seen from time to time in times of plenty.
the smallest of the breed family they stand around 22 1/2 centimeters in height and have a rather stocky appearance. They are light weights averaging only a meager 120 g. They have predominantly brownish grey plumage with scattered patches of yellow on the bends of their wings and thighs that some species also having these patches on the head they have a blue or turquoise rump and a green abdomen. The feathers on the tail Brown on the other side and dark grey underneath they have black eye rings with orange red irises and a black beak.
Males and females are identical in appearance the only way to determine sex a certain is by DNA testing. Some experienced breeders claim to be able to determine the sex of their birds by comparing beak, head size and head shape however was likely this is unreliable as they are referring to specimens within their own aviary and these will likely differ two birds from elsewhere.
When a young the Meyer’s parrot are most often a greenish brown colour is to have a yellow top Crown and thighs their abdomen and lower breast are green and there is less yellow evident on their wings. their colours gradually changed to match that of their parents by the time they are around one year old.
Temperament and Suitability as Pets
they are generally sweet and affectionate birds if there had been hand raised in well socialised when young much like the better-known larger cousin is the Senegal parrot. In the wild they are shy and wary and congregate in small groups than the Senegal and understandably enthusiasts state they are somewhat more reserved and quieter and temperament than the Senegal.
If kept in the family ensure that everyone handles the Meyer’s parrot or otherwise it will bond too closely at one person and seek to protect that person from the others.
Juvenile and young birds should have no trouble coping with changes in environment and diet if you need to move home to them but older birds are birds of habit and are likely become very stressed if they are removed from their familiar environment.
They are not demanding and will generally entertain themselves assuming you provide them with toys to play with. As always we recommend the largest possible cage or aviary that you can afford. If kept in a cage inside they must be allowed out to fly around the 3 to 5 hours every day in the cage itself must be large enough that they can spread in flats and wings and move around inside the cage.
They will learn a few words given some encouragement that they are not great talkers in terms of the amount of words they can learn in the clarity which they will speak them.
They are lovers of water so expect them to bathe in any water dish you leave for them. Many will happily join you in the shower especially if you attach a perch for them there. If this is not suitable to you or them they should be misted at least every couple of days allowed to dry in a warm area
They are relatively short lived parrots with the average lifespan of captive Birds only 25 to 30 years.
if you wish to breed them your need a larger aviary with plenty of leafy purchase them to move around on and to allow them to feel comfortable with their surroundings. In the wild they nest in hollow tree spaces you must provide them with a nesting box that mimics this. Something like a 45 cm high box roughly 20 cm deep and wide with some non-toxic sawdust or wood shavings inside would be perfect.
Pairs at this breed will prefer to nest in our box the same size that they were incubated in so unless you know the size box used by the breeder of your breeding pair consider offering them different sized boxes if at first you don’t succeed. (Of course if at first you don’t succeed you might also want to make sure that you deftly have a male and female as they are generally easy breeders).
They won’t tolerate inspection of their nest and will noisily defend it even against persons they formerly were happy to be handled by. If you disturb nest is likely they will abandon the chicks so do this only if you’re intending to hand raised the chicks yourself.
Your local pet shop will be on provide a good diet of African parrot pellets and seed. You should supplement this with fresh fruits and vegetables. Never give them avocado or chocolate as it is poisonous to them