Poicephalus fuscicollis – Brown-necked Parrot

The Brown-necked Parrot - Poicephalus fuscicollis (Kuhl, 1820) - is a medium sized African parrot with a powerful beak that can easily crack even the hardest nuts. They are however very gentle birds that rarely bite and are popular pets and in aviculture.  They are very intelligent and can imitate words and sounds quite well.

This taxa was previously classified as Poicephalus robustus fuscicollis as it was believed to be a subspecies of the Cape Parrot.  Some sources call it the "Uncape Parrot" to distinguish it from the closely related Cape Parrot. However, these two species live geographically separated as the Cape Parrot prefers temperate montane forests and the Brown-necked Parrot dwells on the savanna.

Average lifespan: 20-25 years.


Body and wings are green. The head and neck are brownish grey with light orange/brown scalloping. The wings and back are dark green with orange/red  bend of wing, carpal edge and thighs. The rump and underparts are  green. The tail is short and wide with black/brown feathers. The eye is dark brown with a bare white / gray eye ring. The beak is horn-colored and relatively large in relation to the bird's size.

The female has an orange band across the crown.

Length: 30-36 cm
Weight: 310-400 gram


Two subspecies are recognized:

  • Poicephalus fuscicollis fuscicollis (Kuhl, 1820)
    • Known in aviculture as: Brown-necked Parrot, Brown-necked Parrot (Brown-necked)Angola Brown-necked Parrot, Gambia Brown-necked Parrot.
    • This is the nominate form, the colors are as describe above.
  • Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus (Reichenow, 1898)
    • Known in aviculture as: Brown-necked Parrot (Grey-headed)East African Brown-necked Parrot or Grey-headed Parrot.
    • Differs from nominate form by: Head and neck silver/grey scalloped with light orange/brown. Bluish green rump and underparts.


  • Poicephalus fuscicollis fuscicollis : Senegal and Gambia to east-central Nigeria and northern Angola.
  • Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus : Central Tanzania and Rwanda to northeastern South Africa and southeastern Angola.


A vertical nest box about 30 x 30 x 60 cm is suitable.

The hen lays 2-4 eggs that are incubated for 28-30 days. The chicks are fledge after 10-11 weeks.


  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Poicephalus


  • Danish: Brunnakket Papegøje
  • English: Brown-necked Parrot, Angola Brown-necked Parrot, Gambia Brown-necked Parrot 
  • French: Perroquet à cou brun
  • German:  Graukopfpapage
  • Portuguese: ?
  • Spanish:  ?

IUCN Red List

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Version 2017-3. <www.iucnredlist.org>.
Downloaded on 19 March 2018.