The Poicephalus genus comprises 9 species and several subspecies of small parrots with bright colors. They are stocky birds with a relatively large head and beak for their size and a broad short tail.

They are very agile flyers and demand a large aviary. 

The Senegal Parrot, Meyer's Parrot, Red-bellied Parrot and Brown-headed Parrot are popular as pets - they are small and quiet birds compared to other popular parrots so they are suitable as a pet parrot even if you live in an apartment.

Some of the species e.g. Senegal Parrot are easy to breed in captivity while others are rare.

Poicephalus parrots are very intelligent and capable of mimicking words and learn different tricks with proper training. With a lifespan of 40-50 years in captivity with proper care you get a friend for life. 


Poicephalus crassus
Niam-Niam Parrot

Poicephalus cryptoxanthus
Brown-headed Parrot

Poicephalus flavifrons
Yellow-fronted Parrot

Poicephalus fuscicollis
Brown-necked Parrot

Poicephalus gulielmi
Red-fronted Parrot

Poicephalus meyeri
Meyer's Parrot

Poicephalus robustus
Cape Parrot

Poicephalus rueppellii
Rüppell's Parrot

Poicephalus rufiventris
Red-bellied Parrot

Poicephalus senegalus
Senegal Parrot

Photo credits:

  • Red-fronted Parrot : Michael Olsen
  • Meyer's Parrot : Diego Recanati
  • Senegal Parrot : Ellen's Parrots

Species and subspecies

  • Poicephalus crassus (Sharpe, 1884) - Niam-niam Parrot
  • Poicephalus cryptoxanthus (Peters, W, 1854) - Brown-headed Parrot
    • Poicephalus cryptoxanthus cryptoxanthus (Peters, W, 1854)
    • Poicephalus cryptoxanthus tanganyikae (Bowen, 1930)
  • Poicephalus flavifrons (Rüppell, 1842) - Yellow-fronted Parrot
  • Poicephalus fuscicollis (Kuhl, 1820) - Brown-necked Parrot
    • Poicephalus fuscicollis fuscicollis (Kuhl, 1820)
    • Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus (Reichenow, 1898)
  • Poicephalus gulielmi (Jardine, 1849) - Red-fronted Parrot
    • Poicephalus gulielmi gulielmi (Jardine, 1849)
    • Poicephalus gulielmi fantiensis (Neumann, 1908)
    • Poicephalus gulielmi massaicus (Fischer, GA & Reichenow, 1884)
  • Poicephalus meyeri (Cretzschmar, 1827) - Meyer's Parrot
    • Poicephalus meyeri meyeri (Cretzschmar, 1827)
    • Poicephalus meyeri damarensis (Neumann, 1898)
    • Poicephalus meyeri matschiei (Neumann, 1898)
    • Poicephalus meyeri reichenowi (Neumann, 1898)
    • Poicephalus meyeri saturatus (Sharpe, 1901)
    • Poicephalus meyeri transvaalensis (Neumann, 1898)
  • Poicephalus robustus (Gmelin, JF, 1788) - Cape Parrot
  • Poicephalus rueppellii (Gray, GR, 1849) - Rüppell's Parrot
  • Poicephalus rufiventris (Rüppell, 1842) - Red-bellied Parrot
    • Poicephalus rufiventris rufiventris (Rüppell, 1842)
    • Poicephalus rufiventris pallidus (van Someren, 1922)
  • Poicephalus senegalus (Linnaeus, 1766) - Senegal Parrot
    • Poicephalus senegalus senegalus (Linnaeus, 1766)
    • Poicephalus senegalus versteri (Finsch, 1863)