African Parrots »  Cape Parrot

Cape Parrot

Quick Information

Pet Status:
Noise Level:
Native to:
South Africa
3 yrs.
40 yrs.

The Cape parrot is the largest member of the genus Poicephalus, and originates from three separate regions of Africa. Their regions are so distinct, and the birds physical make up is so different, some think each could be separate species.
Capes parrots like to play very hard and oftentimes get quite rowdy.  They like fighting with their toys and will chase a ball or perhaps a walnut, all over the bottom of the cage or the front room floor. A play-pen should contain a ladder or some hanging toy for climbing down and another long toy for climbing back up. They seem to enjoy climbing down, then across, back up and over, then down again. A Cape will play like this for 15-20 minutes at a time, of course stopping along the way to occasionally chew on a wooden block or beat up an acrylic toy. A bird with a beak as large as a Cape is definitely a chewer, and can go through perches in just a few days. Be prepared to replace perches often and supply a vast amount of wooden toys, which are meant to be destroyed.

Cape parrots seem very affectionate, and will snuggle and cuddle at the drop of a hat. Additionally, Capes can be affectionate and snugly without being overly demanding. A lucky Cape parrot owner can walk by the cage, stop and interact and go on his or her merry way with out fear that the bird will scream for more attention. Capes will return to playing with toys and be perfectly happy and content. Capes also want to get into and investigate everything in their path. When they are spending regular time with you, a cuddle and scritches for awhile are expected, then a time for playing and investigating, and then some more quiet time before being returned to the cage.
Although there are some who keep and breed Cape Parrots, the species itself is the target of a large conservation effort in Africa where their numbers are declining due to the fatal Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), a viral infection. Their habitat is being reduced by logging and modification of African Yellowwood trees, in particular the loss of old trees and dead snags with suitable nesting hollows. The provision of nesting boxes has had some success and offers some hope for increasing the proportion of the breed.

DIET: Pellets, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables
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