Thursday, 23 February 2012

Meyer's parrot

Poicephalus meyeri

(Photo from Flickriver)

Common name:
Meyer's parrot (en); papagaio-de-Meyer (pt); perroquet de Meyer (fr); lorito de Meyer (es)goldbugpapagei (de)

Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

This African Species is found from Chad, and Ethiopia, though Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and into southern D.R. Congo, Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe western Mozambique, northern Namibia,  eastern Botswana and northern South Africa.

These birds are 21-25 cm long and weigh 100-135 g.

These birds are found in various woodland habitats, including savanna, riparian woodlands, and dry Acacia scrubland. They can also be found in agricultural areas. This species is present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.200 m.

They mostly eat seeds, nuts and fruits of various plants including Ficus, Ziziphus, Uapaca, Monotes, Combretum, Grewia, Sclerocarya, Pseudolachnostylis, Afzelia and Brachystegia. they also eat cultivated plants, namely oranges and maize and have been known to eat caterpillars.

Meyer's parrots breed in March-August. They nest in tree cavities, 3-10 m above the ground, often using old nests of woodpeckers and barbets. There the female lays 2-4 eggs which she incubates alone for 27-31 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 8-12 weeks after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be generally common in the northern parts of its range. Although the population has decreased dramatically in South Africa and Zimbabwe, overall the population is believed to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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