The Red Bellied Parrot



  • Common Name:  Red Bellied Parrot
  • Other Common Names:  none listed
  • Scientific Name:  Poicephalus rufiventris
  • Group:
  • Origin or Range:  Africa
  • Relative Size:  Smaller Than Average
  • Average Lifespan:  ??? years
  • Compatibility:  Relatively Non-Aggressive
  • Category: Parrots

Often considered to be the show-offs of the parrot world, the Red Bellied Parrot is often not as shy as other parrots, and some owners report that their birds will talk even more in the presence of strangers than they do when they are at home with people they know.

In the wild, Red Bellied Parrots live in small groups or pairs. They eat fruits, seeds, and grain, living in woodlands or savannas. Although quieter than many parrots, Red Bellied Parrots are good talkers and can produce a variety of noises and sounds, both learned and instinctive. Although shy at times, Red Bellied Parrots are easily excited by new people and may talk excessively to attract attention. They are affectionate and loving with people they are familiar with and love attention. Once they are acclimated, they become quite hardy. Before they are comfortable with their new handlers, they may be quite shy and some have even died flying into the mesh walls of their cages. After they settle in, they become quite hardy and confiding. New birds should be allowed temperatures warmer than 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but after they are settled, they may be kept at temperatures as low as 50 degrees.

This parrot usually reaches maturity at 12 months of age and will be about eight and a half inches in length. They have grayish brown wings, heads, and backs. The lower back has a blue tinge, although it is predominantly yellow-green. The breasts, under-wing coverts, and cheeks are washed with orange. The under-wing coverts and thighs are aqua green. They also have black periopthalmic rings and red irises. Their bills are black and their feet are gray. Sexing may be achieved visually; males have orange bellies and females have green bellies. Immature birds both have orange coloration over their bellies.

The Red Bellied Parrot was first officially noted in 1845 by Ruppell. These birds are naturally occurring in eastern Africa, from central Ethiopia to northern Tanzania. Although wild caught birds may be shy, flighty, or reserved, captive bred and raised Red Bellied Parrots usually have sweet, confiding personalities and will seek out human attention and company.

These wonderful birds should be fed a good basic seed or pellet diet supplemented with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, including green food. Wood offered to your Parrot will probably be much appreciated, and plenty of exercise is important as well. They should be housed in a cage which allows plenty of room for moving around and playing.

The Red Bellied should usually be provided with a nest box of about two feet high and ten inches square, filled with wood shavings and peat moss. Generally, they will not breed until they are between three and four years of age. Breeding season usually occurs in the winter months. The average clutch consists of about four eggs laid over about eight days, and the incubation is achieved by the female alone. This lasts about 28 days, and by nine weeks of age the young are ready to leave the nests. Between 12 and 14 weeks of age, they will be fully independent.


STARescue, Inc.

Copyright 2004 [Southeast Texas Avian Rescue, Inc.]. All rights reserved. Revised: 12/10/11