Meyer’s Parrot – Profile & Care Guide

Common nameMeyer’s Parrot (Brown Parrot, Sudan Brown Parrot)
Scientific namePoicephalus Meyeri
Length21 cm (8.2 in)
Weight100-135g (3.5-4.7 oz)
Life Span: 25 years
OriginPlateau woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa
Noise Level:Series of screeches with brief pauses, growling call, chorus calls in flock, mimic in captivity.

MEYER’S PARROT NATURAL HABITAT

This species inhabits much of sub-Saharan Africa, where it can be found in the following countries: Angola; Botswana; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Rwanda; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Meyer’s parrot is an adaptable species that inhabits a wide variety of habitats. These include forest edges, woodlands, open savannas, and agricultural land, mostly in close proximity to a water source.

Meyer’s parrots are social birds and are generally found in small flocks or pairs. They nest in hollow trees, or holes previously dug out by other birds, such as woodpeckers and barbets. Often, they’ll use the same nesting hole for multiple breeding seasons.

Meyer's Parrot Natural Habitat Profile and Care Guide by Parrot Essentials_3

Due to its widespread distribution, The Meyer’s parrot isn’t under direct threat, and the IUCN considers it a species of Least Concern. However, as it does inhabit agricultural sites, this parrot may experience negative consequences from the use of pesticides. Additionally, African deforestation rates are the highest in the world, causing two-thirds of all populations to undergo drastic habitat loss.

INTELLIGENCE & PERSONALITY

Meyer’s parrots are extremely social birds that tend to bond with everyone in the family or flock rather than just one person. They generally enjoy being the centre of attention and are considered calm and gentle.

As always, careful socialization from a young age is crucial to ensure your parrot doesn’t develop unwanted behaviours such as biting. Once socialized, they can become very tame and develop a deep affection for their owners.

The Meyer’s parrot is a very intelligent bird, and it learns quickly. You can teach yours all sorts of tricks!

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TALKING ABILITY

The Meyer’s parrot has the ability to learn a few words. However, these parrots are not particularly popular for their talking skills. They can learn how to whistle and can make a variety of clicking sounds. The sounds they naturally produce consists of short screams alternated with high-pitched whistles. Meyer’s parrots are generally quiet birds; although all parrots make noise, this species isn’t prone to screaming or squawking.

Some Meyer’s parrots have been known to mimic a variety of household items that emit sound. Meyer’s in the wild are known to sing in unison with one another.

MEYER’S PARROT DIET

Meyer's Parrot Diet Profile and Care Guide by Parrot Essentials_2

In the wild, Meyer’s parrot eats a wide variety of foods, including nuts, fruits, berries, grain crops, and occasionally insects. In order to provide your bird with the healthiest parrot diet possible, you will need to bring this variety into its diet.

The best staple food for your Poicephalus is a high-quality pellet, which is a more balanced option than the traditional seed mix. Pellets also prevent your parrot from only eating the seeds it likes and skipping others, reducing food waste and making sure it gets all the nutrients it needs.

You can supplement with a dry parrot seed mix containing a mixture of canary grass seed and white, red, or yellow millet. Include niger seed, linseed, thistle anise, and safflower seeds, as well as oats and groats, into the mix.

Plenty of fresh vegetables and some fresh fruits make nutritious additions to your bird’s diet. You can feed leafy greens, carrots, peppers, cooked beans, pulses, apples, bananas and much more. Remove any uneaten fruits and vegetables after 24 hours, as they will start to mould.

Fresh, clean water should be available at all times. Food and water dishes should be washed daily. Don’t forget to also provide a calcium block or cuttlebone.

HOUSING FOR YOUR MEYER’S PARROT

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These parrots require a roomy cage with horizontal bars to make climbing easy for them. Your Meyer’s parrot needs plenty of space and a variety of toys to keep it entertained. They particularly love shredding and chew toys, but the most important factor is variety: adding different items to play with and regularly switching things up helps to reduce boredom.

As a general rule, the minimum cage size for your Meyer’s parrot should be 20″ x 20″ x 24″, but something like 40″ x 20″ x 32″ would be ideal. Bar spacing is very important and should be between 1/2” to 5/8”. Don’t forget to also include a parrot bath.

Place your parrot’s cage in a family-centred room like the living room to help make sure it feels like part of the flock. Don’t put the cage in direct sunlight or close to the kitchen or bathroom (to prevent cooking fumes and perfumes/sprays from affecting your bird).

For extra enrichment, provide your Meyer’s with a jungle gym either on top or separate from their cage for them to explore outside. Let the bird spend at least a few hours a day roaming freely, making sure all doors and windows are closed and the room in question is fully parrot-proofed.

FEATHER PLUCKING & COMMON PROBLEMS

Meyer’s parrots are naturally extremely active and playful birds. Thus, when they are under-stimulated, they do tend to feather pluck as a result of boredom.

Because the climate in most countries is quite different from the climate in Africa, Meyer’s parrots can be sensitive to respiratory problems. However, the most common cause of diseases is an unclean environment and/or a bad diet.

MEYER’S PARROT FACTS & FAQ

  1. Since the year 1981, 75.387 wild-caught Meyer’s parrots were traded on the international market.
  2. This species is named after German ornithologist Bernhard Meyer.
  3. In general, Meyer’s parrots are considered great family pets. They get along well with all members of the family, but they’re also considered less demanding than other parrots.
  4. Meyer’s have the ability to make strong associations with household noises which they hear often. They can begin to mimic the beep of a microwave or the squeaking of the front door when they know you are about to go out.
  5. They are generally known for their sweet personality, being considered one of the more friendly, affectionate, and playful parrots. They’re also very receptive to training.

To view other Parrot Profiles & Care Guides, visit our Alphabetical list of Parrot Fact Sheets by visiting https://blog.parrotessentials.co.uk/parrot-profiles-care-guides/

SOURCES

Boyes, R. S., & Perrin, M. R. (2009). The feeding ecology of Meyer’s Parrot Poicephalus meyeri in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Ostrich, 80(3), 153–164. https://doi.org/10.2989/ostrich.2009.80.3.5.968

Perrin, M. R. (2008). The ecology of Meyer’s parrot (Poicephalus meyeri) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. https://ukzn-dspace.ukzn.ac.za/handle/10413/10836

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. My African Grey parrot is aged at least 10 years and, began plucking his chest feathers after my two dogs went to the Rainbow Bridge last January. I had my boyz for 16 wonderful years and was (and still am) bereft. I figured Fozzie the parrot picked up on my grief and this was his response. I watched him very carefully and he is in fine fettle however, he’s continued plucking his legs and shoulder feathers. He has plenty of stimulation and his toys are regularly changed. I open up his cage all day which he really enjoys. I placed a wooden perch on the outside of his cage and he sits and watches the wild birds feeding at their station and loves climbing all over his cage. He went exploring last week – bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and was chatting away and not in any hurry to go back to his cage. I need some suggestions and help as there are no specialist parrot doctors in Liverpool and transporting him would finish him off. Any ideas would be welcome.

    1. Hi Shaz,
      I am sorry to hear about your loss.
      Feather plucking is a very complex issue and it can take a very long time to be fixed. Sometimes it is impossible to stop this behaviour.
      Please have a look at this list of vets and you may find one that can visit you.
      https://blog.parrotessentials.co.uk/category/avian-vets/
      Also you can join our Facebook group for more advice and help with this issue
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/792980004221253
      I hope this helps.
      Anguel

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