MDPR Life with Birds
by Michele Wolf
The name of the genus of small, short tailed African Parrots that includes Senegal, Meyers and Red Bellied parrots is Poicephalus, meaning “made of head”. They have a large, somewhat disproportionately sized head compared to their stocky little bodies, and are unbearably cute, though that trait cannot be scientifically proven. They are small parrots that look and act like big parrots!
Two of my five birds are poicephalus parrots; Leela my Meyer’s and Winky my red-bellied. These two are both absolutely adorable but are different as night and day. Leela is by far my sweetest, most reliable, even-tempered bird, and Winky being my most unreliable, Jekyll and Hyde bird. Leela is a little angel – she will let almost anyone pet her head – including small children – and will walk all over the house looking for me so she can simply sit on my shoulder or knee and nap. Winky however is a mystery covered in feathers. He seems to want human interaction and will sometime accept head scratches but will often turn on a dime to bite out of nowhere. He is very funny though – doing spot-on sneeze impressions and dancing to music. Both Leela & Winky do a very funny “not there at all look” where their eyes simply are not focused on anything – like a deer in the headlight both do a weird Poicephalus blinking each eye at a different times when they are sleepy – creepy!!
Recently Winky has embarked on trying to make a connection with Leela, which is interesting to me since they are so very different from each other. He begins with skirt dancing and feeding her while she sits next to him expectantly but still relatively disinterested. We will see if Leela will warm up to him or not – it would make me really happy to see Winky have a friend in the flock.
In general, Poicephalus parrots are quieter than conures and the larger parrots, have independent dispositions and can be very sweet. I can certainly recommend them! Check our adoptable birds page for listings of available Poicephalus parrots!