Brown-necked Parrot

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image: brownneckparrot.jpg

Common Name: The Cape Parrot
Scientific Name: Poicephalus robustus robustus

Size: 13 inches (33cm)

Habitat: Africa; South Africa. Lives in Afro-montane forests (dominated by Podocarpus species that occur at 1000-1500m altitude, on steep, south-facing slopes on dolerite ridges that receive frequent mist in the summer), but are not confined to it

Status: Endangered. Global Population: unknown. Loss of habitat, mostly due to logging of African Yellowwood trees, and the fatal outbreaks of Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) have brought this parrot close to extinction in the wild.

Diet: Yellow wood fruits are a major component of the parrots' diet.

Breeding: Nests in Yellowwood, particularly Podocarpus falcatus snags. Generally 3-4 eggs are laid in early August. Incubation period is estimated at 30–32 days. Fledging period is estimated at 80 days.

Cool Facts: “The Cape Parrot” has now been classified as a distinct species separate from the closely related Poicephalus fuscicollis, which is called the “Un-Cape Parrot”. The Un-Cape Parrot species has two subspecies, the Brown-necked Parrot (P. f. fuscicollis) and the Grey-headed Parrot (P. f. suahelicus).

With the Cape parrot being an endangered species, hundreds of volunteers do an annual count in May which they have called the "Cape Parrot Big Birding Day". The populations are difficult to count because the birds' habitats have become fragmented and they often fly long distances for food. The wild population appears to have increased from 500 individuals to over a 1,000 from 2000 to 2006. Over one hundred Cape Parrots are in captive breeding programs and the species survival may rest in its success. It is unusual as a pet parrot. Trade and export of wild-caught Cape Parrots has been made illegal by the international CITES agreement and by South African law.

Found in Songbird Remix Parrots of the World

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