Senegal Parrots: General

By Gregory Rich, DVM; Rick Axelson, DVM

The Senegal parrot is a lovely, gregarious, chatty bird. The 3 subspecies belong to the Poicephalus family and ae native to a wide range of central West Africa. Members of this group of birds are small to medium in size and have a compact, stocky body.

Senegal parrots are very self-assured, charming, highly intelligent, playful, and social flock animals. They will readily learn human speech and learn to mimic household noises like the microwave and telephone. Their voices are softer and quieter than other larger parrots. In captivity, they often bond closely with one person, and are very loyal pets. Most hand-raised or well-socialized Senegal parrots are gentle and make wonderful family pets.

Purchasing a Senegal Parrot

Senegal parrots may be purchased from a pet store or a reputable breeder. When selecting a Senegal parrot, try to choose a young bird. Older, wild, colony- or parent-raised birds may prove challenging to tame and are often very nippy. Hand-raised babies often make better pets because they have been completely socialized with humans. Young birds are easier to tame and adapt readily to new environments and situations. Your new bird should be exposed early on to different events (young and old people, males and females, other pets, car trips, visits to the veterinarian, etc.) to help promote a calm, well-adjusted pet. The lively, alert bird that is not easily frightened is more well-adapted to change and will be less stressed about new things. After purchasing your new bird, have it examined by an avian veterinarian, as they are more familiar with pet birds, their diseases, and their dietary needs.

Veterinary Care

Senegal parrots require regular, routine veterinary health check-ups. Your veterinarian can perform a physical examination, grooming (nail or feather trim as necessary), and laboratory tests as needed. During these annual health examinations, health, nutritional, and maintenance issues can be identified and addressed. Veterinary exams are intended to help prevent disease and will aid in the maintenance of a long lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird.

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