Recently the Cape Parrots were reclassified so let's get it out of the way!
UNDER THE NEW RECLASSIFICATION:
fuscicollis. The robustus (P.r.) is now the only true Cape parrot.
- The nominate robustus is now a separate species from the suahelicus and
- The suahelicus and fuscicollis are now called the Grey-Headed Parrot
- (P.f.s.) and Brown-Necked Parrot (P.f.f.) respectively.
IN CAPTIVITY CAPE PARROTS ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS THE “GENTLE GIANTS” AND ARE:
birdy bread and a good quality pellet mixture.
- An extremely intelligent medium sized bird
- They have excellent talking potential – probably on par with African Greys.
- However, they talk in parrot voices, not in human voices as do African Greys.
- They have large powerful beaks capable of cracking any nut are rarely known to bite.
- Capes are very affectionate birds and love to snuggle without being overly demanding.
- The average weight is high 200's to the low 300's similar to the weight of the Timneh African Grey.
- Expected life span is about 40 years.
- Capes love people, youngsters included as they crave attention from their flock members.
- They require a large cage with lots of toys to keep these smart and active birds entertained.
- A good diet with a lot of nuts seem to be key ingredients along with a high quality soft food such as
- Capes also want to get into and investigate everything in their path.
- A large cage suitable for an African Grey or an Amazon would be an excellent choice.
- Cape Parrots appear to get along well with other birds - if properly socialized.
- Buy a Cape for a pet for its gentleness and undemanding, spunky temperament.
- They are delightful and lovable pets, low-key and easy-going. "The Gentle Giant" seems to 'go with
- Their beak is enough to let you know they could do a lot of damage if too!
- Cape parrots are NOT cage-bound and are NOT nippy.
Cape parrots are dimorphic when in adult plumage. Both sexes, when fledging, have the adult hen's coral
color patch above the cere. At about 6-8 months of age, during the "baby molt" both cocks and hens lose
their color. As the adult feathers come in, the hens head feathers begins to regrow in a more brilliant
coral. Males lose their orange crowns as they mature; females do not. Both sexes molt in more orange on
the shoulders and upper wings as they mature.
It is important to teach a Cape baby from early on what the routine is and what is expected in the form
of out-of-cage time. Because Cape parrots have such a high energy level, there should be a play area made
especially for the Cape, and a fair amount of time allowed out to play. It is unfair for a Cape due to its
social nature, to not have extended periods out of the cage.
Capes parrots like to play very hard and oftentimes get quite rowdy. They like fighting with their toys
and will chase a ball or perhaps a walnut all over the bottom of the cage. A play-area should contain a
ladder or some hanging toy for climbing down and another long toy for climbing back up. They seem to
enjoy climbing down, then across, back up and over, then down again. A Cape will play like this for
15-20 minutes at a time, of course stopping along the way to occasionally chew on a wooden block or
beat up a toy. A bird with a beak as large as a Cape is definitely a chewer, and can go through perches
in just a few days. Be prepared to replace perches often and supply a vast amount of wooden toys, which
are meant to be destroyed.
Capes are not loud birds, relatively speaking and in general are relatively quiet birds. Most breeders
recommend them for situations where noise is a concern.
The Cape parrot is considered a "rare" bird and is not for everyone so do your home-work!
|The Cape Parrot is the largest member of the African genus Poicephalus and originates from Africa and is
either a Brown-necked Parrot or a Grey-headed Parrot.