Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Senegal Parrot (Poicephalus senegalus)


French: Perroquet youyou German: Mohrenkopf Spanish: Lorito senegalés

Psittacus Senegalus


, 1766,



Proposed race mesotypus (from E end of range) appears indistinguishable from, or only a clinal extreme of, nominate race. Two subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. senegalus (Linnaeus, 1766) – S Mauritania, Senegambia and Guinea-Bissau E to S Niger, N Cameroon, SW Chad and N Central African Republic.
  • P. s. versteri Finsch, 1863 – NW Ivory Coast E to SW Nigeria (S of nominate race but N of rainforest belt).
  • Descriptive notes

    23 cm; 120–161 g. Head grey; upperparts, breast and thighs green; belly yellow, shading to orange in centre; tail greenish brown; underwing-coverts yellow. Immature... read more


    Calls include a variety of piercing or grating screeches, typically rather drawn-out and thus much... read more


    Any type of lowland savanna, but apparently favouring relatively open country with Adansonia... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits of Ficus, Adansonia, Ximenia americana and Pterocarpus erinaceus, seeds of Parkia, ... read more


    Jan–Oct in Gambia; Jun in Ghana; Aug in Niger; bird noted entering tree-hole in Nov, Burkina Faso; eggs and young fledging in Oct,... read more


    Sedentary in places, e.g. Burkina Faso, but noted more numerous in rainy season, SW Niger, and a... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Often abundant. Common, Boucle du Baoulé Biosphere Reserve, Mali. Breeds in W National Park, Niger. Common resident... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Senegal Parrot (Poicephalus senegalus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).