Red Bellied Parrots
Scientific Name:  Poicephalus rufiventris
Size: 8 to 9 inches
Native Region: Africa
Life Expectancy: 20+ years with proper care
Noise Level:  Low
Talk/Trick Ability: Good talker, learns & makes sounds instinctively.
  • The Red Bellied Parrot is similar in shape and a slightly larger than the Senegal Parrot,
    averaging 8.5 - 10) inches in length and usually reach maturity at 12 months of age.
  • They have wide eye rings and red irises, black bills and dark gray feet.
  • Their wings, heads and backs are greyish-brown. The lower back has a blue tinge,
    although it is predominantly yellow-green.
  • The breasts, under-wing coverts, and cheeks are washed with orange. The under-wing
    coverts and thighs are aqua green.
  • Red-bellied Parrots are also known as Red-bellied Conures or Abessinian Parrots
    (Poicephalus rufiventris) are originally from East Africa, specifically Central Ethiopia.
  • They are endangered in their natural habitat; however they are gaining popularity in the
    pet trade.

  • Red-bellied parrots are more social and talk better than any other Poicephalus parrots.
    These birds are best described as being the life of the party. They are spunky and active
    birds that like to jabber and show off.
  • Red-bellied parrots have the comical, playful and animated personality of larger parrots,
    but without the cost, mess or noise typically associated with the larger parrots. They are
    energetic and love to socialize, are generally inquisitive, sweet, with great personalities
    who are easily tamed and trained.

  • Mist your bird with chlorine-free, lukewarm water regularly with a spray bottle, or you
    can provide a dish for bathing but remove the water after your bird has finished bathing.
  • Clipping flight feathers is not necessary, but when done correctly it can help prevent
    injury or escape.
  • Nails & wing clips should be trimmed by a qualified person to prevent injury to the bird.

  • Some breeders favor a diet that contains a good amount of pellets; while others prefer
    staying as close to their natural diet as possible, which is why relevant research is so
  • Most experts in this area recommend that their diet should consist of a quality small
    parrot mix, supplemented with various fruits, green foods, millet spray, and occasionally
    some mealworms or other forms of protein.
  • A no waste diet is highly recommended and should consist of 60–70% of the diet. I use
    very little seeds as they are higher in fat and less nutritious.
  • Provide fresh fruits and vegetables daily, such as grapes, bananas, cantaloupe, broccoli
    and carrots. Discard uneaten portions of food after 6 hours.
  • Always provide fresh chlorine-free water and change at least twice daily as birds like to
    dunk their food while they are eating. I do not recommend water bottles for this reason.
  • NEVER feed your birds fruit seeds, avocados, chocolate, alcohol or caffeine as these can be
    deadly or cause serious medical problems.
  • In their natural habitat, the Poicephalus Parrots eat a variety of seeds (including
    sprouted) as well as myriad fruit, plants, greens, blossoms, grain, nuts and even insects.
  • A cuttlebone, mineral block, gravel and oyster shell can be provided to provide the
    necessary calcium & minerals

  • Birds acclimate well to average household temperatures but always be cautious of extreme
    temperature changes.
  • The cage should not be placed on the floor. Place the cage in an area that is well-lit and
    away from drafts.
  • A cage approximately 24" W x 24" D x 36" H, with metal bars spaced no greater than
    3/4" apart, makes a good home for your parrot. As a rule, it is best to provide the largest
    habitat possible.
  • Perches should be at least 9" long and ½" in diameter. Provide a variety of perches with
    different textures to exercise their feet and will also help to prevent arthritis.
  • Purchase a cage that has a metal grate over the droppings tray. This will keep the bird
    away from droppings. I place a newspaper in the bottom of the "poop pan" for easier
    cleaning. Do not place food or water bowls under perches.
  • Ensure that there are no cage parts or toys made with lead, zinc or lead and lead-based
    paints or galvanized parts as these cause serious medical issues if ingested by your bird
    and can lead to death.

Breeding in captivity:
  • Red Belly parrots commonly breed at about 3 to 4 years of age. The Red Bellied like
    most of the Poicephalus species breeds in our winter months and normally lay 4 eggs;
    one every other day.
  • Incubation is carried out by the hen and lasts for about 27 to 28 days dependent on the
  • Incubation usually begins after the 2nd egg has been laid. I use a cockatiel size nest box
    filled with soft wood shavings.
  • Breeding Poicephalus Parrots in captivity presents several challenges and is, therefore,
    best left to the more experienced breeders. These parrots are often nervous and may show
    aggression towards their mates and other birds - particularly during the breeding
    season. They tend to be erratic breeders.
  • This being said, some pairs present few problems. Breeding successes and challenges are
    likely linked to the level of experience of the breeder birds, their level of bonding and
    compatibility, as well as their general health and contentment with respect to their
    environment and care they are given.

Introducing / Pairing up Breeder Birds:
  • The process of pairing up breeder birds is a very delicate one. New breeder birds need to be
    introduced to each other very carefully, and this initially requires constant observation
    and patience. Poicephalus
  • Parrots are likely to be aggressive towards newcomers potentially resulting in severe
    injury or even death.  These parrots have to be gradually introduced to each other.
    Initially it's best to keep both birds in their own cages, but side-by-side and where they
    can see each other. Once they get used to each other, you may observe them sitting as
    close to each other as possible (but still in their own cages, obviously).  
  • Once they appear to be comfortable with each other, the caretaker then places them together
    in another NEUTRAL cage (a cage that neither one has previously regarded as his or her
    territory). Once they are together in one cage, it is important to observe them very
    carefully for any signs of aggression. When signs of bonding are apparent, such as
    mutual preening and one parrot feeding the other, the pair can then be placed into their
    new breeding cage or aviary.
  • Even after they have been placed into their permanent home, careful observation has to be
    maintained to monitor for signs of aggression - especially in the beginning. If
    aggression occurs at any stage the birds need to be separated.

Nestbox Information:
  • These birds require more privacy than most other parrot species to breed successfully. The
    nest box should be at the highest possible point in the cage or aviary, and the entrance
    hole should be in a shaded or dark position. Light should not be able to enter the nest box.
  • Nest boxes are best positioned so that nest inspection can be carried out from outside the
    aviary. Nest inspections are best done when the adult birds are out of the nest for feeding.
  • Some breeders are successful with vertical boxes, others with horizontal boxes. Again
    others provide elaborate "L" shaped boxes or offer nest boxes that have tunnels.
  • The nest box preferences are influenced by the size and type of nest-box or log in which
    the parents were hatched and raised. Some use larger boxes and others smaller ones. In
    the wild, Poicephalus Parrots tend to nest in the most unusual size and shaped nesting
    holes. So it's trial and error in some cases.
  • Poicephalus Parrots are typically intolerant of nest inspections. If the set-up allows it,
    it's best to carry them out from the outside and when the parents are out of the nest box
    to feed. Of course, this requires the nest box to be positioned in a way that enables the
    breeder to inspect the nest box without entering the aviary or flight. A "reverse" nest box
    works well for that purpose -- one which can be attached to the outside of a cage or aviary
    with an opening through the aviary to allow the breeders to get into the box. A removable
    top or lift-off lid or a side-door to provide useful access points for inspections as well as
    for cleaning are also necessary.

  • In an adult, the cock has a orange belly, the hen has a green one. Young birds of both
    sexes have an orange wash to the belly. But an experienced breeder of these birds will be
    able to sex them for you.

  • Red Bellied Parrots are usually very reasonable priced between $400 to $500, depending
    on source, availability and location.

                                       Thank you for  reading this Bio.  
     If you are interested in getting a Red Bellied Parrot, please
email me for availability.