Meyer Parrot


Meyer's ParrotMeyer Parrot21–25 cm; 100–165 g. Head, back, wings and tail dull brown, belly and rump green or turquoise, underparts washed yellow; the variable amount of yellow on flanks, shoulders, and crown.

Identification

Underwing-coverts yellow. Immature lacks yellow markings.

Race saturatus darker, matschiei with bluer tinging to green, transvaalensis bluer still and smaller, reichenowi like matschiei but large with no yellow on crown, damarensis like matschiei but large.

Meyer Parrot

Systematics History

Editor’s Note: This article requires further editing work to merge existing content into the appropriate Subspecies sections. Please bear with us while this update takes place.

Thought to form a species group with P. rueppelliiP. cryptoxanthin and P. Crassus, and possibly others. Believed to hybridize with P. cryptoxanthin in SE Zimbabwe.

Much intergradation between races, and also variation within each, indicate the need for revision. Six subspecies are currently recognized.

Subspecies


SUBSPECIES

Poicephalus meyeri meyeri Scientific name definitions

Distribution

NE Cameroon E through S Chad and N Central African Republic to S Sudan, W Ethiopia, and Eritrea.

SUBSPECIES

Poicephalus meyeri saturatus Scientific name definitions

Distribution

S South Sudan, Uganda and W Kenya S to E DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi, and NW Tanzania.

SUBSPECIES

Poicephalus meyeri matschiei Scientific name definitions

Distribution

E Angola to SE DRCongo, W and C Tanzania, N Zambia, and N Malawi.

SUBSPECIES

Poicephalus meyeri reichenowi Scientific name definitions

Distribution

W Angola.

SUBSPECIES

Poicephalus meyeri damarensis Scientific name definitions

Distribution

S Angola, N Namibia, and NW Botswana.

SUBSPECIES

Poicephalus meyeri transvaalensis Scientific name definitions

Distribution

S Zambia and NW Mozambique S through E Botswana and Zimbabwe to N South Africa (N and W Limpopo).

Distribution

Editor’s Note: Additional distribution information for this taxon can be found in the ‘Subspecies’ article above. In the future, we will develop a range-wide distribution article.

Habitat

A wide range of open woodland and riparian habitats, with obligate proximity to water in Angola and were sympatric with P. rufiventris use riverine forest not open savanna, although in drier areas than P. cryptoxanthin in Mozambique.

african meyer parrot

Mixed lowland short- and tall-grass savanna, including those types dominated by Terminalia laxiflora and Isoberlinia DokaCombretum bushlands and Acacia tortilis grassland, plus Syzygium-Adina riparian woodland, gallery forest,

SOURCE: Rita Garris

Brachystegia woodland along watercourses, riverine Acacia. In Darfur, Sudan, abundance is linked to Acacia albida, and this species and A. nigrescens are also favored in South Africa. 600–2200 m in E Africa, 900–1350 m in Malawi.

Movement

Resident, although local movement or nomadism occurs, Botswana and South Africa.

Diet and Foraging

Fruits of large riverine trees such as Afzelia quanzensisMelia volkensii, and Ficus sycomorus; seen excavating the large fruits of Kigelia Africana; also figs, marulas, and is fond of cultivated oranges.

Seed pods of trees, particularly the green pods of several Acacia species; only birds noted to feed on seeds of Brachystegia and other leguminous trees in miombo woodland.

Meyer Parrots

 

Other food plants include Ziziphus abyssinicaUapaca nitidulaMontes glaberCombretumGrewiaSclerocaryaPseudolachnostylis, and Schotia. Reported raiding grain fields, and recorded as taking caterpillars and other insects.

In the Okavango Delta, Botswana, diet comprises 71 food items from 37 tree species in 16 families, the most used trees being Kigelia AfricanaDiospyros mespiliformis,

SOURCE: Five’s A Flock with Coro

Combretum imberbe, and Ficus sycomorus; the species can be considered to be an opportunistic generalist that tracks resource availability across a wide suite of potential food items.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Calls are high-pitched, predominantly up slurred and under slurred, piercing, short whistles such as “kweet!” or “kwee-oo-eet”. Also utters various screeches and squawks.

Breeding

Apr–Oct in Ethiopia, and similarly extended, patchily Feb–Dec in E Africa; nests with young in Jan in Sudan; May-Sept in Angola; Apr-May in Botswana; Jun in Malawi; Jan–Aug, chiefly Apr–May, in Zimbabwe; Mar-Jun in South Africa.

the meyer's parrot

Commonly uses old woodpecker holes, usually in vertical trunks at 3–7 m, with use continuing in successive years. Eggs 2–4, probably staggered; incubation 29–31 days; fledging 60–84 days.

SOURCE: Rita Garris

Conservation Status

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common, NE Central African Republic, where present (breeding) and common in Manovo-Gouda-St Floris and Bamingui-Bangoran National Parks. Very common, W Darfur; fairly common elsewhere, Sudan.

Common breeding resident, C Kenya. Seen daily, Ajai’s Game Reserve, Uganda. Present but uncommon in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

In Zambia and Malawi fairly common locally, while in Zimbabwe it is the only widespread and common parrot, but snared by local tribesmen, Middle Zambezi, because of the damage it does to ripening Ziziphus berries, an important human food.

Common, N Botswana, sparser in E. The commonest parrot in Angola was considered a crop pest, and present in Kangandala National Park and Giant Sable Strict Nature Reserve.

Generally scarce and localized, Transvaal, and much less widespread and numerous than in last century; formerly notorious there for damage to orange orchards, also eating grain and taking maize from cobs.


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Amanda