Senegal Parrots are considered quiet by most people’s standards, but they definitely can let out loud and piercing screeches when excited, alarmed or upset. In general terms, however, they can make good apartment birds as noise is rarely a problem. In the wild, on the other hand, flocks of these social parrots are often heard chattering continuously, with a range of whistling and squawking calls.
The colorful and relatively small Senegal is remarkably quiet and calm. It can talk and mimic, although it is not the most prolific talkers of the parrots. It has an affectionate, fun-loving disposition; it’s comical antics are entertaining and playful. This charming is also less expensive than most parrots and is more widely available in ordinary pet stores than most tropical birds.
Senegal parrots do learn to mimic, but are generally more adept at sounds than clear speech. The sounds they typically pick up may be the phone ringing, whistling, microwave beeps, smoke alarms and barking. They will learn to imitate the natural calls of other birds in the house (or outside) with ease.
Many learn to say a few words quite easily, but Senegal Parrots tend not to be huge talker and speak rather slowly and in a limited fashion – often with a high squeaky voice. However, some of them develop quite an extensive vocabulary and phrases. Most will develop an understanding of several common phrases like “step up”.
Speech and Vocalizations
Senegals can talk and mimic, although they tend to be considerably quieter than many other parrots. Compared to other parrots, they are not known for their talking ability, but they can learn to speak. They can learn to say a couple of dozen words.
All birds make noise. Senegals are not silent; they are merely quieter (and less screechy) than other species of parrots. Their vocalizations are mostly whistling and clucking noises. A Senegal parrot may be the right choice for you if you live in an apartment or if your space cannot tolerate a loud bird.
Senegal Parrot Colors and Markings
A striking feature of these charming little birds is their dark head. Mature Senegals heads are gray, and their wings and chests are green. On their bellies, they sport a V-shaped patch of color ranging from yellow and orange to red, depending on the subspecies.
There are two subspecies, the more common Poicephalus senegalus senegalus, which has a yellow chest vest; and P. s. versteri, which has a chest vest that is deep orange.
They are a monomorphic species, meaning that Senegals of both sexes are identical in color. To tell the sexes apart, your bird would need a surgical sexing procedure or a DNA test.
Caring for a Senegal Parrot
Because it is on the smaller size, a Senegal parrot does not require a huge cage. At the minimum, it needs a cage with a 20-inch by 20-inch footprint and 28 inches in height; larger is always preferable. The cage should, of course, be more substantial if you are keeping two birds. Bar spacing should be about 3/4 inch.
Equip the cage with several horizontal bars to serve as perches. Prospective owners should also plan to invest in a variety of toys and accessories for their birds. Senegals can be strong chewers, so it’s a good idea to provide them with toys to exercise their beaks.