|Conservation status||Least concern|
Red-bellied parrots are small, about 9 inches long and weigh about 5 ounces. Head and upper parts are gray in color, with the upper wings a darker shade, and bear slight tinges of green and/or orange throughout. Male birds bear an orange-red belly to just past the legs; the remainder is green to the tail. Females bear a grayish-green belly instead. Bill and feet are dark gray, and eyes are an orange-red.
- Poicephalus rufiventris pallidus; eastern Ethiopia and Somalia
- Poicephalus rufiventris rufiventris; central Ethiopia to northern Tanzania
Range and habits
Red-bellied parrots are found in eastern Africa, from Ethiopia and Somalia southwards through Kenya and into Tanzania. They live in dry lowlands up to a height of 2000 feet above sea level, and has a preference for dry thornbush and savanna populated by acacia and baobab trees. Like most of the long-winged parrots, they are food and habitat generalists.
Red-bellied parrots live in small family groups of four to eight individuals. Larger groups are rarely seen, which is probably due to the fact that in their range a plentiful food supply is rare. It feeds on fruits, berries, seeds, small insects and larvae, and they occasionally fall into agricultural areas, where they particularly like to eat corn. They prefer to breed in tree trunk holes and cavities, with the hole often located at a considerable height above the ground. Their nests have also been found in termite mounds. The clutch consists of one to two eggs, which are hatched in 28-30 days. Very little else is known about them outside of captivity.
Relationship to man
Red-bellied parrots were first imported to Europe in 1920, yet unlike the similar Senegal parrots belonging to the same genus, which are one of the most widely sold African parrots after the gray parrot, red-bellied parrots are rarely sold. They are listed by the ICUN as "least concern", yet have been listed on CITES Appendix II as subject to strict controls regarding the international trade in birds.