Poicephalus Parrots

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The Niam-niam Parrot (Poicephalus crassus) is endemic to Central Africa, where it can be found in eastern Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, southwest Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). It favors moist woodland areas.

This species has a very large natural range, but is not known in captivity.



This parrot averages 25cm (9.75 – 10 inches) in length.

It is a mostly green parrot. The head and nape are greyish-brown – washed olive-yellow. The ear-coverts (feathers covering the ears) are silver-grey. The throat and breast are olive-brown. The back feathers are brownish with broad green edging. The under wing-coverts are green. The outer webs of the flight feathers are bluish-green. The tail is olive-brown with green tips. The periophthalmic (eye) ring is black and the irises are reddish-brown.

The upper beak is light greyish-blue with black tips. The lower beak is yellowish-horn colored. The feet are dark grey.

Males and females look alike and surgical or DNA sexing is required for accurate gender identification.

The immature bird has a greyish-brown head washed olive-yellow. The breast and abdomen are a paler green. The yellow upper beak has a grey tip; the lower beak is yellow.

Similar Species:

  • Similar in color and shape to the Brown-headed Parrot – but larger in size and they can also be identified by its reddish irises. The Brown-headed has greyish-yellow irises.


Natural Diet / Captive Feeding


Poicephalus Parrot Breeding / Reproduction


Calls / Vocalizations:

Calls made in flight or when perched are very sharp, which can be heard at some distance. Their sentinel (alarm calls) become more high-pitched.


Species Names:

Scientific: Poicephalus crassus aka Poicephalus cryptoxanthus crassus … English: Niam-Niam Parrot … Dutch: Niam-Niam Papegaai … German: Niam-Niam Papagei … French: Perroquet Niam-Niam – First description : Sharpe 1884

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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