Medium-sized parrot of about 9 inches in length. Male is distinguished by a deep orange belly, ash-brown upper parts and bright pale bluish rump. Female has upper breast gray, lower breast pale green sometimes tinged with orange, and head paler and grayer than male. Both sexes have red irises, dark gray beaks and gray feet. A swift bullet-like flight just below tree-top level accompanied with a shrill screech is characteristic of this bird.
GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Dry bush areas and acacia woodlands of East Africa from northeasterrn Tanzania, eastern and northern Kenya to central Ethiopia.
Fruits, seeds and grain.
LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Diurnal. Largely sedentary with seasonal movements in some areas. Encountered in pairs or family groups of 3 to 4 birds. Nests in a cavity 2-3 meters above the ground in a termite mound or dead tree. Clutch is one to three ivory-white eggs which are incubated for 28 days. Chicks leave the nest about 63 days after hatching and are independent at 12 to 14 weeks of age. Maturity is reached at 12 months, but breeding may not take place until they are 3 to 4 years old.
Bills adapted for seed eating; feet adapted for holding food.
Also known as the Orange-bellied Parrot, Red-breasted Parrot, Abyssinian Parrot. In captivity they are quieter than many parrots, but they are good talkers and can produce a variety of sounds, both learned and instinctive.
A pair in the Hillside Aviary in the Main Zoo.
STATUS IN WILD:
On the 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.