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Friday, April 24, 2009
Ruppell’s Parrot

By Jessica Pineda, Associate Editor of BIRD TALK and BirdChannel.com
Join her on her quest to learn about each parrot species in The Parrot Birder.

Part of my job as BIRD TALK’s associate editor is gathering together many of the photos that are found in the magazine. That means working with contributing photographers or setting up photo shoots in our in-house studio.

Imagine my surprise when I came across the Ruppell’s parrot (Poicephalus rueppellii). It was like looking at my Meyer’s parrot, if its feather were bright blue. It is commonly mistaken for the Meyer’s parrot, until one notices the female’s bright blue feathers along her rump.

One of the interesting things about this species is that it is sexually dimorphic, which is unusual in the Poicephalus genus. Again, to my utter surprise, the female Ruppell’s has the bright blue feathers. Compared to the male, which has no distinct coloring, the female is gorgeous.

Usually males are more brightly-colored, which is true in sexually-dimorphic parrots, as well. It comes as a great surprise to learn that females are the more colorful Ruppell’s parrot.

You can see what I mean by viewing photos of the Ruppell’s parrot here or on this website.

There isn’t a lot of literature available on this species as a pet, but in the November 2006 issue of BIRD TALK magazine, Sandee L. Molenda wrote an article called “Ruppell’s Parrot.” Her article states that there are only about 1,000 Ruppell’s parrots in United States aviculture. Even in Canada and Europe, they are rare, so there is a little chance you night ever see these intriguing Poicephalus. However, if you ever go to Africa, try an eco tour where you can see these beautiful birds in the wild.

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