The Brown Parrot aka Meyer’s parrot (Poicephalus meyeri) is a small (about 21 cm, 90-130g), stocky African parrot. Meyer’s parrots display a dull brown head, back and tail, green or blue-green abdomen, blue rump and bright yellow markings on the carpal joint of the wings. Most subspecies have some yellow on the top of the head as well. Forshaw (1989) recognizes six subspecies of P. meyeri which vary in home range, size and in markings, including the extent of yellow markings on the head and wings and intensity of turquoise markings on the abdomen and rump. The name commemorates the German ornithologist Bernhard Meyer.
I had to work for these shots as the Meyer’s Parrots in Tarangire were pretty far away and experts at camouflage!
The six subspecies are:
- P. m. meyeri (Cretzschmar, 1827) — s Chad to w Ethiopia
- P. m. saturatus (Sharpe, 1901) — Uganda and w Kenya to w Tanzania
- P. m. matschiei (Neumann, 1898) — c Tanzania, se Congo, Zambia and n Malawi
- P. m. reichenowi (Neumann, 1898) — c Angola to s Congo
- P. m. damarensis (Neumann, 1898) — n Namibia, s Angola and nw Botswana
- P. m. transvaalensis (Neumann, 1899) — Botswana, Zimbabwe and n South Africa
Meyer’s Parrots have a huge range so you have a good chance to see them on most African birding safaris. Check above as to the subspecies you are likely to see. Tarangire NP in Tanzania is a relatively easy place to see them (red dot) but you also could try Serengeti, Masai Mara, some parks in Uganda, Zambia, Zimabawe, Chobe in Botswana, Etosha in Namibia. The Xeno-Canto & IBC websites below have actual locations where other people saw them and took sound clips.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MEYER’S PARROTS
Well YT has hundreds of captive Meyer’s Parrot videos but this one at last shows their natural sound. There are more videos on IBC which I can’t embed here that have actual wild birds.