Senegal Parrot (Poicephalus senegalus)

The Senegal parrot (Poicephalus senegalus) is a Poicephalus parrot which is a resident breeder across a wide range of west Africa.  It makes migrations within west Africa, according to the availability of the fruit, seeds and blossoms which make up its diet. It is considered a farm pest in Africa, often feeding on maize or millet.

I took these photos in Shai Hills, Ghana.

Sennie1 Sennie2 Sennie3

Original shots show how far away the bird was.

IMG_6178 IMG_6179 IMG_6180

There are three subspecies.  They do not differ in behaviour, but only in the colour of the “vest”.  In the pet trade, the nominate subspecies is the most common though all three are raised and sold as pets.

  • P. s. senegalus (the nominate subspecies): this subspecies has a yellow vest; its native range includes Senegal, southern Mauritania, southern Mali to Guinea and Lobos Island.
  • P. s. mesotypus: this subspecies has an orange vest; its range is from eastern and northeastern Nigeria and Cameroon into southwest Chad.
  • P. s. versteri: this subspecies has a deep-orange/red vest; its range is from the Ivory Coast and Ghana east to western Nigeria.

The photos above are of the Ghanaian subspecies P.s. versteri.  For comparison, here are some photos I took of the nominate subspecies in Birds of Eden, South Africa.

IMG_3186 IMG_3187Senegal Parrots have a very large range throughout West Africa but the majority of sightings come from Ghana such as mine in Shai Hills, the Gambia and Senegal.



World Parrot Trust


Xeno-Canto (all 3 Subspecies)

Birds of Eden

National Geographic – A heartbreaking look at the abuse of these beautiful birds by wildlife poachers.


It was hard to find wild Sennies amongst the hundreds of pet bird videos but here’s a couple from YouTube and IBC.

This guy starts out with birds flying overhead at a distance but he gets lucky and finds a perched parrot!