Flocking dynamics and roosting behaviour of Meyer’s parrot (Poicephalus meyeri) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
For most of the year, Meyer’s parrots in the Okavango Delta do not form large feeding flocks, and groups larger than two or three are probably the result of opportunistic aggregation at favoured food items after dispersion from communal roosts. Communal roosting likely does not facilitate flocking unless the food resources are close to the roost site, but may function in anti-predator defence. Meyer’s parrots appear to be dependent on riverine forest, Acacia-Combretum marginal woodland and mopane woodland for roost sites in the Okavango Delta. They aggregated more during the breeding season due to their specialist nutritional requirements, and female dependence on food provisioning by the male parrots. Meyer’s parrots may be sedentary in the Okavango Delta, but the possibility of limited local movements in other areas (especially the Zimbabwean highlands) should be investigated.
Key words: Meyer’s parrot, Okavango Delta, communal roost, flocking dynamics.