Abundance and activity patterns of the Cape parrot (Poicephalus robustus) in two afromontane forests in South Africa

  • J.O. Wirminghaus
  • Colleen T. Downs
  • M.R. Perrin
  • C.T. Symes
Keywords: daily activity, parrot conservation.


Behaviour, movements and numbers of the rare Cape parrot (Poicephalus robustus) were investigated at two study sites to assess its conservation status and as the basis for an action plan for their conservation. Birds flew regularly to and from nearby forests and were observed arriving at a feeding site (Hlabeni) from roosting sites in the morning. Numbers varied monthly and seasonally between the sites. Mean monthly (±SE) number of birds observed daily was 21.8 ± 2.5 (n = 45) but ranged from 0–80. Activity was bimodal: it commenced at sunrise, lasted several hours, and was followed by inactivity through mid-day; activity recommenced a few hours before sunset and continued until sunset. Activity reflected changing day length. Causes of localized movements included food and water availability, and in summer some birds fed in fruit orchards. The relevance of counts of Cape parrots for the conservation of this species is reviewed.

Key words: daily activity, parrot conservation.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020