Jardine Parrot Species Profile

Jardine parrot up close.
Jardine parrots are also known as red-fronted parrots.

Getty Images/Dominik Strzemieczny 

Jardine parrots are similar in appearance to their Amazon parrot cousins but their personalities couldn't be more different as adults.

Jardines are fairly long-lived birds despite their smaller size, and while they aren't as common as some other types of parrots, it doesn't mean you can't still find them as pets.

Knowing the unique qualities of a Jardine parrot can help you provide the best care possible for them.

Species Overview

Common Name(s): Jardine parrot, red-fronted parrot, red-headed parrot, red-crowned parrot, Congo red-crowned parrot

Scientific Name: Poicephalus gulielmi

Adult Size: 10-11 inches, 7-8 oz.

Life Expectancy: About 35 years

Origin and History

While wild populations of Jardine parrots are declining, they can still be found in parts of Africa including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, and Cameroon. They habituate lowland rainforests, coffee plantations, and other arboreal places. They fly in pairs or small groups and nest in tree cavities.

Jardine parrots are named after naturalist Sir William Jardine who was the first person to describe the bird in 1849 when he brought one home from the Democratic Republic of Congo for his son. The Latin name for the Jardine parrot is also named after this family of Jardine men since the word gulielmi means "William's."


Jardine parrots have a wonderful reputation for being affectionate and playful. They are not as temperamental as their closely related Amazon parrot relatives, but, as young birds, they can go through a phase where they are more prone to biting than they often are as adults. Jardine parrots are also very smart and can entertain themselves for good periods of time with toys.

Speech and Vocalizations

These birds can imitate other birds as well as speak very clearly. While they are capable of screaming loudly, they don't do this often. Many Jardine parrots will mimic various noises they hear and learn to say common phrases.

Jardine Parrot Colors and Markings

Both male and female Jardine parrots have the same colorations. They have a primarily green body, darker green wings, and reddish-orange on the head. A bend in the wings and ankles and bare skin around the eyes is also to be spotted in a typical Jardine.

Caring for the Jardine Parrot

Jardines can be very destructive so they need to stay busy with toys and get plenty of time outside their cage to play and exercise.

They don't necessarily need to spend all day with their favorite person, but they do need things to keep them occupied so they don't get bored.

An aviary is ideal, but a large cage will suffice with enough supervised time outside the enclosure. To keep their beak in check, provide the occasional almond to crack open and consume.

Common Health Problems

Respiratory issues are the most common type of health problems in pet birds. Drafts can cause a Jardine parrot to catch a cold and develop more serious issues like pneumonia, so it's important for your bird to avoid drastic temperature changes. Aspergillosis, a fungal infection, is another concern for birds and can result from being housed in unsanitary conditions.

Diet and Nutrition

A high quality, pelleted bird diet is ideal for a Jardine parrot, but it should be supplemented with fresh fruits, vegetables, cooked beans, and some seeds like sunflower and spray millet. Healthy treats can be offered on occasion, too, but too many seeds and peanuts can cause obesity and liver problems.


As with any bird, offering the opportunity of flight time is recommended if a safe area can be provided. Cage toppers, ladders, and various sized perches and branches should also be accessible to your Jardine parrot for additional exercise and enrichment.

  • Quieter than many parrots

  • Usually good-natured

  • Destructive

  • Can scream loudly

Where to Adopt or Buy a Jardine Parrot

Threats to the wild populations are in part due to the illegal pet trade, so for the sake of the species, captive-bred Jardine parrots are the only kind that should be sought as pets. Thankfully, this species breeds regularly in captivity, so finding a Jardine parrot should not be an issue.

Large speciality pet stores and parrot rescues may be sources where you can find a Jardine parrot. Your local avian veterinarian may also know of some breeders and birds looking for homes.

More Pet Bird Species and Further Research

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