Brown Headed Parrot

© Brown Headed Parrot


The Brown Headed Parrot is another green bird with a brownish grey head. It has yellow under the wings at the front which unfortunately can only be seen properly when in flight. The iris is a greyish yellow. Brown heads have a basically whitish beak, with black on the tip of the upper mandible.

How much black is present depends on the individual. Some brown heads have yellow eyes but they are a dark, grayish yellow. Others have light gray eyes even as adults.

All juvenile brown heads have dark gray, almost black eyes, which lighten to their adult color by the time the bird is a year old. Brown heads have a brown shade of gray which gradually fades into the green on the neck.

The brown head's scientific name, cryptoxanthus, means literally 'hidden yellow' and refers to the yellow coloring on the underside of the wing. Brown heads are small parrots. They're about 9' long including the short tail.


They feed on a variety of seeds, nuts, berries, flowers, fruits and nectar. They also will raid millet and corn fields, and can be considered agricultural pests in some areas. They are often found in groups of up to 50 where there is a good source of food.


Brown heads can be considered mature at about 2 years old, but they may not breed until they are 3 or 4. Brown heads, like most Poicephalus, often seem to breed in winter, though there are those that will breed year-round. Most pairs will lay 2 or 3 times per year, with 2 being perhaps slightly more common than 3 to 4 eggs as an average. Incubation Period is usually 28 days. Most young brown heads wean around 8-10 weeks old.


Brown heads are usually found in pairs and small groups, and seem to prefer large, tall trees. They will usually stay in the upper reaches. They are shy and well camouflaged, rarely seen when they are not flying from tree to tree. According to the Lexicon of Parrots, brown heads are sometimes found flocking with Cape parrots.

Latin Name

Poicephalus Cryptoxanthus

Where Brown Headed Parrot Are Found

The Brown Headed Parrot originates from eastern South Africa. South-eastern Africa, found in parts of South Africa, Kenya, Zululand, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mali and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba.
Kruger National Park - South African Safari