There are 3 species of parrots in the Cape Parrot family. The family has recently been split into two seperate families, however I won't get into that here. The birds are very similar in appearance and proper identification can be difficult. On this page I have provided photos of the 3 types of Cape Parrots and I will attempt to provide you with identifying features for each bird.

Photo wanted! If you have a good quality side-by-side photo of a Grey-headed (P.f.suahelicus) and a Brown-necked (P.f.fuscicollis) I would love to include it here. E-mail me

South African Cape Parrot South African Cape Parrots

Greenish brown to yellowish brown head. Shorter upper mandible.
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Grey-headed Cape Parrot Grey-headed Cape Parrot

Silver/light grey head.
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Brown-necked Cape Parrot Brown Necked Cape Parrot

Brownish head, prominant bib and generally smaller overall.
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South African and Grey-headed Cape Parrots Three South African Cape Parrots with one Grey-headed Cape Parrot

This side-by-side photo clearly shows the different colouring of these birds.
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I have noticed that you need a lot of light to see the colors well enough for proper identification. I have seen many photographs of Grey-headed Capes that made them look like Brown-necked Capes because they were taken with too little light.


This page, and all contents, are Copyright © 2000-2011 by Craig Harris, Belmont, California.