The Jardine's, an Amazon without the attitude.  (SadieLady, a Lesser Jardine's, courtesy of Ginny's Jardine Pages.)

A GENEROUSLY proportioned beak gives the Jardine's parrot an appealing, cartoonish appearance. There are three types of Jardine's, all near-identical, small green South African parrots. The Lesser Jardine's, also known as the orange-crowned parrot (Poicephalus gulielmi fantiensis), is the most commonly available in the United States. It sports a brownish-black back and wings, and orange crown, thighs and wing edges. The black-wing Jardine's (Poicephalus gulielmi gulielmi) is a slightly larger bird with a more reddish crown. The greater Jardine's, or Masai Red-headed parrot (Poicephalus gulielmi massaicus), has a smaller spot of red on the crown and broader green edging on the back feathers.

Country of origin: The Jardine's (black-wing) originates in southern Cameroon, northern Angola and northern Kenya. The greater Jardine's can be found in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, and the lesser Jardine's comes from Liberia and Cameroon.

Size: Small but stockily built with short square tail. The lesser Jardine's is the smallest at 10 inches long and up to 230 grams. The slightly larger black-wing Jardine's measures 11 inches and weighs up to 280 grams. The greater Jardine's also measures 11 inches long but weighs the most, up to 310 grams, or three-quarters of a pound.

Personality: Among the most playful and energetic, with a penchant for "playing dead" like the caique. Generally steady temperament--sometimes described as an Amazon without the mood swings--but can be nippy. Accepting of strangers. Pleasant voice makes it a good bird for apartment dwellers.

Talking ability: Moderate to good. May develop fairly large vocabulary but does not enunciate clearly.

Jardine'sJardine's parrot saying, "Give me a kiss."
(Thanks to Steve DeGroof.)

Average lifespan: 30-50 years.

Additional reading:

What owners say:

I AM VERY happily owned by an 8-year-old lesser Jardine’s named Noggin for the way he drops his head to the "scratch please" position the second he sees me. He was given to me because he was "aggressive and untouchable". He is now quite the cuddlebug. He has a small vocabulary, which he uses only around me. The only thing he says clearly is a very demanding "cracker" when he wants a treat. He mutters quietly while he does his "happy dance" for me, and wolf whistles at the sound of my voice! He is not demanding at all, although he will pout if I'm late for our snuggle time, but always forgives me with a kiss. My LJ is the highlight of every day, and an absolute joy to share my life with. He does have his share of "J'attitude", but never gives more than a nip. He has a very large ego, always showing off his pretty wings for any woman he sees, then modestly blushing as they shower him with compliments. He never screams, but beeps like a microwave when upset. He whistles wonderfully when happy. He is simply the best friend I never expected to find. --Kelly, Milwaukee

I MET ELMO at a bird fair and we instantly became friends. He climbed right onto me and began investigating my sunglasses. He came home with me that afternoon. Elmo is a very gregarious little guy, begging for a head rub from anyone who walks by. He's never met anyone he didn't like. He's also very exciteable, especially at feeding time. This bird lives for food and head rubs. He eats noticeably more food than my African grey, Huey. He'll climb right onto my dinner plate or sit on the edge of my cereal bowl and help himself! He's become very proficient at removing jewelry from my ears, and cost me a pretty penny when he removed a diamond from my wedding ring. We have trained him to give kisses, lie on his back in a hand, "plotz" on command, and come on command. Elmo never learned to talk, but makes "crabby" sounds as if he's trying to imitate speech. He has learned to laugh, however, and loves to give kisses. Elmo will follow me around the house if given the chance, but watch out for your feet! He plays (sometimes too rough!) and loves to chase feet and chew on socks. He is fearless, except when it comes to Huey. He is fascinated by Huey and likes to preen him, but Huey likes to chase Elmo around, calling, "Come here, come here, step up MoMo, come here." Elmo, while no avian Einstein, knows better than to let Huey catch him. Elmo is very quiet generally and does not scream unless frightened. He loves to sit with me and watch TV, and will eagerly climb into any "hidey hole" he can find. He is a sweet little bird and a good companion. --Carla Wiesend, Rockford, Ill.

What's life like with your Jardine's parrot? Share your experiences with other readers.



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