Saturday, June 25, 2011

Capes, UnCapes, is there a difference?

If researching about Cape parrots online, you will sometimes find them being referred to UnCapes, sometimes Capes, Grey headed parrots and Brown necked parrots.

So what's what?

Well, it all started out as three species being referred to as Capes; Poicephalus robustus robustus (P.r.r.), Poicephalus robustus fuscicollis (P.r.f.) and Poicephalus robustus suahelicus (P.r.s). So they were all commonly called "Cape parrot".

However, they recently went under a re-classification and only the previous nominate Poicephalus robustus robustus remained a "true" Cape - the other two were renamed Poicephalus fuscicollis fuscicollis (P.f.f.) (or Brown necked parrot) and Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus (P.f.s) (or Grey headed parrot).

I believe when the changed first happened, Jean Pattison of African Queen Aviaries starting using the term "UnCape" to refer to the Brown necked parrot and Grey headed parrot and differentiate them from the true Cape parrot. But from my experience on online forums, this term didn't really "stick" and most people still refer to their Brown necked and Grey headed parrots as Cape parrots.

Only the true Cape parrot is critically endangered at this point (and I would suggest reading at The Cape Parrot Project for more information as to why) and is not, to my knowledge, available in aviculture in North America. And I believe that here in Canada, the only subspecies out of the other two present is the Grey headed parrot.

So therefore, Léa is *truly* a Grey headed parrot or Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus but no matter, for shear convenience in every day conversation, she will still be a Cape parrot to me.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

I refer to Oliver as a cape as well; just easier. Not to many people that know what a cape parrot is anyways,and the ones that do still get confused when you call them anything else.

I can't wait tell you bring your girl home!