Lesser Jardine’s

© 1998, 1999 African Parrot Society

Lesser Jardine’s Parrot  (P.g. fantiensis)

The Lesser Jardine’s Parrot originates from West Africa in Liberia and Cameroon.

There are 3 subspecies of Jardine’s Parrots

  • P.g. gulielmi  The Black-wing Jardine’s Parrot
  • P.g.fantiensis  The Lesser Jardine’s Parrot
  • P.g.massaicus  The Greater Jardine’s Parrot

The Lesser Jardine’s is the most commonly available Jardine’s sub-species in the United States.

The coloration on the head is generally a pumpkin or citrus orange, however, some Lesser’s sport a dandelion yellow coloration. The Lesser’s have the most coloration on their head, it is not uncommon for feathering hatchlings to sport a few orange feathers. The amount of coloration varies, but most often extends beyond the forehead to the crown when mature. Orange or yellow feathers scattered in the body are not uncommon.

The beak appears extremely large for such a small bird, often delivering a comical look. A side view of a Lesser exhibits an outward “jutting” profile of the beak. The beak is usually black or dark except for two small triangles of bone near the cere of the maxilla.

Some small Jardine’s have exhibited very dark wings, and sometimes bodies. Although some believe them to be Black-wing Jardine’s, many experts do not consider these small birds to be the nominate Black-wing. There is speculation that Lesser Jardine’s  may have a second race, but this is unconfirmed. The Lesser Jardine’s have a stocky, chunky appearance and sit more parallel than upright to the perch. The Lesser Jardine’s weigh approximately 180 grams with some nearing 230 grams. Female Lesser Jardine’s  tend to be smaller in size than males.

Jardine’s do acquire more orange as they get older. The Lesser Jardine’s (the smaller ones known as West African) can be feathered out with orange feathers as babies and this increases with age. The Greater Jardine’s sub-species has no orange feathers on their head when they feather out as babies. They may get one feather during their first molt, or perhaps several. It may take as long as 5-6 years for them to reach their total adult coloration. However, the Greater Jardine’s will hardly ever obtain as much orange coloration as the Lesser’s. The Greater Jardine’s orange is more akin to red-orange versus pumpkin or citrus orange found on the Lesser’s.

All Jardine’s have white or light gray eye rings as adults. Greater’s have been reported to have a yellow tinge to their eye rings. Some juveniles may also have white eye rings but generally eye rings are dark, lightening with age. Imported juveniles always have black eye rings.

The feet of all three sub-species varies from dark gray to flesh toned, and sometimes mottled. In no way does the coloration of the feet reflect upon sub-species, or even gender.

Many males (not all) do tend to have a very square, flat head, whereas hens tend to have a more round head shape. Surgical or chromosome sexing must be used to confirm gender of young unproven birds.