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African Greys PDF Print E-mail
Written by WFWAvian   


Congo African Grey Parrot
Talking Loudness Size Personality Good With Children Price
Excellent, Talking Parrot Quiet Medium 12" - 20" Shy, usually bonds strongly with one person or one sex Usually Not See Price List

Timneh African Grey Parrot
Talking Loudness Size Personality Good With Children Price
Excellent, Talking Parrot. Quiet Medium 10" - 18" Laidback personality Better suited for family situation See Price List

Behavior and Personality

AFRICAN GREY PARROT - Congo African grey parrots are very common and are one of the most popular and most frequently bred parrots in the United States. Since they are happiest left alone, they make good pets for people who live in quiet homes, particularly in homes without children. But since they are extremely intelligent, they require many toys and some interaction to prevent behavior problems.

The big secret is finally out of the bag, yes, Timneh African Greys DO talk just as well as their red-tailed cousins, and they have personalities that are just as big, despite their smaller size. The demand for the Timneh African Grey is on the rise as more and more people are realizing this. People who are lucky enough to cater to both Congo and Timneh Grey companions, have noticed that often the Timneh is a more outgoing in presence of company, compared to their seemingly more introverted, larger cousin. Timnah's do not seem to be as concerned about strangers in their presence, and go on about their leisure, playing with toys and chattering to their hearts content.

Young birds adapt readily to new surroundings and should be exposed to new experiences. Adults are less adaptable and may feather pick in response to changes in their routine. In fact, Congo African greys have a higher incidence of feather-picking problems than most parrot species. With the exception of Large Cockatoos.

The birds – which can live up to 50 years – are stocky, short-tailed, and colored varying shades of GRAY, depending on the sex and where in their range they occur. The Congo tail is bright red and the beak is black. Timneh tail feathers are a deep lustrous maroon. They have dainty little feet and a dainty little demeanor. Timnah's retain the white mask of their larger cousins, and many people find that their faces can be extremely expressive. Their upper beak is bone-colored instead of black, and their feathering is much darker than a Congo's. African greys have a powdery white facial patch that extends from the beak to around the eye. The birds also produce a powdery substance that helps to clean and protect their feathers, but may be allergenic in some people.

African grey parrot range through western equatorial Africa – from the Ivory Coast to western Kenya, Angola, Tanzania and southern Zaire. They inhabit primary and secondary rainforest, forest edges and clearings, mostly in lowland areas. They’re gregarious, roosting in colonies of up to 10,000 individuals.

Birds of the eastern areas of the grays’ range – in parts of Kenya, Tanzania and Zaire – tend to be larger and lighter in color. The eastern populations also tend to have some slight red coloring in the feathers. The smaller and darker birds occur in the western parts of the range, from Ivory Coast to Angola.

The blue area shows where the African Greys live this is the densest jungle habitat on the African continent and is located right on and near the earth's equator.

African grey parrots are very playful and are easily bored, so they should always be provided with toys – especially wooden blocks or other objects they can chew on – and branches from non-toxic trees.


Routine bathing or showering is vital to maintaining good plumage and skin condition. Bathing will also reduce feather dust. Birds can be misted and allowed to dry in a warm room or in the sun, or dried with a blow drier. Care should be taken not to clip the wing feathers excessively as African greys often fall and injure themselves, so clip only enough so the bird will glide to the floor.

When restraining African greys for grooming, they may produce tears containing blood. Presumably, these are caused by ruptures of the capillaries in the eye and do not appear to have any detrimental effect.


African grey parrots kept as indoor pets especially tend to develop calcium deficiency, which can be a serious health threat. Natural or full spectrum light seems to be important in helping them to maintain calcium balance. There are also specially formulated foods that provide readily utilizable calcium to help prevent deficiency.

African grey parrot should be fed approximately 1/3 cup of a pelleted diet daily. The diet should be supplemented with approximately 1/4 to 1/3 cup of fresh fruits and vegetables daily to add variety. Seeds and other treats may be given in small amounts as rewards for good behavior. Fresh, clean water must be provided every day.

Vitamin supplements are not needed for birds on a pelleted diet. African greys love peanuts, but they should be shelled before you give them to your bird as they are often contaminated with Aspergillus fungus, which can lead to aspergillosis, a respiratory disease.

African grey parrots are easy to hand-rear, although care must be taken in feeding very small chicks as they are easily aspirated. Chicks wean or fledge at approximately 12 to 14 weeks. Since they are subject to bony deformities, such as crooked necks and legs, calcium supplementation may be beneficial but should not be excessive.


African parrots are very active and should be provided with as large a cage as possible. The cage should have two perches so the birds can move between them. Toys and activities should be provided.