40 Facts Of African Grey Parrot

African grey parrots are popular for their intelligence. In this article, you’ll learn 40 African grey parrot facts, including differences between Timneh and Congo greys, lifespan, diet, speaking ability, appearance, and much more.

Information About African Grey Parrot

African grey parrots are the most intelligent bird in the world.

Not only can they mimic the human voice, but they can also learn to answer questions, express affection, and use things like part thinking. Different studies say that their intelligence is equal to a kindergarten child!

General Information About African Grey Parrot

  • African Grey Parrot Latin name: Psittacus erithacus
  • Parrot Range: Central Africa Like Ghana, Gabon, Kenya, Uganda, Angola, Cameroon, Congo, and the Ivory Coast.
  • Parrot Population Status: Endangered
  • Parrot Size: 13 – 16 inches in height, 0.7 – 1.4 pounds in weight
  • African grey Wingspan: 17 – 20 inches
  • Diet: Fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers, small insects, and much more things.
  • Physical features of Parrot: Dark and Light Grey body with yellow eyes and red tail.

Are you ready to read more African grey parrot facts?

40 African Grey Parrot Facts

1. What other names does the grey parrot have?

It is simply called a “grey parrot,” but this term can also be applied to Timneh grey parrots (a type of African grey parrot), it’s good to analyze which type you’re talking about.

The African grey parrot is also called the Congo grey parrot (a type of African grey parrot).

The Timneh parrot is now classified as a specific species. It is also called the Timneh grey parrot or Timneh African grey parrot. It is sometimes indicated by the composition TAG.

2. Where does the African grey parrot live?

The African grey parrot is found in central Africa, meaning that it’s natural to the African countries that are found near the equinoctial line.

Ghana, Gabon, Kenya, Uganda, Angola, Cameroon, Congo, and the Ivory Coast are known as equinoctial line countries.

3. How many types of African grey parrots?

There are two different types of grey parrots in Africa:

Timneh grey parrot (Psittacus timneh)

Congo grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus)

They’re usually distracted by each other. They have a lot of equalities in diet, region, appearance, reproductive habits, and much more, so it’s easy to know why birdwatchers see double.

4. Differences between Congo grey and Timneh grey parrots

They might be identified from a gap, but when you pull out your field glasses and take a look, you’ll notice some differences between Congo grey parrots and Timneh grey parrots:

The Congo grey parrot has a vivid red tail, while the Timneh gray parrot has a darker, more maroon tail.

The Congo grey parrot is slightly larger. Its height is 1316 inches and its weight is 0.71.4 pounds, while the Timneh grey parrot’s height is 1113 inches and its weight is 0.60.8 pounds.

The Congo grey parrot is naturally found in central Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Congo, etc), while the Timneh grey parrot is naturally found in western Africa (Guinea, Mali, Sierra Lorne, etc).

5. How smart is an African grey parrot?

It’s said that they have the vocabulary abilities of a 3 to a 6-year-old child! One of the most impressive and remarkable things about African grey parrots is their intelligence.

There are a few remarkable things that African grey parrots can do:

  • Mimic human voices
  • Analyze shapes and colors
  • Read number sequences
  • Ask violent questions
  • Hold full speeches with their owners

They’re even skillful in things like deductive logic. They have high brainpower like dolphins and gorillas.

6. Can African grey parrots talk?

The answer is Yes. African grey parrots (Congo and Timneh) can both talk and sing.

They can be educated in special words and phrases for training purposes, or they also pick up sounds from their environment.

It’s common for African grey parrots to surprise their owners with different voices that they overheard on TV.

7. Can African grey parrots know what they say?

Some people will disagree that parrots can only echo human sounds without attaining what they mean, but these people don’t know about parrots. This is true that African grey parrots are hyper-intelligent.

All of the information suggests that they can learn, absorb, analyze and share information when it’s related to them.

They might not be able to hold a mental dispute, but they’re thinking and expressing themselves in ways that other birds easily can’t.

8. Habitat of the African grey parrot

African grey parrots like thick forests, but they’ve also been flacked at forest corners and clearings.

They generally stick to low cover; the highest boost they’ve ever recorded is 2,200 feet.

9. Where do African grey parrots nest?

When it’s time to nest, grey parrots shift into tree holes. The cover can help to secure their eggs from predators (meat-eater).

They generally hop into unused tree holes, but they’ve been known to take the nests of woodpeckers and other birds.

10. Can African grey parrots fly?

The answer is Yes, African grey parrots are good flyers, but they don’t always fly as much as other birds.

11. Why is the African grey parrot considered an “Old World” parrot?

If you’re new to ornithology, you might surprise why some bird species are considered “Old World” parrots while others bird species are called “New World” parrots.

While they have some comparisons, there are also some differences between the two:

Old World parrots come from Asia and Africa, while New World parrots come from the Americas.

Old World parrots know how to suffer in hot, African dry climates. New World parrots grow in the wet, moist Amazon rainforest.

Old World parrots make more bird dust than New World parrots, which might be because their species have adapted to various habitats. They’re also more affected by deadly illnesses like PDD  (proventricular dilatation disease).

12. How an African grey parrot look like?

African grey parrot might look like a regular bird, there are more shades and nuances to its group than you might think!

African Grey Parrot head and wing parts are a darker grey, while its undercoat parts are a lighter, more silver grey. The head part is also streaked and deep with white.

There are some other effects of color as well. The African grey parrot has yellowish eyes and a black nib (beak). Its tail part is a lively red. Evolution can sometimes turn the parrot’s color red, blue, brown, or albino.

13. How tall is an African grey parrot?

African grey parrots are originally about a “foot” tall in length. They measure 13 16 inches, with their regular height being 13 inches.

14. Weight of African grey parrot

African grey parrots weigh from 0.71.4 pounds, but their regular weight is a slightly under a single pound.

15. What is the African grey parrot’s wingspan?

African grey parrots can spread their wings about 16 20 inches depending on their different height and weight.

16. Are African grey parrots friendly or aggressive?

Originally, African grey parrots are very loving nature. In the wild (forest), they are kind to each other. And as pets, they are very friendly and loving with their owners.

African grey parrots are social birds that can live in a gathering of 50 or more species. They have large, different generational offsprings where the young and old live freely. Socialization and vocalization are a main and big part of their daily routine life. African grey parrots also like hunting parties when it’s time to eat!

Since space is narrow, African grey parrots can get areal. They always do not like being housed with other birds, or they might become too opposed to their “toys” and “snacks”. They’re also intelligent birds that need a lot of attention and incentive, and if they don’t get it, they can fuzz an attitude with their owners. A very bored, tired, or frustrated bird might even lash out at you.

They cause problems when treated badly, but if you’re treating them right, they can create wonderful companions.

17. How long do African grey parrots live?

The African grey parrot’s lifespan is around 4560 years in captivity.

This number drops badly in the wild; they only live around 1525 years in their natural habitats.

18. African grey parrot is considered a “true” parrot

A specific family of parrots given the African grey parrot name“True parrot”.

They have hooked shape beaks, rounded tongues, long claws, and the same diet of fruits and seeds. Macaws, Parakeets, Caiques, and African grey parrots are known as ‘True parrots”.

19. Is the African grey parrot always grey?

The answer is No. Against the name, African grey parrots aren’t always regular in color.

There are fair birds that are white or blue-white, and evolution can occur in the wild that gives African grey parrots a streaked appearance with different shades of red, brown, white, and silver mottled throughout their bodies.

20. What eats an African grey parrot? Threats and Predators

African grey parrots are vulnerable to stronger, larger birds like predators and vultures.

African grey parrot eggs are always a favorite dish of monkeys. This is one of the big reasons why mothers guard their nests so severely; they never know when they might be sharing a tree with a predator.

They can also fall injured to land animals when they cascade to the ground for hunting or eating. They don’t have any special enemies here, but they can be a leap on by all kinds of foxes, jackals, snakes, cats, and others.

21. Is the African grey parrot endangered?

The answer is Yes.

The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) has officially cleared them as endangered. The international trade of African grey parrots has been banned by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). The population of grey parrots is on the drop in every African country that they populate.

Despite the efforts to protect and save them, they are still in high demand. They’re trained by different breeders or caught in the forest to be sold or traded. One report shows that 25% of the world’s African grey parrot population is lost to the bird market every year.

22. How many African grey parrots are left in the world?

It’s difficult to say how many African grey parrots are left. Some reports say that African grey parrots might be less than a million, but others reports say that the number is at a few million.

We know that they’re decaying off so fast: In one of the deepest figures, Ghana has lost 99% of its African grey parrots since 1992.

23. What do African grey parrots eat?

African grey parrots are fruitarian. Their diet consists of fruits, nuts, seeds, and flowers, but they’ll also bite on little insects when given the opportunity.

African grey parrots can live on bird pellets, but their diet requires them to be supplemented with fruits and vegetables. They also eat apples, bananas, cucumbers, peas, potatoes, green beans, fresh kale, and much more.

24. How do African grey parrots hunt?

Most of their food is found through bitting rather than hunting, African grey parrots aren’t anxious to spit a juicy bug when it falls across their path.

African grey parrots are a highly social bird that hunts in a group, and they have a whole system for searching for food in groups. They’ll start by meeting in a single tree with parrots full on every branch; then, when their numbers are complete, they’ll take turns down to the ground and look for sustenance.

The entire group is never on the ground at the same time. Some are always watching for predators, and even the hunters stay anxious to danger. It’s very easy to divide a group of African grey parrots since they’ll take off at the little sign of noise or movement.

25. Latin name of African grey parrot

“Psittacus erithacus” is the scientific name of the African grey parrot. Here’s the full list of the African grey parrot:

  • Family: Psittacidae (“true” parrots)
  • Subfamily: Psittacinae (Old World parrots)
  • Genus: Psittacus (African parrots)
  • Order: Psittaciformes (parrots)
  • Class: Aves (birds)
  • Species: Psittacus erithacus

26. Do African grey parrots mate for life?

It isn’t known whether they mate for life, but they do form virginal pairs that stick together for various mating seasons.

They’ll perform courting rules before accepting each other and laying eggs together, and both parents (male and female parrot) will feed, shelter, groom, guard, and socialize their babies. This is fully different from other bird species where the mom does everything and the dad might not even stick around for the breed.

With African grey parrots, parents are equal partners in mating and child feeding, caring, guarding, etc.

27. Age when African grey parrots lay eggs

They reach sexual ability between 3 –  6 years. Males parrot and females parrot mature at the same rate.

28. How many times did African grey parrots lay eggs?

Female Grey parrots lay eggs 1 – 2 times per year.

We don’t know much about their breeding season, but it shows to correspond to dry weather, so African grey parrots in other countries might lay eggs at various times.

29. How many eggs African grey parrot lay?

The eggs of an African grey parrot are tiny in size and white in color.

A female parrot usually lays 3 – 5 eggs at a time, and the child will weigh just 0.42 – 0.49 ounces at birth. They’ll be red and have a hairless body. They’ll grow a soft fuzzy layer of down before their first hair layer starts growing on the body.

 30. When and how do African grey parrots take care of their young?

Care starts with breeding their eggs. It takes around 30-35 days for African grey parrots to breed, and the female will hide in her tree hole and sit on them the whole time. She won’t move from her place; the male will do all the biting, and he’ll come back to feed and protect her while she protects the all-important eggs.

Once the babies came from the eggs, males and females (Mom and Dad) will be active parents together. Their main preference will be saving the small, vulnerable children from predation, but they’ll also require to teach them how to eat, fly, forage and vocalize.

Young African grey parrots leave their nest around 10-12 weeks old, but they won’t go long for some months when they become fully independent.

31. Are African grey parrots loud?

African grey parrots are oral birds that love to sing and love to talk.

While they aren’t naturally loud, they don’t have any sense of volume, and they only stop chittering and gossiping when they feel like it. As charming as a parrot might be, you don’t want to bring home a parrot if you value peace.

32. Do African grey parrots carry disease?

They can come down with different creeps, parasites, diseases, and infections. They can be especially graceful birds. Most of these diseases are only dangerous to other members of the family, but one of them can be spread to humans: “psittacosis”.

Also called “parrot fever,” psittacosis is expressed by rashes, headaches, high temperatures, joint pains, and nose bleeds in humans. It’s usually confused with meningitis or typhoid fever. In serious cases can need hospitalization.

To avoid getting psittacosis, always wash your hands with soap after playing with your parrot. Keep the parrot cage clean, and use gloves when dealing with their fertilizer. Stay anxious about your parrot’s overall health. If you notice any doubtful symptoms in your parrot, don’t hesitate to contact the veterinary doctor and get them checked out.

33. Where can I see the African grey parrot?

You can see African grey parrots in different zoos. It isn’t a common character since it’s so rare and volatile in the forest. If you wish to see an African grey parrot in the flesh, you might have to reach out to a breeder shop.

34. Are grey parrots good pets?

African grey parrots are intelligent that can make fun, active, and playful pets compare to other pets. But African grey parrots also need a lot of time and attention.

If you’re wishing of adopting an African grey parrot, make sure that you’re ready for a full-time, long-term responsibility. They can be a lifelong friend or partner, but you have to be active to put in the work.

Two African Grey Parrot (3 months old) pecking, isolated on white

35. Is it legal to have an African grey parrot as a pet?

You’ll need to check your country’s local laws about pets.

While it’s illegal to purchase or sell forest-caught African grey parrots, there are alternatives for captive-bred birds.

This is why you see African grey parrots in pet shops even though they’re examined as an endangered species.

36. How much do grey African parrots cost?

African grey parrot prices start from $999 and can raise to $4,000 or more depending upon parrot size, age, and origin!

Younger parrots are more expensive than older parrots, and females are more beneficial than males.

37. How do I teach my African grey to talk?

Most parrots are so intelligent to start picking up human voices even when they aren’t experienced to do so.

If you want to train them in something special, however, here we tell you a few tricks:

Start small. Teach them simple words like “hello” and “goodbye,” and once they’re easy with their new vocabulary, start new words into a back-and-forth dialogue.

Repeat yourself. This is how grey parrots learn to talk in full dialogue. They hear them again and again, and they repeat words into their brains.

Use a reward system. Reward your parrot with food or a toy every time that they mimic you.

Don’t expect perfection. Few parrots are good “talkers” than others, and no amount of training will be able to change that.

38. Can parrot understand humans?

The answer is Yes. As an elegant species, parrots are known for their skill to understand and copy human speech.

African grey parrots are among the smartest and most intelligent of their whole family, so you should have no problem teaching them how to chat with you.

39. Do African grey parrots bite?

The answer is Yes. When African grey parrots are bored, stressed, or ill, they can get nippy.

It’s part of a list of behaviors that African grey parrot owners have to deal with; parrots can enlist in everything from nail-grinding to feather-plucking when acting out. They have the same sensitive abilities as a 3 to a 6-year-old child, so you have to treat them like a little child that will misbehave when they’re not feeling well.

40. Which parrot is the most intelligent?

The different reports declared African grey parrot is the most intelligent parrot. African grey parrots are considered the smartest bird on the planet. 

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