African Grey Parrot

African Grey Parrot

Psittacus Erithacus

Length: 33cm/ 13 inches

Weight: 400-650 grams

Life span: 40-50 years

Incubation: 28 days

Age at weaning: 12-14 weeks

Age at maturity:3-4 years

Natural Habitat: Central Africa
Tanzania, Western Kenya

The African Grey Parrot is a medium-sized parrot found in the primary and secondary rainforest of West and Central Africa. Experts regard it as one of the most intelligent birds. They feed primarily on palm nuts, seeds, fruits, leafy matter, but have been observed eating snails. Their overall gentle nature and their inclination and ability to mimic speech have made them popular pets. This has led many to be captured from the wild and sold into the pet trade. The African Grey Parrot is listed on CITES appendix II, which restricts trade of wild caught species, because wild populations can not sustain trapping for the pet trade. As a pet, they must be entertained, or they start to pluck their feathers, resulting in having no feathers at all.

The African Grey is extremely intelligent, perhaps topping all other parrots in their ability to learn new things throughout their lives. Adult greys are considered shy and introverted. They are also one of the most rigid and pattern orientated of all the parrots, being keenly observant and sensitive to the slightest change in routine. Excellent talkers and mimics, these birds can accurately imitate specific human voices and household sounds such as the telephone or microwave. They are very empathetic and emotional birds, which have distinct personalities and can be very demanding of their owner's time and attention.

Hand-fed African Grey parrots generally make wonderful and very affectionate companions. Pet owners often refer to their relationship with them as being "like having a five-year-old child."
Anyone considering getting an African Grey parrot as a pet should note that they quickly become bored unless provided with stimulating toys and interaction with their owners.