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The African Greys

The African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is no doubt one of the most popular parrots kept as a companion animal today. They have earned their popularity largely due to their unique talking ability and their intelligence. The African Grey parrot originates from the upper west coast of the continent of Africa and there are two sub-species. The "Congo", as it's nicknamed, is the larger more common variety. They are distinguished by their light silver bodies and bright red tails. The Timneh Grey finds its home in the Ivory Coast, just north of its cousin the Congo. Smaller in size than the Congo, the most distinguishing feature of the Timneh has to be its maroon colored tail. The over all plumage is darker, and the upper mandible has a horn colored streak down the center.

Personality traits

To insure a smooth transition into your family, purchasing a hand-fed or hand-feeding baby is recommended. Young Greys, though they may begin to mimic some sounds, do not begin speaking with clarity and vigor until they are just past the age of one. If you want your Grey to be a good talker keep the whistling and noise-making to a minimum. These sounds are easier than talking and will be learned first. In our experience, there is no difference in the talking ability of the Timneh vs the Congo or male vs female. We have a  pet male who is the most amazing talker while the female we also kept for a pet would rather mimic other birds and noises she hears. On the other hand, one of the most talented Grey talkers around is a female that belongs to a friend of ours. This goes to show you that all Greys are individuals. Our female who doesn't talk, loves to be played with, scratched, tossed in the air, whatever- she doesn't care. Our male is not to be trusted if you value your appendages!

Is A Grey Right For You?

Careful consideration should be given when choosing any bird. Long lived, it is important to choose a parrot that will fit into your lifestyle. While Greys are not demanding birds, they are curious, clever and intelligent. This means they require a lot of mental stimulus to keep them happy. Keep in mind that if you choose a Grey, you'll probably need a "toy box" too.



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