The incredible birds we’ve come to know as African Grey Parrots actually encompass two parrot species – Grey & Timneh Parrots (Psittacus erithacus and Psittacus timneh). Highly intelligent with amusing personalities, African Greys make very popular companions. However, deforestation and abundant trapping for the wild bird trade has left both species sadly endangered.
Nesting near the tops of forest trees, gregarious Greys form large communal flocks of up to 1000 individuals, while Timneh Parrots gather in much smaller flocks of a few dozen.
Both species are known for mimicking the calls of other birds and mammals, as well as letting out a variety of whistles, squawks, shrieks, and screams while at rest and in flight.
Caring for Companion Greys
Known for their impressive intelligence, it is important to offer companion Greys a variety of complex toys to engage their active minds and prevent boredom, which can otherwise lead to feather plucking and other bad habits. Some examples include non-destructible hanging toys, push and pull toys, and food-finder toys.
In their natural habitat, Greys spend much of their days flying around, foraging for food. To ensure a healthy, happy parrot at home, Greys require large aviaries a minimum of 3m (9.8 ft) in length, allowing them to stretch their wings and burn off excess energy. African Greys enjoy eating a healthy variety of cooked beans and pulses, fruits and vegetables, spray millet, complete kibble, and other rearing foods.
Life with an African Grey is a long-term commitment, as these amazing birds live for approximately 50 – 60 years.