|African Grey Parrot - Photo by ♡Blackangelツ|
The African Grey is considered to be one of the most intelligent species of bird. Astoundingly, not only can they mimic speech, but they can actually construct sentences! Beginning from the time they are one year old, they can learn to repeat music and singing patterns, they can imitate pet sounds and noises around the home like the doorbell or the telephone, and they can even imitate accents. They may even growl if they feel threatened. Since these parrots will repeat anything they hear, they do not need to be taught one word at a time the way many other parrots need to be painstakingly trained.
A bird this smart, however, doesn't like to be left alone and will get bored very quickly. When it does, this relatively quiet bird will let you know with a loud squawk or whistle. For the African Grey, plenty of toys and interaction with those around them will keep them engaged and happy. Keep in mind that they do need a lot of exercises: they should be allowed to fly around for at least an hour every day. Since this species loves to pluck themselves by way of grooming, it is a great idea to give them a bath or to mist them at least twice a week. This will help to eliminate any irritants or dust that could cause them discomfort.
African Grey parrots are usually 12 or 13 inches long from their head to their tail. Their grey feather color is what gives the bird its name. Though grey, the parrot is not considered to be less appealing. In fact, the African Grey is widely regarded as one of the most attractive species of parrot due to this wonderfully simple coloring. Different sub-species of the African Grey may have red or maroon tails. Their feathers often display a white edging. Around their eyes can be seen a beautiful area colored white or pale pink. The use their strong jaws to chew on many things, including their perch, their toys, or your furniture! Always bear in mind that if you allow your parrot to fly around the house, it is a very good idea to make sure you are there to supervise, and always be careful of any valuable items.
A generally strong bird, the African Grey is vulnerable to calcium deficiency so their diet should be well thought out, especially for younger birds and chicks. You may think that calcium can be given using dairy products. However, parrots cannot digest dairy products like cheese, milk, or yogurt. Not only will these make them very ill... they may even kill them.
The African Grey is a social bird that generally behaves well with other parrots and birds. In the wild, they may be seen in flocks numbering more than a thousand birds. An unfortunate Black Market in African Grey parrots has cropped up given how popular these birds are as pets, and given the sheer size of the African Grey population in their native Africa. The birds are captured and then falsely sold as tame pets, after being housed and transported in terrible conditions. Buying from a reputable dealer will help stop these practices. If you would rather take in an older bird, there are many excellent Parrot sanctuaries and rescue centers that can help you find the perfect pet.
The African Grey parrot is a wonderful bird that can live to 50 years or more. Due to their affectionate nature and intelligence, they are known to bond warmly with their owners and those who handle them often. The African Grey is truly a wonderfully appealing parrot.
Chris Boshoff - Article Source: GoArticles