Showing posts with label African Grey Parrot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label African Grey Parrot. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Want a TALKING BIRD? Learn Which Birds Love to Talk

Sun Conure - Photo: Pixabay
Spending a few minutes chatting with a talking bird can brighten your day, and adding a bird to your family will provide a fun opportunity to enjoy the bonds that form when your feathered companion can talk. Many types of birds love to talk and their styles can vary according to their species as well as their temperament. While some birds may be able to memorize a few words, others can carry on full conversations. Here are the top pet bird types that have the ability to learn to talk along with their defining characteristics to help you decide which one will best fit your lifestyle.

Converse With a Conure
Conures are known for having the smallest vocabulary out of the parrot family. However, what they lack in words, they make up for in personality. Conures have a loud, attention-getting voice, and they sound more like a bird than other species. Although they can reproduce the human voice to some degree, you may also hear them chatter in bird talk while maintaining a human-like rhythm. They also have a surprisingly strong ability to mimic many different kinds of sounds, and your conure can keep you in giggles as they sneeze, chortle and chuckle.

Query a Quaker
Quakers have tons of personality and many bird lovers claim that their quaker can respond as if they understand the entire conversation. Perhaps this is due to their impeccable timing, which indicates that they may have some understanding of the intricacies of human language. For example, you may find your quaker telling you "good night" as you turn off a light, or they may say "thank you" when you give them some food. Quakers are full of surprises and this is one talking bird that can keep the one-liners coming.

Babble with a Budgie
Wiki CC
Budgies often get overlooked when it comes to talking birds, but according to the Guinness Book of World records, a budgie has earned the distinction of being "The Most Talking Bird" with a vocabulary of more than 1700 words. If you are considering getting a budgie, then be sure it is a male since females do not talk. Additionally, budgies pick up new words from their environment and are constantly adding to their vocabulary. Try leaving the radio or television on during quiet periods of the day and you will be amazed at how much your budgie can learn to say.

Gab with an African Grey
African greys are quieter than a conure, yet they also have the ability to reproduce different voices depending upon whom they are mimicking. For example, your African grey may sing a song in the voice of your favorite musical artist, or they could squawk "hello" in your kid's voice so well that you think they are in the room. As you teach your grey to talk, keep in mind that they learn words faster when emotions are attached to them. So, get excited when you tell them hello or call them a pretty bird.

Talking birds are a great addition to any home, and you can spend hours training your bird to communicate effectively. Whether you prefer a chatterbox or an occasional bit of birdie wisdom, there is a type of talking bird that will fit your preferences. Just remember that talking to your bird frequently is the best way to expand their vocabulary which means that you can get started from the moment you bring your new bird home.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

AFRICAN GREY PARROT- Psittacus erithacus

African Grey Parrot - Psittacus erithacus

Friday, September 21, 2018


Psittacus erithacus Galego: Loro gris do Congo...
Psittacus erithacus - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
African Grey parrots are extremely famous birds and these birds are widely kept as pets. Breeding African grey parrots is a process that helps the bird keepers to increase their pet bird family without buying these precious birds from the market. People want to know that how they could breed African grey parrots? Successfully breeding African grey parrots needs care at so many levels and a careful bird keeper is capable of providing the comfort and environment required.

Careful Selection of Pair
The important thing about the breeding of African gray parrots includes the selection of a healthy couple for breeding purpose. Sometimes the birds kept together since their early days create a very strong bond and breeding these birds is very easy. Those people who buy a pair of birds from the market need to be sure about the gender of both birds. Sometimes a wrong pairing leads to confusions and later on, it is revealed that the selected birds are either both male or female.

Caging of Birds
The birds are far happier in the wild when they are capable of flying free. In the cage, the birds often do not live with that charm or excitement. It is a responsibility of the bird keepers to provide a very suitable cage for birds. The cage should not be highly confined that does not allow the wings flapping and minor flying. It is a basic right of the African grey birds to be able to stay in a cage which provides all the needs.

The placement of the cage is also very important. A happy bird would more likely to sing, interact and breed. The cage should be placed at a place which provides a view, sunlight and fresh air. The extremities of climates should be avoided by keeping the grey parrots warm or cold accordingly.

A Healthy Diet
The happy and healthy birds would breed faster. Diet plays an important role here. Therefore, the African greys should be provided with a suitable food to make them physically capable of reproducing in the best way possible. Mixed fruits, seeds and parrot palette food available commercially, are best for these birds.

Eggs and Hatching
The female bird once lays eggs, sits on them for a period of three weeks approximately. This period is important because the eggs should not be moved or touched by anyone else. Secondly, the bird should be provided with extra comfort and food to support her physical health.

The eggs hatch after six to seven weeks and during this time, the care is required to keep the cage's temperature balanced. The newborn chicks could not bear the low temperatures. It is good to provide them with warmth.

    By Uzair M Sardar
    Purrsngrrs wants to help its readers to know more about the basic pet keeping concepts. Breeding the pet birds need a lot of care and attention due to the sensitive nature of the birds. Its good to know as much as possible before keeping the birds. It saves a lot of time and also helps to reduce any extra costs associated with bird keeping.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Introducing The AFRICAN GREY Parrot

Tobias being cute :)
African Grey Parrot - Photo   by   ♡Blackangelツ 
In the case of the African Grey Parrot, what it lacks in brilliant plumage it more than makes up for with its friendly nature and astounding ability to mimic sounds and speech. So much so, in fact, that it has become one of the most popular parrot breeds of all.

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    

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


A Congo African Grey Parrot in Herborn Bird Pa...
A Congo African Grey Parrot in Herborn Bird Park, Germany.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The African Grey is a wonderful, sensitive and highly intelligent bird. They require diligent owners and are a serious commitment. However, they are truly delightful and if approached with the correct understanding will make a lifelong companion.

Originating from Africa, there are two distinct types: the Congo African Grey and the Timneh African Grey. The Congo is the larger of the two, measuring 12-14 inches with a bright red tail. The Timneh is smaller, closer to 11-13 inches with a darker coloring and crimson tail. The Congo and the Timneh originate in different regions of Africa.

These highly intelligent parrots became famous from the cognitive studies of Dr. Irene Pepperberg. Dr. Pepperberg worked "Alex", a Congo African Grey. Alex was able to recognize and name more than 100 objects. He could label colors and count. Dr. Pepperberg worked with Alex for over 30 years. It is suggested these beautiful birds have the intelligence of a 5-year-old child. They are sensitive and emotional, resembling the emotions of a 2-year-old child. They require mental stimulation as a 5-year-old child would. If bored or depressed they can be prone to feather plucking. In general, they are anxious and cautious in new situations.

They have a superior ability to mimic humans, often in the person's voice. Usually, they will start speaking after 1 year of age and can often learn several new words weekly. They form strong attachments to their human "flock" and often have favorites. They have been said to be less cuddly than other species, yet loving and loyal. They are the professors of the bird flock and require as much attention as other species.

They enjoy games that require mental stimulation such as foraging for "hidden treasures" of toys and treats. If one chooses to home an African Grey, socialization of people and new surroundings, mental activities and emotional nurturing is very important. They cannot sit quietly in a cage, as one would not ask a 5-year-old child to. But the rewards of the Grey are immense. They are very "human-like" and very special.

African Greys have a lifespan of approximately 60 years and require a serious commitment due to their highly intelligent and sensitive nature. Hardy birds, they require a balanced diet supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables. If making a commitment to an African Grey, it is highly suggested to annually visit an avian vet for complete check-ups, nutritional guidance, and blood work. Birds by nature will hide illnesses for a long time. Often once the illness is suspected it is too late.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Learn All The Secrets Of The AFRICAN GREY PARROT

Tobias and his friend apple :-D
Photo   by ♡Blackangelツ 
The African grey parrot is a medium-sized parrot that originates from the central parts of Africa. They are said to be perhaps the most intelligent of all parrots, with an adept ability to mimic human words and expressions. This is the reason why they are very popular as pets in modern-day households. Most African grey parrots are predominantly grey all over with a small color difference on their tails, usually maroon or a darker shade of grey.

One incredible characteristic that the African grey parrot carries is its incredible ability to solve even the most complex of problems. Very few parrot species have this kind of ability and it is because of this that the African grey stands out above the rest. This characteristic is tied in with their talking ability as they can learn to mimic any sound just by listening and applying this to their own vocal patterns.

Every African grey parrot has the potential to mimic almost every sound that hears, however some more than others. Parrots that are left alone in their cages with no way to stimulate their brains generally learn to talk or mimic the sounds they hear around them. Parrots that are handled often by humans have no need for the extra stimulation that sound imitation provides them so they often learn very few sounds. This doesn't mean people should neglect their parrots for the sole reason of getting them to talk. There are different training manuals to help parrots learn the basics of sound imitation.

One notorious trait that the African grey parrot has is its feather plucking habit. This can make for a very messy and disease-ridden cage and therefore owners are advised to clean the parrot cage once every two or three days. The reason why a parrot plucks his or her feathers is that it is boring and needs a source of stimulation. If owners spend enough time with their parrot every day, perhaps one or two hours, it will have no need to pluck its feathers as it is getting enough stimulation from the human presence around it.

It is commonly known that an African grey parrot can become almost fully attached to one human and therefore become aggressive towards other people. This trait just proves one thing, that African grey parrots are the perfect companion. You could perhaps say that they are the new mans best friend!

    Author: Dane Stanton - Article Source: GoArticles

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Feather Plucking : A Major Problem for the African GREY PARROT

African grey parrot
African Grey Parrot - Photo  by    Tambako the Jaguar (cc)
Feather plucking is known to be a very nasty habit of the African grey parrot. They are notorious feather pluckers. It is said that the Timneh African Grey parrots are not as bad as the Congo African Grey Parrots when it comes to feather plucking. But this is not a proven fact.

First of all, any parrot keeper should ask himself why do parrots pluck their feathers. There are many different reasons for this nasty habit. The African grey parrot is a parrot species that need quite much attention from his human owner. If this doesn't happen then the bird will probably get bored and this can result in feather plucking. But believe me that this feather plucking problem is very complicated because it's very hard to resolve it. 

There were cases when the African greys plucked their feathers because of getting too much attention. So you just don't know exactly how to treat your bird. Dietary imbalances or environmental problems may also take to feather plucking. Some environmental problems could be smocking very much in the room where the parrot is kept or keeping him in a space with dry air. Also is recommended for African grey parrots to get regular baths or to be exposed to some kind of moist air. The African grey parrots shouldn't encounter any frightening experiences because this can take to feather plucking.

If this nasty habit appears in your bird's daily activities than you should first see a veterinarian. He will probably try to find a physical explanation for the bird's problem. It's best to try to understand what the veterinarian explains and try to find some ways of resolving the problem. It is proven that the African grey parrot is the most intelligent species. His higher degree of intelligence, along with possible incorrect early socialization at the breeders and not understanding the bird’s intellectual needs when it becomes a companion parrot often leads to neurotic habits -- such as plucking.

Timnehs African grey parrots don't pluck their feathers as much as the Congo African grey parrot. This could be because they were not as popular as the Congo African parrot. Because of their duller coloration, they weren't as licked as the congo.

In conclusion, the feather plucking is a major problem for the African grey parrots because they are very difficult birds to take care of.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

AFRICAN GREY PARROT – Einstein Talking Up A Storm

English: Congo African Grey Parrot (Psittacus ...
Congo African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). (Photo: Wikipedia)
African Grey parrots are not the most colorful among parrots of the world, as the name indicates. Whether your African Grey is the Congo or Timneh subspecies, the bird will be predominantly grey in color. The Congo African Grey will have a bright, cherry red tail, while the Timneh African Grey's tail will be maroon.

African Grey parrots are very intelligent. It has been said that they have an intellect similar to that of dolphins and chimpanzees. African Grey parrots have the ability to mimic up to 2,000 different sounds. They can understand the use of many words they learn and are known to be the best talking parrots.

Einstein, a talking African Grey, is living proof of this. Einstein has been talking up a storm in a Knoxville, Tennessee zoo. Einstein's trainer, Stephanie White, says that it is natural for African Grey parrots to enjoy mimicking sounds. Einstein, though, seems exceptionally good at mimicking. White believes Einstein can make more than 200 different sounds, many of which are English words.

"If she hears a sound that she likes, she'll start to repeat it over and over. Then we'll put it on cue," says White.

Is Einstein Male or Female?

African Grey parrots of both sexes look the same, so no one knows whether Einstein is male or female. The zoo's veterinarians could tell with a blood test, but the zoo has decided not to do it. Einstein lives happily with the name of a great male scientist, and a feminine pronoun.

Einstein – a Talking African Grey's Bio

Einstein, the talking African Grey parrot, hatched in California in 1987. He did not live in a zoo at first. He lived with a California couple. Not for sale, the Congo African Grey was donated to the Zoo in 1992 at age 5.

When Einstein arrived at the Knoxville Zoo, she soared from unknown African Grey parrot to star status. Einstein was an immediate hit in the zoo's new Bird Show. Visitors loved the show, which features free-flight, natural behaviors of about 14 birds and a few other animals. However, the African Grey quickly became the star.

Einstein does not stay at the zoo every day. Nor does she limit her vocabulary to words and sounds her trainers want her to learn. One day, the African Grey was riding in a car on the way to a school show-and-tell. Suddenly, she began to sing "Happy Birthday" to her shocked trainers. No one knew when and how she learned the song, but she knew it.

Einstein is not only the star of Knoxville Zoo's Bird Show. She is also a popular "spokesbird" for the zoo and for Knoxville tourism.

Although Einstein is about 22 years old as I write this (early 2007), she will never behave or understand as a 22-year old human. African Grey parrots have the intellectual capacity of a 5-year old child. Emotionally, they are more like a 2-year old human. Those who live with African Grey parrots are constantly reminded of this.

African Grey – the Right Pet for You?

Einstein, the talking African Grey is amazing. You should be aware, however, that not all African Greys are like Einstein. The Knoxville Zoo has another African Grey parrot named Allie. Allie has learned only a handful of words. Perhaps Allie is shy of talking because Einstein is so good. Perhaps Allie is just not motivated.

Certainly, many African Grey parrots do learn to talk. A privately-owned, 10-year old African Grey in Texas – also named Einstein - is credited with knowing 122 words, 94 phrases, and 21 sounds.

If you purchase an African Grey parrot and patiently work with it, you will probably be able to teach it to talk.

    About the Author: © 2007, Anna Hart. 
    Anna Hart, a career educator, and writer has researched African Grey parrots carefully for you. Anna invites you to read more of her articles about parrots of the world at If you would like more information on African Grey parrots, you won’t want to miss Anna’s articles. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017


English: Species: African Grey Parrot (Psittac...
Species: African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus). Subspecies: Congo African Grey Parrot, (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
African Grey parrots have been popular pets since the time of King Henry VIII of England. Because of its ability to speak, more and more affluent families adopted the possession of this parrot.

Today, countless of African Grey parrots are being hand-reared by various breeders for because they are amazing and loving companions not to mention one of the in-demand species in different pet trades for possessing high intelligence.

Despite its superb characteristics, African Grey parrots are not suitable for all environments—especially those with children—because they can be strong, they can bite using their pointed beak, and they can scratch with their daunting claws.

If you are planning to buy an African Grey parrot or planning to have one, it is a must that you know almost everything about this specific type of parrot so you would know what to expect.

African Grey Parrot Basics

Considered as the best mimics of all parrots, African Grey parrots are known for causing people to place a lot of expectation on their eventual performance because of their phenomenal gift of speech, for their problem solving and reasoning skills and their ability to understand the human language.

Although they are considered as one of the superior types of parrots there are, African Greys are the most neurotic, temperamental, nippy, and one of the shyest parrot species.

Usually, African Grey Parrots are medium-sized parrots native to Africa. Primarily grey with accents of white area around the eye, African Greys are also famous for their red or maroon tail.

Basically, there are two subspecies of African Greys: the Congo—which are about 12 inches to 30cm long, with light grey feathers, deep red tails and black beaks—and the Timneh race—which is smaller, has a darker charcoal gray color, a darker maroon tail, with a horn colored beak. Today, there is also known a third and fourth sub specie—the Ghana African Grey that is similar to the Congo African grey but darker and smaller and the Cameroon African Grey or the “big silvers.”

Determining the sex of an African Grey parrot will sorely depend on their physical traits: males are generally bigger in size, round eyes, have a flatter and broader head while females have a long and slender neck, small rounded head and elliptical eyes.

These relatively quiet parrots have an average lifespan of 50 to 65 years and are known to feed primarily on nuts and fruits, usually supplemented by vegetables. These birds are known for having a tendency to pluck their feathers if they get bored and tend to bond to only one person if they are not used to interacting with different people on a regular basis.

Like any pet parrot, African Grey parrots require a large commitment and dedication. If you’re planning to buy one, African Grey parrot prices range from $ 750 to $1000 in the market today.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Liz and Oliver
Photo  by lizzymyeh 
To most breeders and pet lovers out there, the African Gray parrot has got to be one of the most charming parrots out there. Known for its wonderful character, the African Gray parrot is also one of the most preferred species for possessing an admirable combination of high intelligence and extraordinary charm.

If you are one of those who was instantly drawn to the beauty of African Gray parrot, it is a must that you supply yourself with enough information about these wonderful birds.

According to taxonomy, there are basically two subspecies or types of African gray parrot that can be found in today’s pet trade: the Congo African gray and the Timneh African gray. The former type is characterized by being slightly larger than latter with bright, red tail feathers. The Timneh, on the other hand, is overall darker than the Congo African.

When it comes to temperament, there are significant differences between the two. Timnehs are believed to be more laid back and less prone to feather picking and other neurotic behaviors compared to the Congo African gray.

Generally, African Gray parrots live from 25 to 50 years depending on the history of the bird, lifestyle, stress factors, diseases, and another aspect that may affect its lifespan. When it comes to intelligence, this parrot species is considered as an extremely intelligent bird because of its ability to talk or mimic different sounds and noises and for having a unique capacity for putting their words and sounds into the right context.

Despite its admirable traits, there are some behavior issues you have to deal with when you possess an African Gray parrot. Because of their intelligence, this bird is quite demanding because you need to spend a lot of time in giving social contact and for mental stimulation. A lot of patience and attention should be given to these birds. These birds are also known for biting and feather picking when they get bored or depressed.

Here are some dos and don’ts in taking care of your African Gray parrot:

1. Make sure that you know the species of your parrot because having a good knowledge the will provide you better guidelines for taking care of it.

2. Make sure that you provide you African Gray with the basics it needs like large and safe cage, good and healthy diet, a wide range of toys, a dependable T-stand, as well as a gym or play stand, scale, and a commercial carrier.

3. If possible, take time off to talk to the breeder and pet shop assistants who have dealt with your parrot. Talking to them will give you an idea how the bird has been treated in the past.

4. Make sure that you objectively assess if the African Grey Parrot is compatible with your living space and lifestyle. Since these birds are quite demanding pets, attention and clean environment will keep them healthy and happy.

5. Because of its quite demanding nature, an African Grey parrot is not suitable for everyone. Make sure that you think a thousand times before purchasing it and have a written guarantee of its age if possible.

6. Never, ever buy an African Gray parrot on impulse because it can be quite stressful.

7. Don’t keep questions to yourself if you want to know something about the bird.

8. Don’t forget to make a list before you go to the breeder so you won’t miss out on important information you need to know in taking care of your pet.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Breeding AFRICAN GREY PARROTS - A Guide For African Grey Breeders

English: Range map for (Psittacus erithacus) A...
Range map for (Psittacus erithacus) African Grey Parrot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are 2 species of African Grey parrot of interest to breeders.   The Timneh Parrot which is small and somewhat dark in colour and the Congo African Parrot, which is bigger than the Timneh and lighter in colour.

Breeding African grey parrots can prove to be a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with the entire procedure. You will need to gradually introduce your African grey parrot in a cage with another of the opposite sex, so as to give them enough time to get to know each other. 

African grey parrots need to become companions slowly, so do not try to force things as it will only lead to frustration. In the wild, the African greys choose a small area on a tree so as to breed; this means that you do not need to provide them with a large and open space in order to breed them successfully. They do however some privacy in order to breed, so a well hidden next box is essential.

English: Congo African Grey Parrot (Psittacus ...
Congo African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) at a bird park in Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You should buy a nest box which is large enough. They might not require an open space so as to breed, but they definitely need to be comfortable enough.  A nestbox which is at least twenty-five inches high and wide is ideal.  Boxes shaped as a capital L can work really well for them and is highly recommended for breeding. A bedding of wood shavings should be provided in the box, so as to keep both the bird and the eggs as safe as possible.

While breeding African grey parrots is not difficult with the right breeding stock and good husbandry, the Congo parrots are generally considered the easiest.   The Timneh, on the other hand, is a little more difficult to breed and since they are less popular and less common as pets are best left to experienced breeders.

If you decide to buy an African parrot for breeding, it is strongly recommended that you check accredited African grey breeders first. The birds should be medically tested by a vet - even a DNA test can be done - so as to determine the reproductive ability and maturity of the particular bird. Potential African grey breeders are also advised to use some scientifically proven methods so as to determine the sex of the bird, rather than base their assumption on morphological characteristics, such as the size of beaks.

While breeding African grey parrots you will see that the eggs need hatching for a month; in most cases, the birds lay a clutch of two to five eggs. African grey breeders should be very careful when removing the chicks, because the African grey can become very aggressive and attacking so as to protect the newborns, and can give a nasty bite with their sharp and powerful beaks.

Monday, October 9, 2017


African Grey Parrot - Psittacus erithacus - macro
African Grey Parrot - Psittacus erithacus - macro
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you invite an African Grey parrot to share your home, you are taking on a long-term responsibility to provide a good diet for that parrot for 50 years or more. Many owners fail to do this, even for a few months. Believing that bird seed is enough, they purchase a large bag of mixed seed, and feed their African Grey. Seeds are cheap, so bird food companies push them.

African Grey parrots' food must not be only seed, however. Such an incomplete, imbalanced diet is likely to cause illness. Seeds are high in fat and carbohydrates, and your African Grey will probably pick out its favorite seeds, making the diet even less balanced.

Most parrot experts agree that an African Grey parrots' food needs can only be met with a formula diet supplemented with a variety of other foods.

Organic Pellets
What is a formula diet for an African Grey? Organic pellets. I say "organic" pellets because many of the conventional pellets have unhealthy ingredients. Some have even been noted as containing potentially toxic ingredients.

African Grey parrots' food should never contain menadione. If the pellets you are considering for your African Grey list menadione as an ingredient, read on. The FDA requires a warning on every bag of food that contains it. That warning must read, "Person who handles needs to wear protective outfit, gloves, mask, and glasses."

Menadione may be added to give your African Grey additional vitamin K. A better option is to provide full-spectrum light for your parrot. An African Grey will get vitamin K from the light, just as it would if living outdoors.

Organic pellets also let your African Grey avoid the high quantities of sugar in colored pellets. Most African Grey parrot owners care enough about the bird in which they've invested so much money, that they don't want to give it a diet that is high in sugar.

African Grey parrots' food that is based on organic pellets will be free of contaminants that might be found in other pellets. In the U.S., government regulations force companies making organic parrot food not to use pesticides or other contaminants.

In addition to a basic, formulated pellet food, African Greys need many of the same food you eat.

1. Fresh vegetables: Offer your African Grey a wide variety of vegetables, raw or cooked. Think bright, deep colors for the most nutrition. Most vegetables that offer high nutrition to you and your family will be good for your parrot as well. Cooked legumes such as beans and lentils are good. Sprouted seeds are also good. Your African Grey will love them. To avoid contaminants such as pesticides, you may want to use organic vegetables for African Grey parrots' food.
2. Fresh fruits: In the wild, African Greys eat fruit freely. The trick is to keep your parrot from filling up on its favorite food and neglecting pellets and vegetables. As with vegetables, choose bright, rich colors in fruit for the most nutrition. Also, purchase organic if possible.
3. Other supplemental foods: African Grey parrots enjoy cooked eggs and small amounts of yogurt now and then. African Greys are more prone than some parrots to calcium deficiency, so you may leave the egg shell on the hard boiled egg, if you wish. You should not need to give your parrot calcium supplements if you are using a good organic pellet food. You may give a few seeds as a treat, but go easy on them.

No, Thank You
African Grey parrots' food dishes should never contain avocado, chocolate, or rhubarb. They should not contain any human junk foods or processed meats either. It should go without saying, but your African Grey should never be given anything containing caffeine or alcohol.

Water, Please
Remember, when thinking of your African Grey's dietary needs, that it should have fresh, clean water in its cage at all times.

Helpful Tip
For healthy African Greys, be sure you clean the food and water dishes every day. If your parrot decides on an impromptu bath, wait until it is done, wash the water dish, and give it a fresh supply of water.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


African Greys are one the most wanted parrot species as a pet. It is due to a simple fact that they talk and are extremely intelligent. Most people want a parrot that talks, which is a misconception because not all African Greys talk.

Most times the end result leads the person to give up the parrot because of the responsibility an African Grey can be. There is a lot of responsibility with owning one of these special species.

A Congo African Grey Parrot in Herborn Bird Pa...
A Congo African Grey Parrot in Herborn Bird Park, Germany.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They are known to be one of the smartest animals; yes I said animals, like chimpanzees, dolphins and even a human toddler. Not that a human toddler is an animal but they are correlated with a child. Their production of human speech is amazing. They talk in the third person, like a human.
Sparky, our three-year-old Grey, will answer a question when one is asked or respond when my wife and I are talking. I was asking my wife a question and she had not responded and Sparky replied "What?" just as she would say "What?" I can go on the many things Sparky says, responds and finishes off in a sentence, which even surprises me.

A notable African Grey N'kisi, a Timneh an African Grey, who in 2004 was said to a have a vocabulary of 950 words. When Jane Goodall came to visit him in New York he greeted her with "Got a chimp" He knew Jane Goddall from watching TV and seeing her in pictures with chimpanzees in Africa.

There is also Alex the famous African Grey, which was a Congo, that Dr. Irene Pepperberg worked within a scientific setting. He had the ability to associate simple words with meanings and intelligently apply abstract concepts of shape, number, size, color, and zero-sense. The day before he died Alex's last words to Dr. Pepperberg was "You be good. I love you." May Alex rest in peace. Yes, these two notable Greys displayed an outstanding sense of intelligence for an animal.

Please keep in mind that not all Greys talk or show such intelligence. This should not be a reason to get this type of parrot. Greys require a lot of love, attention, stimulation, and responsibility. Due to the intelligence, you need to keep them stimulated, occupied and showered in love. Yes, all parrots require this, but Greys seem to need more of the stimulation and being occupied than other parrots.
Misconceptions of an African Grey.

Misconceptions of Greys are arguable. Many people say an African Grey is neurotic and one person birds. Some say they scream, pluck their feathers, are high-strung, nervous and they bite. This depends on your household and how you raise your Grey.

Greys need to be socialized. This is a very important factor to know when you get it from the bird store or the breeder. Having a socialized baby Grey will build its confidence and disposition. When you bring it home have everybody and I mean everybody interacts with it. Like any parrot don't let it be favored by one individual person, everybody in the household needs to interact with the baby.

Some people agree and disagree to let a baby Grey keep their flight feathers for a month or two when bringing it home. Some critics say that Greys are awkward and clumsy and will hurt themselves. Others believe it helps them build self-confidence and security. With the latter we decided to let Sparky keep his flight feathers when he came home, yes he flew from the cage across the room to the couch but he never hurt himself. However, after a short period of time he soon began to copy our Amazon and would run around on the floor, chasing him and this continues to this day. We felt he was ready to have his wings clipped and with the end result being a positive one. Severe wing trims when a Grey is a baby can lead to insecurity and no self-confidence. It can lead to further insecurities and fears as they grow up.

Sparky is probably one of the most confident little guys I know and has no fear of anything. You can bring a new toy and he is at it with a vengeance, new food is a great treat to him and digs in and new situations are a little weird at first to him but he settles right in after a couple of hours. We have moved two times in his short threes of being with us and we have had none of the preconceptions of a Grey and have gone on two vacations, which one was for ten days. He had a blast at the babysitters, not as much fun as home but he was fine when he came back home.

Neurotic Behaviors
Neurotic type behaviors are formed when they are stressed, have insecurities and a lack of self-confidence. African Greys are hardwired for to flee from danger and we are expecting them to understand all the strange things about its environment we have put them in. They do not have their flock to protect them. African Greys live in large flocks that forage on the ground together. They go from their roost and find food on the ground and trees. Keep in mind that baby Greys remain in their family unit much longer to develop emotionally than when they are being hand-fed. They are still wild animals and still have that sense inbuilt in them. Parrots have not been domesticated over a long period of time. Many parrots that are domesticated are one or two generations in. Greys must be entertained and kept busy or they become stressed and will show self-destructive behavior.

One Person Birds
Many people will say that an African Grey is a one person bird. In our home, this is not true. Sparky loves my wife and me. He may favor my wife more but she is a mommy of the house and that happens in most human households until they realize mommy lays down the rules. This is a complete fallacy that African Greys are one person parrots. They will interact with anybody that interacts with them. They interact with you as a toddler would interact with a parent. Your African Grey is very rewarding and the reciprocation of love is never-ending.

In my opinion, there isn't anything a Grey won't eat when introduced. Sparky eats seed, pellets, fruits, veggies and yes our food. He loves bones may it be chicken or the bones from our steak. You need to take into consideration their calcium levels. Talk to your avian specialist as it is more complex than just feeding your Grey calcium enriched foods. They will recommend a wide variety of foods, a calcium/phosphorus supplement and/or pellets. It is imperative you speak with the doctor about it and not take it upon yourself.

Toys and Cage
These are the two most important things you have to think about when you have an African Grey. The cage needs to be the biggest you can afford. At a minimum, the cage needs to be 32 inches by 23 inches. Toys, toys, toys and more toys; you can never have enough toys for Greys. Change them out weekly. This is great for stimulation and keeping their busy minds occupied. Play music or put on the TV for them when you are out of the house, though I do warn you to be careful on the TV shows they choose. They may pick up something you don't want to be repeated. I like to put on cartoons. They are family friendly.

Does an African Grey mimic? Some say yes and some say no. I am one of those disagrees and would say no. Sparky can put sentences together from hearing my wife and I speak to each other. They can copy human voices; appliance sounds and puts a speech together with speaking in the 3rd person. In the wild Greys would mimic other bird calls and chainsaws. In our home, it is almost like a practical joke with his telephone ringing sound or if the phone rings he answers it and starts to have a conversation.
When your African screams as if they are dying when playing with a toy or swinging from a perch wildly you know you have a happy parrot. People wonder why Greys scratch at the bottom of their cage, there is no explanation. Sparky even scratches in the corner of the couch. I don't know if he is trying to dig a hole to China like any five years old or if he is searching for something, it is just unexplainable. Some people believe it is a sign that they want out of their cage contrary to believe they do it when they are out of the cage.

There are two Subspecies of the African Grey. There is the Congo that is larger, lighter gray, red tail and a black beak. Then there is the Timneh who is smaller in size, dark charcoal grey, maroon tail and horn-colored upper mandible. Of course, you have heard of the Cameroon, the ever elusive Cameroon. There is no such thing; it is just a way of getting you to pay more money. It is also called the Silverback or even the Ghana. It has not been scientifically proven of these other two subspecies. There are only subspecies and they are the Congo and Timneh African Grey. When we got Sparky we fell into the Cameroon trap but my wife would not pay the price they were asking. Some Congo's just happen to be larger than others.

African Greys are one of the most delightful animals one can come across and become companions with. The gratification you get will only grow as each day passes. There is so much to learn from these great creatures. They love to learn and we can show them how by being patient and understanding their needs. Your new addition is a five-year-old with the emotional needs of a two-year-old, only it is feathered. I love Sparky to the end and you will too, with your Grey.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

AFRICAN GREY PARROT: One of the greates species of parrots

The African grey parrot scientifically known as Psittacus erithacus is originated in Central Africa. here are two types of African Greys - the larger Congo (has bright red tail feathers) and smaller Timneh (darker tail feathers). No one really knows when the grey african parrot was first found in Europe but it said that King Henry VIII had an African grey parrot as a pet.

African Grey Parrot
The african grey parrot is a large bird that can grow to 12 to 14 inches in length. The Timneh sub species is a little smaller. Their tails are quite short and they don't have very beautiful colored plumage. but all this is compensated by the intelligence.

I will try to talk a little about the african grey parrot behavior and training. 

The Grey is a very social bird. In the wild, they depend on the flock for their safety and their emotional well-being. Because they depend on the flock so much, they read the emotion of their companion birds. This translates to their human companions as well. If an owner is upset or angry, the bird will feel it and react to the emotion.

African grey parrots really need much attention and interaction. Because of their dependence of the flock, if they stay alone they will get bored and depressed. If you don't spend enough time with an african grey parrot he will get the feather picking behavior or even become quite aggressive. So if you decide to buy an african grey parrot keep in mind that they are not lonely birds. African Grey parrots need a strong relationship with their owners. If you think that you are not able to make this commitment you should reconsider and buy another species of parrots.

But the most interesting aspect of the african grey parrot is that they are very intelligent. I have heard of a parrot called  Alex that Alex, the African Grey trained by Dr. Irene Pepperberg, can perform tasks on the same level as a four-year-old child including distinguishing colors, shapes, and numbers of objects.

African grey parrots are also great talkers. They can learn a larger number of words and the most amazing thing is that they can use the words properly. If you think that we are talking about a bird's brain you have to agree that this is very good performances.

The training of your african grey parrot can be very fun because they learn very fast and they are very curious. If you want your bird to say a certain phrase, say it in different ways. Say it in a sing-song way, in a low voice, in a high voice, in a baby voice, or any other voice. Say the phrase looking directly at the bird so that he knows you want him to say it.

I advise you not to teach him dirty words. Don't make a joke from your pet. Also be careful to keep many toys around your african grey parrot so he will not get bored.

In conclusion, please don't buy an african grey parrot if you are not sure that you can meet all the parrot care demands.