Animals / Birds

African grey parrot


Жако, Серый попугай (ру.)

Graupapagei (de.)

Loro yaco (es.)


Order — Psittaciformes.

Family — Psittacidae.

Subfamily — Psittacinae.

Genus — Psittacus.

Species — Psittacus erithacus.


African grey parrots generally inhabit savannas, coastal mangroves, woodland and edges of forest clearings in their West and Central Africa range. Though the larger of the African grey subspecies is referred to as the Congo African grey, this bird actually has a much wider natural range in Africa, including the Southeastern Ivory Coast, Kenya and Tanzania. The Timneh African grey is found in a smaller region along the western edge of the Ivory Coast and through southern Guinea.

Внешний вид

CONGO subspecies:

Length: 26-32 cm.

Weight: 450 g.

The Congo African Grey Parrot is a medium grey bird with shades of light grey on the body.

Head feathers have brushed white edging.

Eye area is of bare white skin.

Beak is solid black.

Tail is bright red.

Young parrots have dark grey tips on their tail feathers.  They are also known as the "Red Tailed Grey".

TIMNEH subspecies:

Length: 26 cm.

Weight: 300 g.

Body and wings are dark grey.

Upper beak is pinkish.

Tail is maroon, with tips of a scallop-like pattern.



Most bird keepers believe that only an experienced bird enthusiast should keep a grey. They are complex parrots, highly sensitive, and more than a little demanding. They are also charming and brilliant, but this match of sensitivity and brains can lead to behavioral issues. They are creatures of habit, and even a small change in routine can make a sensitive grey unhappy. They are prone to plucking and chewing their feathers, among other bad habits. Anecdotally, the TAG has a hardier attitude and may be better for households with a lot of people coming and going. The CAG prefers a little less chaos.

African greys are social parrots that need a lot of hands-on time, however, they aren’t “cuddlebugs.” They will tolerate some head scratching and a little bit of petting, but they do not appreciate intense physical contact, though some individuals don’t mind a little snuggling. Every bird has individual tastes and preferences. A grey can also become a “one person bird,” even if every member of the household socializes with it from the beginning.


They are mostly frugivorous, most of their diet consists of fruit, nuts, and seeds. The species prefers oil palm fruit and will also eat flowers, tree bark, as well as insects and snails. In the wild the African grey is partly a ground feeder. In captivity it can eat sunflower seeds, bird pellets, a variety of fruits such as pears, orange, pomegranate, apple, and banana, and vegetables such as carrots, cooked sweet potato, celery, fresh kale, peas, and green beans. They also need a source of calcium.


The African gray is considered to be one of the most accomplished mimics. Parrots, when raised by humans, show an amazing ability to mimic people and noisy objects, but in the wild they have never been observed mimicking.

Because large parrots live so long, and may outlive their owners, it is often necessary for owners to put the birds in their wills.


African greys are especially susceptible to feather picking, calcium deficiency, vitamin-A and vitamin-D deficiency, respiratory infection, psittacosis and psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD).


African grey parrots are very social birds. Breeding occurs in loose colonies with each pair occupying its own tree. Individuals select mates carefully and have a lifelong monogamous bond that begins at sexually maturity, at three to five years of age. Few details are known about courtship in the wild, but display flights around nest holes have been observed and recorded. Males feed mates (courtship feeding) and both sing soft monotonous notes. At this time the female will sleep in the nest cavity while the male guards it. In captivity, males feed females after copulation events and both sexes participate in a mating dance in which they droop their wings.

Mating System is monogamous.

The breeding season varies by locality, but appears to coincide with the dry season. African grey parrots breed once to twice a year. Females lay three to five roundish eggs, one each at intervals of two to five days. Females incubate the eggs while being fed entirely by the male. Incubation takes approximately thirty days and the young emerge from the nest at twelve weeks old.

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