African Grey Parrots
The African Grey Parrot is one of the most popular pet birds due to its intelligence and individuality. These clever birds are beautiful and fascinating to watch. However, there are some important things to consider before choosing an African Grey, as these birds can be challenging to own and may not be ideal in every situation. Be sure to keep the following African Grey Parrot facts in mind when you are deciding if they are the right birds for you.
African Greys are incredibly intelligent birds. Scientists consider them to be one of the smartest animals in the world. Their intellect is not much less than that of a 5 year old child (although emotionally the have the emotion range of a 2 year old). They can even count, distinguish objects by name, and recognize humans from pictures! This quality makes keeping African Grey parrots as pets a very fun and engaging experience. Though they learn to speak slowly when young, around age three they become avid talkers. Some parrots have developed vocabularies of over 1,000 words! However, this intelligence also makes them challenging pets. These are not birds that can be left alone except for feeding and maintenance. Rather, these birds need a great deal of time and attention from their owners. If they do not get enough mental stimulation they will become depressed and withdrawn, or even turn to such destructive behaviors as aggression and self-mutilation.
African Greys come in two different sub-species: Timneh and Congo. The two species share the same intellectual faculties but differ in size and color. The Congo African Grey parrot is several inches larger and has bright red tail feathers. The Timneh African Grey parrot is smaller in size, and has a darker red, maroon, tail. Beyond that the two birds are exactly the same, however the Congo African Grey parrot typically has a higher price tag as it is generally more popular (but that doesn’t necessarily make it a superior choice to the Timneh).
These parrots also need a large cage, both because of their size and so that they have plenty of room to move around and entertain themselves while they are contained. The cage you choose should have multiple perches and toys so that they can have plenty to do. Fortunately for you, when you buy an African Grey parrot from us, we hook you up with a great cage, accessories, and toys you need to make your new African Grey a happy bird.
African Grey Parrots also need a good diet, or they can become depressed, frustrated, and even angry. A poor diet can hinder the learning process of words or otherwise being a healthy, happy and vibrant pet. There are many quality commercial bird foods on the market, and those are generally the best choice for a balanced diet. However, they should be supplemented with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. One of the little-known parrot fact is that many common foods are very toxic to them. These include avocados, peach and cherry pits, apple seeds, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol.
As one of the smartest birds in the world, African Greys can be extremely rewarding pets for those who have the time and energy to devote to them. However, it is not a commitment to take lightly. They live a very long time and you should expect to keep them with you as a member of your family for possibly the rest of your life..