Frequently Asked African Grey Parrot Questions

About the Species

The Congo African Grey Parrot is the largest of the African Grey parrots, sporting a lighter gray color in its plumage, and a solid black beak. The second most common type is the Timneh African Grey, which was recognized as a species in and of itself in 2012.  

Are African Grey Parrots friendly?

One of the most intelligent birds ever studied, the African grey parrot has an amazing ability to imitate speech. They can be wonderful and affectionate, but, like other large parrots, African greys are considered high maintenance pets.

How much do African Grey Parrots cost?

Even if your African Grey only maintains a handful of words in her vocabulary, it is certain you will share an entertaining and interactive life with one of these very special members of the parrot family. Average cost of an African Grey is $1,000 - $1,500.

Where do African Grey Parrots originate from?

There are two general types of the African Grey Parrot—the Congo and the Timneh. The Grey parrot species originate in the lowlands of western and central Africa from northern Angola to Guinea.

How intelligent are African Grey Parrots?

Besides being one of the most popular pet bird species, African grey parrots are also one of the most intelligent. ... It has been said that these impressive birds have the mental and emotional capacities of a 5-year-old human child.

Do African Greys love their owners?

Parrots can be very rewarding pets to the right owners, due to their intelligence and desire to interact with people. Many parrots are very affectionate, even cuddly with trusted people, and require a lot of attention from their owners constantly.

Are parrots smarter than dogs?

Dogs can join the police force and monkeys are our fellow primates, but new research found that parrots might be the smartest animal of them all. A new study found that African Grey Parrots performed as well as three-year-old children on a mental test.

Do African Greys bite?

Short answer: YES!  

African greys are heavy-bodied birds and, when they fall, they often hit the edge of the breastbone and come down hard on their legs. ... When your African grey is hurt and scared, it might associate these negative aspects with its owner. A fearful African grey can start to bite or be aggressive.

Is it OK to kiss your parrot?

Always make sure you kiss your parrot's beak and never it's tongue or inside either your mouth or the bird's. ... Your saliva can make your bird sick and you just don't want be to french kissing your parrot. It's not good for anyone. So make sure to always kiss the top of the beak and not inside.

Do parrots remember faces?

Birds can recognize people's faces and know their voices. ... New research suggests that some birds may know who their human friends are, as they are able to recognize people's faces and differentiate between human voices. Being able to identify a friend or potential foe could be key to the bird's ability to survive.

Why does my grey like to lick me?

He's either showing affection, tasting you, or preening you. As stated in other answers, parrots use their tongues as hands. ... Parrots are one of the few species of birds that can taste sweetness. Salted, bitter, and sour foods are also distinguishable to them.

Do male or female Greys talk better?

When it comes to talking, there is no difference between the male and female African greys' ability to learn human language, nor any difference between the Congo or Timneh African grey. The average grey starts talking around 12 to 18 months depending on the individual bird.

Do all African Greys talk?

Yes, many African grey parrots can—and do—talk! Owners and bird aviculturists often count African grey parrots among the best talkers. ... The exceptions always prove the rule, however, and some African grey parrots will simply mimic sounds and make their own noises.

How do African Greys show affection?

It is natural behavior for birds to regurgitate for their mates during mating season and while they raise their babies. It is a sign of affection and love. When your companion regurgitates you will notice pinning of the eyes, thrusting of the neck muscles and head bobbing right before he regurgitates the food.

How do I keep my African Grey Parrot happy?

African Greys need around 12 hours' uninterrupted sleep every night to keep stress at bay. Put your parrot's cage somewhere quiet during the evening and remember to cover it to encourage sleep behaviour. Always feed your African Grey a good-quality parrot mix, as recommended by your vet.

When will my African Grey start talking?

The average grey starts talking around 12 to 18 months depending on the individual bird. Some have been noted as early as 6 months of age. Most greys start out mumbling and practicing words when they are alone.

How long to African Greys live for?

In captivity, African Grey Parrots typically live anywhere from 40 to 60 years.  They have been known to live as long as 75 years in the wild and rarely in captivity as well.

At what age is an African Grey fully grown?

Greys under 6 months of age will have very dark gray or black eyes. At a year of age, the eyes will turn a lighter gray. As your bird reaches approximately 2 years old, its eyes will turn a darker straw color. The iris will turn a light yellow between ages 3 and 5 as your bird reaches maturity.

Are Parrots sexually attracted to humans?

The pet will be imprinted on its owner, and humans in general, and will tend to become sexually attracted to people. The parrot's bird brain will assume you are its mate. Some hand-reared parrots actually reject fellow birds as potential mates in these circumstances. 

Do parrots experience jealousy?

Parrots are loving, affectionate pets, and they are highly prone to jealousy. Parrots often become jealous when a new person or pet is introduced into their routine. A little extra love and patience, however, can cool a jealous parrot's emotions.