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African Grey Parrot

Appearance

The African grey parrot has a grey coat on most of its body. Under the tail its feathers are coloured red. Around the eye and up to the beak they have white feathers. Their eyes are a pale yellow and the beak is couloured black.

2 subspecies have been identified, the Timneh Grey Parrot and the Congo Grey Parrot. The Timneh has darker plumage all over and a light brown patch on the upper portion of the beak.

They are approximately 33cms (13in) in length. African Grey Parrots weigh approximately 450g (15.9oz)

Diet

African grey parrots feed on a diet of seeds, nuts, fruits and berries. They are vegetarians and feed exclusively on fruits and grain. These parrots are very fond of the oil palm nut.

As commercial grain crops such as maize have been planted in Africa the grey parrots have been known to do damage to these crops.

Scientific Name

Psittacus erithacus

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

Size

33cm (13in)

Lifespan

50 years

Diet

Vegetarian

Range

African grey parrots hail from Africa and inhabit countries including Cote d’ Iviore, Ghana, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda, Angola, Principe, equatorial Guniea, Togo and Burundi.

Habitat

They inhabit lowland tropical rainforests, mangrove and gallery forests as well as savannah woodland. With the increase in commercial farming they have been known to move into cultivated areas.

Reproduction

African grey parrots have variable breeding seasons which differ across their range. They nest in a small tree hollow 10-30m off the ground. Nesting is usually done in solitary but may occur in a small group. They generally lay 2-3 eggs. These are incubated for 21-30 days. Young fledge 80 days after hatching.

Behavior

African grey parrots have been known to have historically lived in groups of up to 10,000 individuals. These colonies will break down into smaller groups of 30 or so when they go out to feed.

These parrots will seasonally move out of the driest parts of their range.

They will fly great distances to find fruiting trees.

Quick facts

African grey parrots are very popular as pets worldwide.

This has led to them being listed as vulnerable as thousands are taken from the wild illegally each year.

They can be trained to talk and one called Alex has learnt over 50 words.

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