The African Grey 's intelligence and personality, as well as its impressive talent for imitating sounds, whistles and human speech have made it a popular addition to many families. They are quite beautiful with their rich grey bodies and brilliant red tails. A relatively quiet 'little fellow' they make an excellent choice as a first bird.
If you've ever seen an African Grey parrot, then you know that they are beautiful birds -- but did you also know that they are capable of amassing vocabularies of up to 1000 words or more, and using the words that they learn to speak in context? To say that these birds are intelligent would be an understatement, and the best part is, that's not the only thing that makes the African Grey parrot so special.
While all types of African Grey parrots look similar, there are actually two distinct types and a couple of lesser known subspecies of this beloved bird. The most popular and common is the Congo African Grey. The Congo African Grey 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. The Timneh African Grey is slightly smaller than the Congo, and its feathers are darker in color. Another defining characteristic of the Timneh Grey is that it has a horn-colored upper mandible instead of a black one. Despite their differences, both of these types of African Grey parrots make excellent pets, and both are equally intelligent. upper mandible instead of a black one. Despite their differences, both of these types of African Grey parrots make excellent pets, and both are equally intelligent.
Besides being one of the most popular pet bird species, African Grey Parrots are also one of the most intelligent. In recent years, much research has been done on the mental capacity of African Grey parrots by scientists around the world. The most famous instance of this is the work that Dr. Irene Pepperberg conducted with her famous African Grey, Alex. Using Alex and other African Greys in research trials focusing on communication, she was able to show that not only can African Grey parrots learn an incredible amount of human words, they can learn to use them in context to communicate with their owners. It has been said that these impressive birds have the mental and emotional capacities of a 5-year-old human child.
Most people can relate to the difficulties of keeping a young child occupied, so it's not a stretch to say that keeping a highly intelligent bird from getting bored can be similar. African Grey parrots need plenty of mental stimulation in order to stay happy and healthy, so they must be provided with a variety of toys and other ways to exercise their minds. Otherwise, they can resort to destructive behavior and develop unpleasant habits that might require professional intervention.
Big Vocabulary but not showman like Amazons
Requires variety of toys
Can be destructive!
Temperaments Vary Greatly
Capacity of a 5 year old