Knowing Your African Grey Parrot

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About Pet Parrots

Knowing Your African Grey Parrot

African Grey parrots have been popular pets since the time of King Henry VIII of England. Because of its ability to speak, more and more affluent families adopted the possession of this parrot.

Today, countless of African Grey parrots are being hand reared by various breeders for because they are amazing and loving companions not to mention one of the in demand species in different pet trades for possessing high intelligence.

Despite its superb characteristics, African Grey parrots are not suitable for all environments—especially those with children—because they can be strong, they can bite using their pointed beak, and they can scratch with their daunting claws.

If you are planning to buy an African Grey parrot or planning to have one, it is a must that you know almost everything about this specific type of parrot so you would know what to expect.

African Grey Parrot Basics

Considered as the best mimics of all parrots, African Grey parrots are known for causing people to place a lot expectation on their eventual performance because of their phenomenal gift of speech, for their problem solving and reasoning skills and their ability to understand the human language.

Although they are considered as one of the superior types of parrots there are, African Greys are the most neurotic, temperamental, nippy, and one of the shyest parrot species.

Usually, African Grey Parrots are medium-sized parrots native to Africa. Primarily grey with accents of white area around the eye, African Greys are also famous for their red or maroon tail.

Basically, there are two subspecies of African Greys: the Congo—which are about 12 inches to 30cm long, with light grey feathers, deep red tails and black beaks—and the Timneh race—which are smaller, have a darker charcoal gray color, a darker maroon tail, with a horn colored beak. Today, there is also known a third and fourth sub specie—the Ghana African Grey that is similar to the Congo African grey but darker and smaller and the Cameroon African Grey or the “big silvers.”

Determining the sex of an African Grey parrot will sorely depend on their physical traits: males are generally bigger in size, round eyes, have a flatter and broader head while females have longer and slender neck, small rounded head and elliptical eyes.

These relatively quiet parrots have an average lifespan of 50 to 65 years and are known to feed primarily on nuts and fruits, usually supplemented by vegetables. These birds are known for having a tendency to pluck their feathers if they get bored and tend to bond to only one person if they are not used to interacting with different people on a regular basis.

Like any pet parrot, African Grey parrots require a large commitment and dedication. If you’re planning to buy one, African Grey parrot prices ranges from $ 750 to $1000 in the market today.

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Parrots, also known as psittacines are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is subdivided into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea ('true' parrots), the Cacatuoidea (cockatoos) and the Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots). Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several species inhabiting temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is in South America and Australasia.

Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. The plumage of cockatoos ranges from mostly white to mostly black, with a mobile crest of feathers on the tops of their heads. Most parrots exhibit little or no sexual dimorphism. They form the most variably sized bird order in terms of length.

The most important components of most parrots' diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, buds and other plant material. A few species sometimes eat animals and carrion, while the lories and lorikeets are specialised for feeding on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree hollows (or nest boxes in captivity), and lay white eggs from which hatch altricial (helpless) young.

Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays and magpies, are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Trapping wild parrots for the pet trade, as well as hunting, habitat loss and competition from invasive species, has diminished wild populations, with parrots being subjected to more exploitation than any other group of birds. Measures taken to conserve the habitats of some high-profile charismatic species have also protected many of the less charismatic species living in the same ecosystems.

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