Taking Care of an African Gray Parrot

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Taking Care of an African Gray Parrot

To most breeders and pet lovers out there, the African Gray parrot has got to be one of the most charming parrots out there. Known for its wonderful character, the African Gray parrot is also one of the most preferred species for possessing an admirable combination of high intelligence and extraordinary charm.

If you are one of those who were instantly drawn to the beauty of African Gray parrot, it is a must that you supply yourself with enough information about these wonderful birds.

According to taxonomy, there are basically two subspecies or types of African gray parrot that can be found in today’s pet trade: the Congo African gray and the Timneh African gray. The former type is characterized for being slightly larger than latter with bright, red tail feathers. The Timneh, on the other hand, is overall darker than the Congo African.

When it comes to temperament, there are significant differences between the two. Timnehs are believed to be more laid back and less prone to feather picking and other neurotic behaviors compared to the Congo African gray.

Generally, African Gray parrots live from 25 to 50 years depending on the history of the bird, lifestyle, stress factors, diseases, and other aspect that may affect its lifespan. When it comes to intelligence, this parrot specie is considered as an extremely intelligent bird because of its ability to talk or mimic different sounds and noises and for having a unique capacity for putting their words and sounds into the right context.

Despite its admirable traits, there are some behavior issues you have to deal with when you possess an African Gray parrot. Because of their intelligence, this bird is quite demanding because you need to spend a lot of time in giving social contact and for mental stimulation. A lot of patience and attention should be given to these birds. These birds are also known for biting and feather picking when they get bored or depressed.

Here are some dos and don’ts in taking care of your African Gray parrot:

1. Make sure that you know the specie of your parrot because having a good knowledge the will provide you better guidelines in taking care of it.

2. Make sure that you provide you African Gray with the basics it needs like large and safe cage, good and healthy diet, a wide range of toys, a dependable T-stand, as well as a gym or play stand, scale, and a commercial carrier.

3. If possible, take time off to talk to the breeder and pet shop assistants who have dealt with your parrot. Talking to them will give you an idea how the bird has been treated in the past.

4. Make sure that you objectively assess if the African Grey Parrot is compatible to your living space and lifestyle. Since these birds are quite demanding pets, attention and clean environment will keep them healthy and happy.

5. Because of its quite demanding nature, an African Grey parrot is not suitable for everyone. Make sure that you think a thousand times before purchasing it and have a written guarantee of its age if possible.

6. Never, ever buy an African Gray parrot on impulse because it can be quite stressful.

7. Don’t keep questions to yourself if you want to know something about the bird.

8. Don’t forget to make a list before you go to the breeder so you won’t miss out on important information you need to know in taking care of your pet.

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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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