How big do African Greys get?

African Grey Parrot: The Ultimate Guide (2022)

grey parrot

Common name: African Grey Parrot. ?How big do African Greys get?

Latin name: Psittacus Erithacus
Group name: Flock
Diet: Herbivore (Nuts, fruits, small insects, and seeds)
Adult size: Up to 13 inches long
Adult weight: 400 grams.

Life expectancy: Captivity – 40 to 60 years, Wild – 20 to 23 years
Color: Predominantly grey
Sounds: Vocal communicator
Interaction: Highly social
Origins: Western and Central Africa

African grey parrots are the natives of the lush green African forests. They are highly social birds that live in large family groups.

An African Grey Parrot is a lovey-dovey bird. If you don’t take proper care of it in a domestic environment, it will exhibit self-harming behaviors and will die. Therefore, it needs social interaction with the owner.

As it is a very chirpy and loveable bird, there are some important points that you need to keep in mind for its survival in the domestic habitat. And in this brief guide, we are going to highlight those points for your assistance.

African Grey Parrot

The African grey parrots are also known as Grey Parrot Congo or African gray Congo. It is an old-world parrot and once was considered as a subspecies of grey parrot. But now it is recognized as a full species.

Now let’s find out how long do African greys live. African grey parrot lifespan can go up to 60 years in captivity.

However, the African grey lifespan is shorter in the wild, which ranges from 20 to 23 years. African grey in the wild is exposed to more predators and other dangers.

grey parrot

These birds are very loveable. Vocal communication with other group members is very important to them. Their survival depends on it.

If they get bored, which they normally do in a domestic setup, they begin to exhibit self-violence.

African grey parrots are medium-sized birds that are predominantly grey in color. They have a black bill, and adults weigh around 400 grams and can reach up to a length of 13 inches.

Their wingspan ranges from 46cm to 52 cm. There are white markings on the features throughout the body, as well as the wings. These factors influence the African grey parrot price in the market.

African grey parrots have a very friendly relation with humans. They can mimic human speech, and hence, they are very popular among us.

It is the most special trait that these birds have, and that’s why most people prefer to have them as a pet.

Origin and history

African grey parrots are native to most of the equatorial African regions.

The nations that these birds call their home include Congo, Cameroon, Angola, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Ivory Coast. These birds are particularly found in thick and dense forests.

But they are frequently found on the edges of these forests as well as open areas of Savanna.

You will also find some of these birds close to the human habitat. And for thousands of years, these birds have been pets for humans.

There are references available about these pets being in the household in the old Egyptian times.

two grey parrots

And for thousands of years, these birds have been pets for humans. There are references available about these pets being in the household in the old Egyptian times. (1)

The reason why this bird has been so popular is its ability to mimic human words as well as speech. It can also understand and react to human speech.

If you properly train your African grey parrot, it can learn several words and even phrases as well as sounds.

They prefer to eat seeds and fruits. The simplicity of the food that they consume is another reason why these birds are very popular with humans.

However, in 2016 African grey parrots endangered list was added to Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Native region and natural habitat

As mentioned above, African grey parrots are native to most of the equatorial African regions—the current global populations of this bird range from 600,000 to over 13 million.

But the population is declining across the globe. It favors dense forests, and with the reducing number of forests, the cause of the declining number is obvious.

Another most common reason for the declining number is the increase in their pet trading. The African grey parrot has been deliberately released into Florida as there is no evidence of natural breeding populations of these birds in these regions.

grey parrot

For those of you who are thinking what is the natural habitat of African grey parrots, well, these grey birds prefer to stay in the thick, dense forests. It is because there is an abundance of food available.

They like to eat fruits, nuts, small insects, and seeds.  All these foot types are easily available in such habitats. Therefore, the decline in forests across the globe has been one of the significant reasons why these birds are decreasing in numbers.

These birds have to deal with several threats in the wild. Palm-nut vultures are their natural predators. Additionally, monkeys look to eat their eggs, but humans are by far the biggest threats to these big African birds due to pet trade.

Temperament and personality

African grey parrot intelligence is widely known, and Congo grey parrots have high parrot intelligence. They are the most intelligent of all parrot species.

A number of these birds turn out to be very affectionate and loving to their family members in the wild or their owners in captivity. These birds are very sociable and friendly towards humans as well.

However, being an owner, if you leave a grey African parrot alone bored or neglected, then you will turn your birds into an angry one. An angry or depressed Congo parrot will screech to display its discontent.

grey parrot

In such a scenario, you will have to provide your parrot with plenty of mental calm and stimulation.

Let’s find out how to get an African grey to like you. As it is a very intelligent bird as compared to other parrots, its mental state is also far more complicated than the rest of the parrot species.

This parrot demands interactions and is very social. But that doesn’t mean this bird is very cute and cuddly. Some of these African grey parrots become used to one single person.

It means that they will not socialize with any other person but the owner. No matter how much they try to socialize with other family members at your home. Even regular interactions won’t make them change their minds.

Behavior and training

For those of you who are thinking, do African grey birds talk? Yes, they can talk. There is not much known about the behavior of these birds out there in the wild. It is due to their secretive personalities to avoid predators.

But the wild African greats are mostly known to have similar traits of the ones that are captive. Are you thinking of how smart are African greys?

According to the African grey facts, also suggest that these birds out there in the wild can also mimic more than 200 sounds from the surroundings, including other songbirds. (4)

two grey parrots

As these birds are very sociable, and they love to interact, stimulating them consistently is important. If they get tensed or angry, they will start screeching, and when that happens, then regaining their trusts becomes a major issue unless you can stimulate them.

Due to the lack of trust, they sometimes show, introducing them to the new family members becomes a tough job as well. Some parrots won’t even get used to any other person than the owner.

Therefore, training them and understanding African grey noises’ meanings can be difficult, but you have to keep stimulating them and keep encouraging the interactions.

They are more comfortable with regular interactions, and they don’t want to be neglected at any cost. For better training, you must feed them with a lot of their favorite food.


Regular exercise is another way to keep your African grey parrot stimulated. Too much feeding can also leave your parrot bored.

Therefore, you need to keep your bored indulged in an activity. With exercise, a parrot can also maintain good health.

For an exercise, the best practice is to allow the bird one or two hours outside its cage. You can also provide your bird with several bird-chew-toys that will allow the African greys to make their beak more powerful.

grey parrot

You can also design different types of play areas for them where they can jump around obstacles and walk around using their wings.

Furthermore, you can design an area where they can fly around as well.

It’s just a way to keep them busy and adequately stimulated. Just make sure that you provide them with plenty of colorful chew toys to play around with.

They will love those toys. You will also notice that these parrots will become friendlier with you after these sessions, and it exhibits their mental satisfaction.

Speech and vocalization

Pet African grey parrots can easily pick up on sounds and words with ease. There has been a case where an African grey parrot became the whistleblower on a woman’s affair by calling out the other person’s name in front of the husband exactly in the woman’s voice.

Just like a toddler, these birds tend to repeat what they hear or see.  Therefore, you need to watch your tongue when you’re in front of these birds.

They can conveniently mimic any sounds they hear. These include squeaking doors or windows, backup chimes or vehicle doorbells, fire alarms, telephone ringtones, and microwave alerts.

grey parrot

You being an owner need to be very vigilant about what these birds hear. It is because, once your pet learns a voice, it cannot unlearn it by any means.

An African grey is not a loud screamer. Therefore they are suitable for people who are living in apartments or even condos. But if you leave a bird unattended or ignored, it will become noisy.

To train your pet African grey, make sure that you choose your words wisely. No offensive slang should be used, and the words need to be short. Make sure that you repeat those words to your bird as frequently as possible.

If you have been wondering how many words can a parrot learn, then a simple answer is several to well over a hundred words based on how you train it.

Don’t rush them and don’t get discouraged. Just repeat the words consistently. (5) The best way to train your bird is to set up a training routine. You can repeat this routine just before you let it out of the cage for exercise. Or try anything else: the point here is being consistent.

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