Originating from Central Africa, the Congo African Grey parrot is derived from the Psittaciformes order of the Psittacidae family and its genus and species are Psittacus erithacus, respectively.
The Congo African Grey parrot measures approximately 16 inches long with a wing span of up to 20 inches. With grey feathers and unique red tail feathers, the African Grey weighs about one pound (though birds are always measured in grams). There are small greys and there are large ones, so an accurate gram weight is not quite correct for your exact grey. Most greys in captivity tend to be obese from eating an unhealthy diet and not being allowed to fly due to their wings being clipped. It’s a great idea to flight train your grey parrot so that you can form a forever bond with your bird that will last a lifetime because their lifespan is such!
It might also be noted here that there are another species of the African Grey Parrot known as the Timneh African Grey.
The Congo African Grey primarily lives in rainforests and on the edges of African forests. They are considered very intelligent parrots, with a lifespan of about 50 to 80 years. They are known to talk more often in captivity with ease than any other parrot and may amass a vocabulary of over two thousand words though other parrots can talk just as much if not more given a chance.
The Congo African Grey parrot is known to live in large flocks and is monogamous. Once they breed, there may be up to five eggs which the female will incubate for approximately 30 days.
The eggs are primarily placed high in a tree opening above the ground. While the male’s responsibility is to feed the female, both feed the offspring. In their natural habitat, their diet consists of berries, seeds, fruits, and nuts. In captivity, a Congo African Grey will thrive on an organic pellet-based diet supplemented by daily fresh fruits and vegetables with seeds and nuts only given as rewards for good behavior.
When first born, the Congo African Grey has distinct black eyes until six months of age. From birth until the age of two, their eyes will turn pale grey. At three years of age, which is considered adulthood, the African Grey’s beak will become black and a white circle will appear around its eyes. Considered to be quite adept at climbing, they are noted for winging their way through tree canopies.
According to experts, the Congo African Grey is highly sought after in Europe and the U.S. Thus, it has been estimated that over 400,000 have been caught in the wild, which has caused concern that the species will become endangered. The reason for the high exportation of these exotic birds is their longevity and ability to mimic human sounds, including speech, which people find so attractive in a pet.
African Grey Congo Parrots have been kept as pets for more than 4,000 years. The reason for their sustained popularity resides in their incredible intelligence and ability to ‘talk’ as well as their loyal and affectionate nature. They can be, if not properly socialized and trained, a challenge for their owners. And are you one of the most popular parrots in parrot rescues today?
Common behavior problems include biting, screaming, and feather plucking. Proper and regular training, training that uses the concepts of positive reinforcement, will go a long way toward preventing and eliminating any behavior problems.
Why Choose Congo Grey Parrots
What is it about the African Grey Congo that makes it the most sought-after parrot in Europe and North America? Personality, intelligence, and its uncanny ability to develop a vocabulary unlike any other parrot is reason enough.
Known to be excellent mimics, the African Grey Congo can literally amass over 200 words and speak them quite clearly.
In addition, they have the talent to be able to mimic a wide variety of household sounds, including your smoke detector. Owners swear by their African Grey’s ability to understand concepts and actually have a conversation. We have developed a course to help teach your African Grey Congo to speak even better!
With beautiful grey plumage and red tail feathers, the African Grey is also known to be quite sensitive, and this is the primary reason why they most likely have the disposition of a two-year-old child. Highly intelligent and a bit on the edgy side, nonetheless their comprehension level is equivalent to that of a five-year-old child.
What makes them so fascinating as well is the fact that because they live in large flocks, owning the African Grey gives you unprecedented access because they perceive you as one of their own.
Owners have asserted that the African Grey Congo requires a great deal of attention so that no matter what you may be doing during the course of the day, they like to be included in whatever activity you are engaging in. Cooking dinner, playing the guitar, doing laundry, and playing video games, you can bet your African Grey will be getting in on the action and making sure they’re included.
Another aspect of the African Grey is that because they can become a bit emotional at times, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to them during the course of the day.
While hanging out with them is excellent, it is also important to spend time training them. African Greys are intelligent birds and training not only provides a structure, and positions you as the boss rather than the other way around, training helps you build a strong bond of trust with your bird.
The Congo African Greys is also known to be quite intuitive. Owners of the African Grey claim that this parrot seems to feel and react to their emotions. Also, it is said that once you acquire an African Grey, it will take time for you to gain their trust, again training and proper socialization is the best way to accomplish this.
If you do have the good fortune to own an African Grey Congo, take the time and care to provide it with an optimal environment. They required a cage that is 2-3 times their wingspan and plenty tall for them to get lots of exercise. The bigger, the better!
Ideally, you will be able to provide your Congo African Grey a substantially larger cage and afford them several hours a day outside of their cage to hang with their flock – you and your family.
When you can’t interact with your Congo African Grey, be sure to provide them with an abundance of colorful non-toxic toys, perches of different sizes and textures, and plenty of fresh water.
It is also recommended that any object that is placed in their cage should be done so with care and attention as the African Grey is highly sensitive to new things. Socialization and regular training will teach your Congo to be more adaptable.
The Congo African Grey, like any bird, is susceptible to behavior problems. Among the most common are biting, screaming, and feather plucking. In general, most behavior problems are caused by something lacking in the bird’s environment and this is usually the case with a Congo African Grey.
We highly suggest you spend time trick-training your African Grey Congo to help overcome some of these problems. Proper care, nutrition, regular exercise and attention, and the patience and love of an owner dedicated to training and cohabitating with a Congo African Grey are all that is needed to resolve a majority of behavior issues.
The Congo African Grey is far and away one of the most amazing bird species you’ll ever meet. If you have the great pleasure to know or own a Congo African Grey, you can count yourself among the lucky few.