Animals

15 Amaze-wing Facts About The Grey Parrot For Kids

African grey parrot facts for kids, such as Congo African grey parrots live in tropical climates of western and central Africa, are interesting.
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The wild African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is an Old World parrot species that belong to the family Psittacidae. These wild birds are also known by other names like the Congo grey parrot, African greys, Congo African grey parrot, or simply, African grey parrot. Another similar-looking species, the Timneh African grey parrot (Psittacus timneh), was once considered a subspecies of the Congo African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) but now has been given the status of a full species.

Before looking at other African grey parrot facts, it is important to know that these African grey birds with gray bodies and red tails are extremely popular pets. They are highly intelligent and can mimic human speech which makes them unique and fun bird companions. They are loud screamers and can talk all through the day. Due to the heavy trade as pets, the number of these birds is declining in the wild.

African grey parrots are medium-sized birds with a mix of light and dark gray body feathers, and a black bill. The feathers on the head and wings are generally a darker gray than the body feathers.

You can also check out our fact files on cape parrot and night parrot from Kidadl.

Grey Parrot

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Eats seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries

What do they eat?

Herbivores

Average litter size?

2–5 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.9 lb (0.4 kg)

How long are they?

13 in (33 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Gray body and red tail

Skin Type

Feathers

What are their main threats?

Humans

What is their conservation status?

Endangered

Where you'll find them

Lowland rainforests

Locations

Western and Central Africa

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Aves

Scientific Name

Psittacus erithacus

Family

Psittacidae

Genus

Psittacus

Grey Parrot Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a grey parrot?

African grey parrots are medium sized birds with gray body feathers, bright red tail feathers, and black beaks. These wild African birds are native to western and central African countries like Kenya, Cameroon, Congo Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Uganda. This bird species prefers an equatorial climate and its range stretches from Kenya to the Ivory Coast in West Africa.

What class of animal does a grey parrot belong to?

African grey parrots belong to the class Aves, meaning they are birds. There are many African grey parrot fun facts and one of them is, these birds clamber from one branch to the other while looking for food rather than flying. There are different subspecies of African greys. Congo African grey parrots are bigger than their cousin, Timneh African grey parrots.

How many grey parrots are there in the world?

According to some studies, the estimated global population of African grey parrots is 630,000-13 million birds worldwide. The population of this gray parrot African species is declining.

Where does a grey parrot live?

Congo African grey parrots live in tropical rainforests and lowland forests in western and Central Africa. This species can be found in the forest edges, forests growing along rivers, mangrove forests, savannas, and anywhere they can find dense vegetation. African greys are also found at higher elevations. In their African wild ranges, they can also be seen in parks and urban gardens.

What is a grey parrot's habitat?

Congo African greys or African grey parrots live in a warm equatorial climate. They prefer to forage and nest in thickly vegetated forests. Living in dense forests or forest edges helps these birds find their food that mainly includes palm nuts, various seeds, wild fruits, berries, and other leafy matter.

All though the species is called Congo African grey parrots, their range is spread out from Kenya and Tanzania on the eastern side of the continent to Gabon, Ghana, and Ivory Coast on the west.

Who do grey parrots live with?

African greys are a shy bird species when it comes to approaching humans. In the wild, they live in large groups and forage in hundreds. Noisy flocks of African grey parrots can be seen roosting in big flocks calling out loudly mostly during mornings, evenings, and as they fly.

The young of the Congo parrot African species remain with their family groups for years. The young birds socialize with their age group in community nursery trees. The older birds take care of the young until they are independent enough to look after themselves.

How long does a grey parrot live?

African greys live longer in captivity than in the wild. The African grey parrot lifespan in the wild is around 23 years, whereas in captivity they can survive up to 40-60 years.

How do they reproduce?

African grey parrots are monogamous. Pairs form a bond at sexual maturity and remain together. Each pair nest in tree cavities of their preference. The female parrot lays three to five eggs and incubates them for 30 days. The male brings her food during this duration. These birds are territorial and defend their territory during the breeding season.

African grey parrot chicks have to be fed by their parents while they are in the nest.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the African grey parrot under the IUCN Red List is Endangered. African greys are extremely popular pets in Europe, the US, and the Middle East. These avian pets are preferred due to their unique skill of being able to mimic human voices and words.

Grey Parrot Fun Facts

What do grey parrots look like?

African greys are medium sized birds that are not very colorful. They have gray plumage and bright red tail feathers. These birds, with similar colors to pigeons, are very popular pets due to their talking ability like humans. These dusty gray birds have expressive and intelligent-looking orange eyes. The plumage has a gray scalloped pattern.

The Timneh African grey is a similar species that are smaller in size. It is more popular as pets compared to Congo African greys. These birds have maroon, gray, or black tails.

African grey parrots are very pretty.

How cute are they?

African grey parrots are adorable birds. They make wonderful pets and are super cute just like lovebirds.

How do they communicate?

African greys are noisy birds. They chatter and screech when foraging in large groups and while on the flight.  As pets, they are great talkers. These birds can repeat words and phrases after listening to them a few times. The African grey parrot is also thought to understand what they say.

How big is a grey parrot?

An African grey parrot with a length of 13 in (33 cm) is about three times smaller than a macaw that is about 35 in (90 cm) long. This bird is also 0.4 times lighter in comparison to a 2.2 lb (1 kg) macaw.

How fast can a grey parrot fly?

An African grey parrot averages a speed of about 45 mph (72.4 kph).

How much does a grey parrot weigh?

African greys usually weigh around 0.9 lb (0.4 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Like most birds, male African greys are called cocks and females are called hens.

What would you call a baby grey parrot?

A baby African grey parrot is called a chick.

What do they eat?

African greys have a diet that consists of mostly wild berries, fruits, nuts, and seeds, along with wild vegetation. They are especially fond of African oil palm.

As pets in homes, their diet may include kale, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, fresh veggies, mustard greens, cabbage, and broccoli. They also like fruits in their diet including bananas, blueberries, oranges, apples, strawberries, seedless grapes, and dehydrated fruits.

Are they dangerous?

African grey parrots are not dangerous at all. They are smart and intelligent avian pets.

Would they make a good pet?

African grey parrots make adorable pets just like princess parrots. This species of birds can mimic the human voice and keep you entertained all day with their chatter. Some of the more intelligent ones can also recognize shapes and colors. This parrot species has been a popular pet for centuries.

Owners of African greys need to keep them mentally stimulated with plenty of toys and puzzles. Specially designed foraging toys keep these parrots busy nibbling, holding, and doing things that are similar to their wild habitat. These birds can become stressed from too much commotion, so they prefer a quiet environment.

African grey parrots are social birds but do not like too much cuddling. They can be scratched a little on their heads and petted a little.

Did you know...

For their great talking skills, African grey parrots have also been nicknamed ‘The Einsteins of the Bird World’.

Predators of grey parrots include hawks, falcons, monkeys, palm-nut vultures, and tree-climbing mammals.

African greys fluff up their plumage to look bigger as a defense adaptation.

Can grey parrots talk?

Congo grey parrots are great talkers. Not all members of this species have the same talking capabilities but most pick up words and phrases easily. Some birds can earn up to a 1000 words and use them in a proper context.

How to look after your own grey parrot?

The African grey parrot price can be more than $1500 USD. These birds with a long lifespan often outlive their owners. African grey parrots are available in specialty avian pet stores or can be purchased from bird breeders. Sometimes, rescue African greys may also be available for adoption.

Otherwise healthy birds, African greys may have calcium, vitamin-A, vitamin-D deficiency which is why they need a well balanced diet. These birds are also susceptible to feather picking.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Spix's macaw facts and Cooper's hawk facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable grey parrot coloring pages.

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