In pop culture, parrots are known as talkers. The African grey is probably one of the best talkers in the avian pet world. They are also known to be able to mimic sounds. Some owners of this very intelligent bird claim the African grey can also hold a conversation and understand the emotions of the people around him. It is considered a medium-sized bird which can live for more than 30 years. Obviously its primary and only color is grey with a bright red tail.
They are known to live for 80 years.
The African grey is known to originate from western and central Africa. There are two different types known as African greys. The first and larger one is the Congo African grey with a slighter lighter color of grey in their feathers and a solid black beak. The other species is the Timneh African grey which is smaller and its feathers a bit darker. The color of their beak is not black but more of a horn-color.
Because of their high intelligence, the bird needs plenty of toys that will challenge its intellect such as puzzle toys. Some owners of African greys believe the bird is too demanding and only experienced owners should keep them. They get used to their routine and if it changes, they can get restless. They can resort to feather plucking.
Although social, they are not known for too much physical contact. They can accept some petting and head scratching. They also tend to become attached to only one person despite many people of the household interacting with the bird. The African grey needs plenty of exercise and it is recommended they do it outside of their cage.
African greys do not like a lot of activity in their space so it is recommended to put their cage against a wall instead of in the middle of the room.
It is no secret their most popular trait is their talkative nature. It is known as one of the best talkers in the parrot family. They are able to repeat words and phrases after hearing them only once or two times. They reach their full talkative period after about 12 months. More surprisingly it is known that they can only talk but they actually know what they are saying with up to a vocabulary of up to 1000 words.
Although not as loud as other birds, they still can make some noise and they mimic household sounds like microwave beeps and ringing phones.
Their diet in the wild consists of palm nuts, seeds, fruits and leafy plants.