Congo African Grey Parrot

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image: africangrey.jpg

Common Name: Congo African Grey Parrot

Scientific Name: Psittacus erithacus erithacus

Size: 13 inches (33cm)

Habitat: Africa; West and Central Africa. Found in rainforests, cultivated land, mangroves, wooded savannas, and gardens.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 680,000 - 13,000,000 mature individuals with a decreasing trend.

Diet: Seeds, nuts, berries, fruit, supplemented by leafy matter.

Breeding: Females will lay between 2 and 4 eggs. The male does not tend to the eggs, but provides food for the female while she sits on them. Once the chicks are hatched, both parents tend to them.

Cool Facts: The African Grey is one of the smartest of parrots and is known for its vocal abilities. Irene Pepperberg's extensive research with captive African Greys, especially the one known as Alex, has shown that these parrots are capable of associating human words with their meanings, at least to some extent. Another African Grey, N'kisi, is said to have a vocabulary of over one thousand words and speaks in sentences. African Greys in the wild mimic creatures found in their surroundings. There is a great deal of scientific debate over the cognitive abilities vs trained abilities of parrots, but one thing is certain; parrots, ravens and jays are the smartest in the bird world.

African Grey parrots are extremely social birds and thousands will form communal nesting areas. Natural predators of the African Grey parrot include a variety of hawks and falcons. Monkeys and other tree-dwelling mammals often steal the parrot's eggs. As a defensive strategy, a flock of parrots will fall silent and then burst from the treetops while shrieking. The chaos and noise deter most predators.

The African Grey is among the most popular choices for “pet” parrots.


Found in Songbird Remix Parrots of the World

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