Apr 25 2014

April 2014′s Animal Of The Month – African Grey Parrots

We are saying good-bye to the African Grey parrot as our Animal of the Month for April – and these talkative birds could very well be replying with their own farewell to us!   We tweeted fun and interesting tidbits about these intelligent birds throughout the month on our Twitter feed @ExoticPetVets.  In case you missed them, here is a summary of our tweets. Did you know?:

  • The African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) originates from central and west Africa.
  • There are two subspecies of African Grey Parrot – the Congo (P. e. erithacus) and the Timneh (P. e. timneh).
  • The Congo has a pale grey plumage with a vibrant red tail and the beak is homogeneously black.
  • The Timneh is smaller with darker grey plumage with a maroon-tipped tail. The upper beak is pale tipped with black.
  • African Grey parrots are popular pets in large part because of their excellent ability to mimic language and other sounds.
  • In the wild, African Grey parrots eat a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries and vegetation.
  • The ideal African Grey parrot diet in captivity is bird pellets + fruits + veggies.
  • Pellets are best for African Grey parrots in captivity. Fruits and veggies should be 20-25% of the daily diet. Avocado is toxic.
  • Seeds should be weaned slowly out of an African Grey’s diet under the guidance of an avian veterinarian.
  • African Grey parrots are smart, social birds and need to be kept busy with toys and human interaction.
  • If boredom sets in, African Greys can develop destructive behaviours such as feather picking.
  • The African Grey parrot population in the wild is declining due to international trade and habitat loss.
  • African Grey parrots can live an average of between 50-60 years in captivity.
  • The Guinness Book of Records listed the oldest African Grey parrot in captivity as living to an alleged 72 years.

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