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African Grey

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Species Profile: African Grey Species Profile: African Grey
With plenty of early stimulation, most African Greys will start speaking after one year of age. Even if your African Grey only maintains a handful of words in her vocabulary, it's certain you'll share an entertaining and interactive life with one of these very special members of the parrot family.

Described as the perfect combination of brains and beauty, the African Grey is one of the more popular parrots kept by the aviculturist.

The Congo African Grey is referred to as the nominate (most common) sub-species, while the Princeps African Grey is the least common.

The Congo's pale head and gray body is strikingly offset by its brilliant red tail feathers. African Greys are probably best known for their amazing ability to mimic not only the human voice but also an impressive array of environmental sounds.

Interesting Facts:
Species: African Grey, Grey, Red-tailed Grey
Habitat: Lowland forests of central Africa; Guinea Islands, Kenya, Tanzania
Behavior: Shy and cautious
Family: Psittacine
Genus: Psittacus erithacus erithacus (Congo African Grey-CAG) Psittacus erithacus timneh (Timneh African Grey-TAG) Psittacus erithacus princeps (Princeps African Grey)
Size: 9" (Timneh African Grey) to 14" (Congo African Grey)
Diet: Seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries. Supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Endangered: All 3 species regulated for importation.
Special Needs: Sensitive to dietary calcium/ phosphorus imbalance. High incidence of Psittacine Beak & Feather Disease virus (PBFD) and Psittacine Proventricular Dilatation Syndrome (PPDS - see The Disease That Starves Your Bird).
Owner Challenges: Extremely intelligent. Require a great deal of attention to satisfy both emotional needs and mental stimulation.
Life Span: 50-70+ years
Average Cost: $1,000 - $1,500
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