African Grey Parrot
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

Home ] Up ] [ African Grey Parrot ] Alexandrine Parrot ] Antipodes Green Parakeet ] Barred Parakeet ] Black headed Caique ] Blossom headed Parrot ] Blue crowned Hanging Parrot ] Bronze winged Parrot ] Cape Parrot ] Derbyan Parrot ] Eclectus - Non Australian ] Hawk headed Parrot ] Jardine's Parrot ] Kakariki ] Malabar Parrot ] Masked Shining Parrot ] Meyer's Parrot ] Moluccan King Parrot ] Moustached Parrot ] Pacific Parrotlet ] Plum headed Parrot ] Quaker Parrot ] Red bellied Parrot ] Red Shining Parrot ] Ringnecked Parrot ] Senegal Parrot ] Slaty headed Parrot ] Thick billed Parrot ] White bellied Caique ] White crowned Parrot ]

. African grey parrot
This page is Sponsored By:
Your Name, Your Address
Refer to "Advertise on web" web page
We specialise in xxxxxxxx birds / product
Contact us on:  (0X) XXXX XXXX
or e-mail us @  .............
    African grey parrot photo
  • Scientific Name:  Psittacus erithacus erithacus       (Click on photo to enlarge)
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: 2 or 3
  • Origin / Distribution: Across Africa - Equatorial region south of the Sahara.
  • Habitat In Wild: Forests and surrounding secondary vegetation.
  • Status In Wild: Declining in many areas in its natural range due to deforestation and trapping.  Secure, in some locations but still subject to trapping for the pet trade.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure, but not common.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: About 4 years.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about ? months 
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 4 years onwards. Will live for 50 or more years if kept in suitable conditions.
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic Surgical or DNA sexing is usually necessary.
  • Colour mutations: None
  • Availability: Bird dealers and specialist breeders.
  • Temperament: Many birds are hand reared.  Many hand reared birds are sold as pet or companion birds.  Renown for their ability to talk or mimic the human voice (words and sounds).  About 2000 years ago, Roman nobility were entertained by these birds ability to mimic human speech.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $10,000. (More for proven breeding pairs)
  • Description Of Adults:  Photo courtesy of Burwood Pets and Birds (03) 9889 6469.
  1. Length: Approx. 330 mm (or approx. 13 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo above - top right of page. (Click on photo to enlarge).
  3. Weight: Approx. 400 gms (or approx. 14 ozs)
Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements: Refer to " Housing Birds " web page for general details on the housing of Non Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Best results are obtained with one pair per aviary.  Many birds like to bathe.

Up to 6 metre long and 1.2 metres wide steel framed aviary is preferable. Minimum length should be about 3 - 4 metre (10 - 13 feet) long.  Their beaks are powerful so strong wire mesh is essential, 2.5mm (12 gauge) wire is suitable. Small aviaries generally result in the birds breaking tail feathers.

The African Grey Parrot can be housed and bred in a suspended cage.  These cages are easy to keep clean and as parrots can be aggressive at breeding time there is no need to enter the cage to feed, water, or clean.  Suspended cage size can be 3000mm long, 1200mm high and 1200 wide (10 x 4 x 4 feet) and about 1000mm (3 - 3.5 feet) above floor height with solid partition walls between the cages.  The wire should be 25mm x 12.5mm (1 inch x half inch) of about 1.2 or 1.3mm gauge.

For best long term breeding results, it is best to allow birds that have been confined to a suspended cage during the breeding season access to an aviary during the non-breeding season.

To help relieve boredom and as a way of providing exercise, suitable bird toys can be placed in the aviary.  Most bird toys are designed to be chewed up and will require replacing after the birds have reduced them to splinters.  Aviary breeding birds will enjoy playing with and destroying bird toys just as much as pet birds.

A pet or companion bird kept in a cage will require a period of regular time outside the cage so they can get adequate exercise and maintain good health.

Leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly.

Diet / Feeding: Refer to " Feeding Birds " web page for general details on the feeding of Non Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

In the wild the African Grey parrot are predominantly arboreal. This means they spend most of their time in the tree tops.  In the tree tops they consume seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, buds and other plant matter.  Insects and insect larvae may form part of their normal food intake.  They will enter plantations and maize crops to obtain foods.

The African grey parrot will require a quality commercial parrot mix including sunflower. Along with the seed, they require a variety of fruits and vegetables such as corn-on-the-cob, peas, peanuts and apple as well as some green leafy vegetables such as silverbeet, endive or spinach.  Seeding grasses are beneficial.  Soaked or sprouted seeds if available.  Dry dog food can be offered.

The birds may consume insects such as mealworm larvae, pupa and beetles, especially during the breeding season.  Insects are a good source of easily digested protein for the adults and the young.

Nesting: A basic overview only. Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences. Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared. If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Try and keep that one for their exclusive use. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed. If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

  • Nesting months: August to February
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 500 - 600 mm (or approx. 20 - 24 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. - mm. (or approx. - inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx.- mm square (or approx. - inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. - mm (or approx. - inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 - 150 mm (or approx 4 - 6 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box = high in the covered part of the aviary but not too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the summer months.  Nest should be in a shaded area.
    • Angle of log or nest box = 45 degrees through to vertical.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year  1.  Eggs per nest 3.  Incubation approx. 26 - 28 days.  Fledge approx. 13 weeks.  Independent approx. another 12 weeks.

Pair bonding in the African Grey Parrot is strong.  The adults may roost in the nest during the non-breeding season.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues: Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 60 No. 8 Aug 2006 Page 172 (Book review - "A guide to grey parrots as pet & aviary birds" by Rosemary Low).

  • A/A Vol 40 No. 3 Mar 1986 Page 70-73
  • A/A Vol 33 No. 11 Nov 1979 Page 187-188 (Inc photo)
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 18 Issue 12. Dec-Jan 2006 Page 754-757 (Uganda - a bird watching pearl)
  • ABK Vol 16 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 2003 Page 617-619.
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 2001 Page 612-617.
  • ABK Vol 13 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 2001 Page 315-317
  • ABK Vol 13 Issue 5. Oct-Nov 2000 Page 250-251
  • ABK Vol 12 Issue 12. Dec-Jan 2000 Page 628-629
  • ABK Vol 11 Issue 5. Oct-Nov 1998 Page 215-216

Top of - African grey parrot - Page is one of the world's largest and most informative avian or bird web sites.  Copyright 2002 - 2008 inc.  All rights reserved.  Disclaimer:  This web site has been compiled from material provided from a large number of sources.  Personal experience and personal contacts have been used.  Results vary according to factors such as environmental factors, aviary design and the physical and genetic backgrounds of all living birds/animals.  Every endeavour has been made to ensure the accuracy of the material but no responsibility is accepted by  for the accuracy of the material on this web site. The intent of this web site is to provide a "care sheet"  format and provide general material only.  Readers should rely upon their own enquiries in making any decisions relating to their own interests.