Interesting Facts about African Grey Parrots

by Roohi

Are you looking for information on African Grey behavior? Then you have come to the right place. Learn about the typical behaviors of the African Grey parrot.

Understanding the behavior of the African Grey parrot is the best way to nurture this exotic pet in the best possible manner.The African Grey, originating from Central Africa, is a highly intelligent species that can easily learn to communicate with its owner using words and sounds. It weighs around 300 to 550 grams approximately and is around ten to fourteen inches long.

Here is a brief look at some very interesting facts about African Grey parrots that can help us get an insight into their wild behaviors.

Body Language of the African Grey Parrot

These parrots are quite sensitive and intuitive. You won't realize it but they will pick up on any changes in their environment. So, you need to learn to read their body language in order to get a better understanding of their needs and wants.

For example, eye pinning is quite a characteristic behavior of these parrot species. Pinning refers to rapid enlarging and shrinking of the pupils in their eyes. If your bird's body is relaxed and its eyes pinning, it means that it is really focused on something interesting in the environment. On the other hand, if its eyes are pinning and its feathers puffed, be careful. It means that they are either frightened or angry.

You can easily make out if your bird is afraid by the behavior of your African Grey parrot. They will flatten their feathers, their eyes will be wide, they will breathe deeply, and their body may also tremble.

Grinding of the beak is a sign that your bird is quite content and is probably ready to go off to sleep. Provide lots of chewy toys for your African grey, since they love to chew. Growling is a sign that your bird is frightened. Try and find out what is scaring it and remove it from the environment.

African grey parrots express their love and affection for humans by pinning their eyes, bobbing their head, stretching their neck, and regurgitating. If you see her bow, it is time to scratch and pet her!

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About African Grey Parrot Feather Behaviors

African grey parrots have a preen gland located at the base of the tail. When they rub their heads against this area of their body, oil is emitted which is then rubbed into their feathers. This is the process of preening. During this process, the birds clean each feather one at a time by sweeping its tongue along it.

Fluffing feathers is a sign that your bird is trying to relax and release some tension. However, if it is fluffed for a long time, she may be sick.

Feather plucking is probably the most worrisome behavior of your African grey parrot, especially for the Congo sub-species. The reason for feather picking could be nutritional deficiencies, bacterial infections, weather changes, or even psychological factors such as boredom or attention-seeking. If you do notice your exotic pet indulging in this behavior, it is time to take her for a thorough check-up to an avian vet.

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African Grey Talking Behavior

The African Grey is one of the best talkers among parrot breeds. It is an excellent mimic and you can teach them up to 2000 words. They can also copy sounds of doorbells or the telephone! The best part about African grey parrots is that they will use these words and sounds in the correct context.

Biting Behavior of the African Grey Parrot

The African Grey is known for its biting. It will bite when it is angry and it will bite you if it doesn't trust you. So, be patient in your interaction with the bird in the beginning. They are quite intuitive in sensing the moods of humans. So, they may become agitated if you are not calm and relaxed while approaching them. Your bird may also resort to this behavior if she is bored or stressed.

These interesting facts about African grey parrots will surely help you bond in a much better way with this exotic bird. Remember, you have a highly intelligent bird here. What they need is a lot of one-to-one interaction with their owners and lots of mental and physical stimulation.

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Updated: Nov. 30, 2012, Roohi
 
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Roohi on 11/15/2012

If you learn to read their behaviors, it can indeed be quite useful. It helps the owner to actually know how the parrot feels at a particular point. Also, it helps in identifying when your bird is in some kind of distress. I am glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by!

Mira on 11/15/2012

Wow! I enjoyed reading about this parrot. My nephews have a pair of parrots. I have no idea how to read anything into their behavior. :D

Roohi on 11/14/2012

Yes, indeed, parrots are indeed just adorable. Delightful pets. Thanks for stopping by!

Ragtimelil on 11/14/2012

Good article. I never had an African grey but I did have a conure. She was a brat but I miss her.

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