African Greys are the most intelligent and talkative pet birds
The African Grey Parrot is probably the most popular pet bird and is known to be the most intelligent and the most talkative of the parrot family.
African Greys are excellent companions and will keep you on your toes. Not only can Greys learn a large vocabulary (some more than 1,500 words!), but they can learn how to speak in different voices. I have known African Greys that sound exactly like their owners and are able to successfully call the dog and even trick them into thinking the sliding glass door has just opened because of their unbelievable sound imitating abilities.
African Greys tend to be one-person birds, so it is important to socialize them with more people on a regular basis. Greys need plenty of interaction and things to do. Many become feather pluckers simply out of boredom. These pet birds need good mental stimulation, so providing them with plenty of puzzle-like and interactive toys is a must. Teaching them tricks is another good way to stimulate their smart little minds.
African Grey Parrot Species
There are two popular African Grey subspecies:
There aren’t really any differences between these two subspecies other than the way they look. Congos are the more popular of the two, but are said to be more high strung. Some people believe that Timnehs make better pets. I personally think this depends on each individual bird, so I encourage you to interact with a few African Greys and see for yourself.
|Name||African Grey (Psittacus erithacus erithacus (Congo)) (Psittacus erithacus timneh (Timneh))|
|Size||Congos: 12-14″, 400-650 grams; Timnehs: 11-13″, 275-400 grams|
|Color Differences||Congo greys are silver or light grey with bright red tail feathers and black beaks while timnehs are smaller and a dark charcoal color with maroonish tail feathers and a reddish cast to their beaks.|
|Owner||African Greys require an experienced owner.|
|Lifespan||An average of 50 years|
|Noise||African Greys are relatively quiet–they are not known to scream. For this reason, they are fine to keep in an apartment.|
|Qualities||Great talkers, can imitate voices and sounds, very intelligent, highly tuned in to owners’ moods, known to be able to use speech in context, can be high strung and nervous (so you may need to be careful when introducing new toys or surroundings), not great for a household with young children (older children ok), tend to be a one-person bird unless well socialized, need an owner that is gentle, patient, and attuned to their needs, males can be more aggressive than females, can become feather pluckers out of boredom.|
|Abilities||Excellent – Known for their talking abilities. African Greys are capable of learning a large vocabulary (some as much as 1,500 words!) as well as speaking in different voices and some use words in context.|
|Interaction/Time Requirements||African Greys need daily interaction as well as socialization with other people (or they may become a one-person bird).|
|Diet||They need a diet for large birds.|
|Supplies Needed||They need supplies for large birds.|
African Grey Videos
“*Einstein the famous talking African Grey Parrot!*”
African Greys are truly amazing parrots. They are the most popular parrots seen on television and in animal shows. This video is a great example of how intelligent and entertaining they can be!
“Amazing Talking One Year Old Congo African Gray!”
This video shows how Congos can learn to talk very well at a very young age!
“Tui the African Grey has a Tantrum”
African Greys are not only talented in studies, but also as pets. This humorous video shows the vast vocabulary (and accurate voices!) that African Greys can have. It also shows that these parrots can very likely understand what they are saying.
African Grey Training
African Greys have a habit of becoming very aggressive and sensitive birds, so it is important to train them correctly right from the beginning. African Greys can be fantastic companions. They are caring, loving, and they can become very attached. However, if not properly trained, they can be very nervous and may never want to leave their cage.
For this reason, we highly recommend that you find an effective training program for your Grey. Whether your parrot is new to your home or you’ve had him for years, a training program will always come in handy. We personally recommend the Bird Tricks Parrot Training Course by Dave and Jamieleigh Womach. You can see many of their videos for free to get an idea of how much they know about parrots and how they can help you train yours.
Below is one of Dave’s videos about stopping your African Grey’s biting. This video is a great example of how effective the training courses can be and how they are filled with a wealth of useful information for any bird owner.
This video is only the first step in getting your African Grey hand tamed. We highly recommend checking out the BirdTricks Training Course for taming your parrot even further.
For more information about Dave and Jamieleigh’s courses, you can visit the Bird Tricks website HERE.
African Grey Education
- The Essential African Grey Supplies Checklist
- The 3 Must-Have Perches
- The Best Food For Your African Grey
- Find The Best African Grey Cage
- Toys Your African Grey Will Love
Have A Great Story About Your African Grey?
Share your experience with others! There’s no better way to learn about a pet bird than from an owner.
Some helpful information for potential owners can be: What is the species of your bird? Is he/she friendly? Loving? Cuddly? Talented? Messy? Loud? You get the idea!
Your comment may just help someone decide whether or not this pet bird is for them.