What You Need to Know About African Grey Parrot’s Intelligence


Do you know that the African Grey Parrot is one of the intelligent species?
As we know, there are many types of Parrots, but we will focus on why  African Grey Parrot makes it more different, among others.

African grey parrot has the ability to imitate speech. This Species can grow up to 13 inches length. African grey parrot has a very dramatic and tremendous crimson tail. And this same of the other parrots this African grey has a hooked beak that is incredibly strong.

Where can you find these Species?

African Grey can be found in Western and Central Africa, and this can also be seen on forest edge or riversides. Here is the actual map of Africa where most African Grey Parrot can be seen (see legend for your reference).


So let’s dig deeper.

We can determine African Grey Parrot by its:

  • Lifespan
  • Reproduction
  • Appearance
  • Habitat
  • Diet
  • Behavior


African grey parrot can live up to 40 to 60 years in captivity.


The African grey parrot reached their adulthood in 3 years, up to five years of existence.  They are known to mate forever. This bird is known to be monogamous, that would mean they will remain loyal to their mate every year. A female African Grey Parrot can lay eggs from 3 up to 5 eggs inside; they only choose a single tree to nest in their little breeds. Female parrots will incubate their eggs for approximately one month while the male parrot serves her food.

As the female hatch the eggs, both of the parents take care of their little ones before they go off their own and meet new mates as they hit adulthood. They both feed their chicks in their nests. Parents will take care of them from 4 to 5 weeks after they are fled. While they will go independently after 12 weeks or so. Then finally, they will introduce to courtship and then begin a new life cycle.


You will know if it’s an African Grey Parrot if the color of the coat is obviously grey based on the name itself, most of the said color can be seen all over the body. You will notice that under the tail has distinct crimson-colored feathers. They have eyes that are pale in a shade of yellow while the beak is like jet black color.

The male and female parrot is closely similar to their physical appearance. However, the male parrot becomes darker as its ages. While the female has a lighter gray crown and darker gray edges that will look like scaly feathers. A gray body and an obvious crimson tail feathers. The color around the eyes is recognized bare while the beak darker is in darker black compared to the male.


There are two subspecies that are lately; these are:

  • Congo Grey Parrot
  • Timneh Grey Parrot


Congo Grey Parrot

This is considered an old-world parrot.

Timneh Grey Parrot

This is a type of parrot that is known to be West African Grey Parrot. This was categorized as subspecies Psittacus erithacus Timneh, but now it is known to be Psittacus Timneh species.


Mostly this type of parrot lives in lowland, particularly in tropical rainforests. The countries that these species can be seen are:

  1. Angola
  2. Principe
  3. Equatorial Guinea
  4. Togo
  5. Burundi
  6. Cote d’ Ivoire
  7. Ghana
  8. Kenya
  9. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  10. Nigeria
  11. Rwanda
  12. Uganda

The African Grey parrot is known to be an inhabit of mangrove, also considered as savannah woodland, including gallery forest.

One survival needs of an animal are their ability of defense mechanism, especially in the wild community of the animal kingdom. Their defense mechanism is to fur up to look bigger and larger whenever they feel they are in danger, for the predators, this is possible to engage.


The African grey parrot is known to be vegetarian. They only feed nuts, seeds, berries, and fruits. In fact, they are known to invade food crops within the area. Mostly this type of parrot loves to ingest oil palm nut. Most of the time, they need calcium.



The African Grey Parrot can have depression, like humans, when they lack interaction and attention. They tend to pluck their own feathers until they have most likely had bald bodies. They need to have a full activity such as interaction together with the owner, like learning some new tricks and new words. They also like playing toys to keep themselves busy.

Source: The New York Times

Here are some facts about African Grey Parrot:

  • Has most likely 410 grams

This is a medium-sized parrot, typically ranges 13 inches by its length and the wingspan from 18 to 20 inches.

  • Its family is Psittacidae

A family that comprises the 10 known species fo the subfamily Psittacinae including the 157 number of subfamily Arinae and some of the species that are extinct from the centuries to the present.

  • Psittacus erithacus is known to be its scientific name
  • African Grey can spit 1000 or more vocabulary

This parrot can learn and understand the words that you teach them. They are known to be clever talkers as part of the kingdom of Animalia.


Do you know how intelligent African Greys are?

Well, according to sources, two main factors that they have are mental and emotional. Just like you are taking care of an infant. You need to spend time with them, and they need to exercise in order to maintain the physical condition. As years pass by, one of the Scientist Dr. Irene Pepperberg, conducted the mental research for African Grey Parrots. And the research that scientists made was focusing on African Grey communication. During the research,  they found out that African Grey imitate an incredible amount of human words, not just that! they can also communicate like a person having a conversation and can change the tone of their voice. And to be honest, I was shocked because I wasn’t able to believe that African Grey is very intelligent. I tried as well to check it on youtube. I was amazed at what I saw; this bird can definitely run a show. I wish I could have one, though it is expensive. I’m pretty sure that it’s worth it. Just so you know, the average cost of an African Grey is $1000 – $1500. The cost and ability of the bird are all sufficiently good if we talk about the cost of it.

African Grey Parrot as part of human society

The African Grey Parrot is known to be popular in the pet society for bird lovers; in fact, this type of parrot is considered as companion parrot. One scenario happened in Japan, where an African Grey Parrot escaped from its owner and was successfully returned to the owner because the parrot is repeatedly saying the name of the owner and the address as well. Imagine how intelligent this type of bird is? They can mimic every word that you say without even being tired of reiterating new words that they encounter. Pets can be helpful because they give us a calm emotional state. Thus, an African Grey Parrot can be a big help for people who love to communicate in lieu of human beings. This parrot can entertain us more than what we expect in a pet. They can be a great stress reliever for people who are in need of a stress break.

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