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 CONGO AND TIMNEH
AFRICAN GREYS
(Psittacus e. erithacus and P.e.timneh)

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Both the Congo African Grey at left and the Timneh African Grey at right, are excellent mimics and can imitate the human voice as well as any bird species can! These highly intelligent birds require a lot of attention and stimulation and can become quite devoted to their owners. They are relatively quiet and domestic pets mimic the sounds they hear, thus the noise level of a Grey can be controlled somewhat. Greys can be sensitive and do not like loud noise in general.

The Congo African Grey is larger and has a red tail whereas the Timneh African Grey has a maroon-colored tail. The Timneh is usually a bit darker grey color than the Congo and the upper mandible is a lighter shade. Both subspecies are native to west and central Africa.
Link to great explantion of African Grey subspecies
approx. size: 11- 13 inches/33 cm native to: west and central Africa available season: year-round
min. cage size: 30''x30"x30" talking ability: excellent! price: $1200/Congo- $900/Timneh

 
just-hatched Congo African Grey

 
just-hatched Timneh African Grey


days old African Greys


Greys often prefer the opposite gender in people/owners so keep this in mind when choosing an African Grey.
There are, of course, exceptions to this! Greys become very devoted to the person or people whom they love.

The diet for Greys should be based on grains and vegetables (click). Recent information regarding heart disease and arteriosclerosis in Greys in their late teens and twenties has led us to recommend a leaner diet for Greys that we previously recommended. Greys should not be fed a diet that is high in fat and protein. They should be encouraged to exercise. Plucking of the chest feathers MIGHT be an indication of heart disease in Greys. African Greys should also be supplemented with a vitamin-mineral powder that contains calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin D3.

 

 
These are Congo African Greys
in these three images.

Greys can be housed in cage sizes suitable for "Amazon" or "parrot-sized birds". Generally, a cage approximately two to three feet cubed is adequate for a Grey Parrot. I recommend the "playpen" style cages for Greys as they should be encouraged to exercise and to play. Give Greys wood (pine or fir) to chew and green branches with leaves from time to time. Most Greys really enjoy a swing in their cages.

 
This baby Timneh African Grey is
almost fledging age.

 
Greys will often show a lilac-colored sheen to their feathers in certain light, as shown in this image of a just-weaned baby Timneh Grey.

Greys can begin to mimic even before weaning but most do not imitate clearly until they are several months of age. Many do not talk well until they reach a year of age or older. In my opinion, Greys are the best of all parrot species at mimicry in terms of vocabulary, human-like tone of voice, and appropriate use of words and phrases.

 
Some Greys have "pied toes" and white toenails like this five week-old Congo Grey. This appears to be a genetic trait and
perhaps is a marker for the pied gene in African Greys. Greys
can precisely mimic human speech.

 
Photographed at eight weeks of age, this Timneh African Grey is at perching age. The Timneh Grey has the same excellent ability to mimic as the Congo Grey has and is generally less nervous than the Congo Grey.

 
three weaning Timneh African Greys

 
weaning Greys; Congo African Grey is the larger one and the other three are Timneh African Greys

 
nearly feathered Congo African Grey

 
fully feathered Congo African Grey

three Congo African Greys

Book recommendations on African Greys from Amazon.com


Hardcover - 144 pages (Dec 2004)
Buy the Book Today!

For The Love of Greys
by Bobbie Brinker

highly recommended!

Availability: Usually ships
within 24 hours.


Hardcover - 169 pages (April 2000)
Buy the Book Today!

The African Grey Parrot Handbook (Barron's Pet Handbooks)
by Mattie Sue Athan, Dianalee Deter

highly recommended!

Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.

 

Hardcover - 126 pages (April 1998)

Buy the Book Today!

The African Grey (An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet)
by Julie Ann Rach, Julie Dach

Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.

 


Paperback - 63 pages (May 1987)

Buy the Book Today!

African Gray Parrots : Purchase, Acclimation, Care, Diet, Diseases With a Special Chapter on Understanding the African Gray Parrot
by Annette Wolter, Rita Kimber, Robert Kimber (Translator)
Availability: out of print-
limited availability.

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All photographs are by Gail J. Worth and are copyrighted.
They may not be reproduced by any method without written permission.