African Gray Parrot Fun Facts
For people who want a bird that can talk, an African Gray Parrot should be on the short list. Along with being great talkers they can also mimic other sounds from the doorbell to the dog's bark. In fact, it's not unusual for African Gray owners to answer the phone only to realize it was their bird ringing! However, there's more to these intelligent birds than their ability to mimic.
More African Gray Parrot Fun Facts
If you're considering an African Gray as a pet here are a few more African Gray Parrot fun facts:
- African Gray Parrots can be potty trained
- Were kept as pets in the ancient Roman Empire
- There are two subspecies the African Gray Timneh and the African Gray Congo (African Gray Timneh is smaller)
- They can learn hundreds of words and sounds
- They can live for 50-65 years
- They mate for life
- When nesting the females sit on the eggs and the male feeds her
- While they make great talkers, in the wild they've never been observed mimicking.
- Is said to possess the intelligence of a 3-5 year old human
- Show signs of being right or left "handed"
Famous African Grays
African Gray Parrots make good pets and a couple of them have become stars. The first is Alex, who learned more than 100 words and could name colors and shapes of objects, and more. His owner, Dr. Irene Pepperberg bought him as part of an animal intelligence experiment but over 30 years the two developed a deep emotional bond. His last words to Pepperberg were, "You be good. I love you." He passed away in 2007. Since then she has written about the experience in her book, Alex & Me. Pepperberg is adjunct professor at the Department of Psychology at Brandeis University and a lecturer and research associate at Harvard University.
Another well-known African Gray that has appeared on TV and performs regularly in front of live audiences at the Knoxville Zoo goes by the name Einstein. Since Einstein lives at the zoo, she knows a lot of animal sounds, but he bird knows about 70 words or sayings on cue plus a collection of others in her vocabulary.
- How To Enjoy Your African Gray
Helpful insights into African Gray behavior.
- Alex, The Famous Talking African Grey Parrot Has Passed Away
Alex, the African Grey parrot who played a pivotal role in ground-breaking cognition research has passed away at 31 years. Doctor Irene Pepperberg conducted experiments into avian intelligence and...
Is an African Gray Right for You?
While African Gray Parrots are known as great talkers, overall they are relatively quiet for a parrot. On the downside, they can be temperamental and nippy. If bored, they can become feather pluckers, too. If you're looking for a companion bird you plan to spend time with, they make an excellent choice as they tend to bond to one person. Another thing to take into consideration when buying an African Gray is their longevity. Owners should make arrangements for them in their will.