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African Grey Parrots in the Wild

African Grey Parrots still fly free and wild in Africa. The Timneh (TAG) and the Congo (CAG) African Grey Parrots occupy different areas although their ranges may overlap occasionally.

The CAG lives along the south east Ivory Coast east to western Kenya and south to northern Angola, southern Congo and northwest Tanzania while the TAG lives in southern Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and western Ivory Coast. Click here to see a google map of the area provided by BirdLife International.

Generally, the CAG is a few centimeters larger than the TAG, but the larger TAGs can be larger than the smaller CAGs. The best way to tell the difference between the two species (or sub-species) is the horn coloured upper beak on the TAGs compared to the black beak on the CAGs along with the darker maroon tail on the TAGs compared to the bright red tail on the CAGs. The shade of grey can vary in both, but generally, the TAG is darker than the CAG, although there certainly are some very dark CAGs and some very light TAGs.

During the day, the African Grey Parrots flock in pairs or small groups but meet up with many more of their own kind to sleep at night in very large flocks.

They eat a variety of seeds, berries, nuts, fruits, grasses and leaves, varying by the time of year and availability of these foods. They thrive in dense forest, but are also commonly seen in clearings or forest edges and sometimes cultivated areas.

They nest in tall dead trees when food is plentiful and normally raise a clutch of 3 to 5 babies. The babies are cared for in the nest by the parents for approximately 3 months. Once they leave the nest, the parents continue to look after the babies for another 3 months.

Unfortunately, it is still legal to export these birds to Europe and they are still being taken from the wild to provide pets. Hopefully, this will end one day soon. The best pets are handfed and handled as babies, and the wild birds are best left in the wild.

African Grey Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publ

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