Grey parrots budgerigar portal

Grey parrotsGrey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) belong to the actual parrots (Psittacidae). It is the only representative of the genus Psittacus. There are two different species: the Congo gray parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). The Timneh Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus timneh). A third species is said to be extinct by now.

Wild form and natural habitat

The gray parrot is considered one of the largest parrots in Africa. It reaches a body length of about 30 to 40 cm. An average weight of 450 grams. The two species of gray parrots can be distinguished by the fact that the Congo gray parrot is slightly larger and the beak is consistently gray in color, unlike the Timneh gray parrot. Sex differentiation can only be ensured by DNA examination.

Wild gray parrots populate Central and West Africa. The Congo gray parrot has its origin in Central Africa. The Timneh gray parrot originates from West Africa. In their homeland, the gray parrots live mainly where there are trees. They live in the tropical forests, in wet and dry savannas and other wetlands. Mangroves are also inhabited. They often fly from there into open landscapes, but avoid human settlements.

Grey parrots feed mostly on nuts, seeds and fruits. Also flowers are. Buds eaten. Researchers also observed gray parrots ingesting soil and clay – it is thought they do this because of mineral ingestion. Grey parrots have been observed to adapt well to new foods and types of food, but remain completely vegetarian.

In their homeland they often live only in pairs or in small groups – in the evening, however, they often come together in large flocks.

Grey parrots are monogamous – they remain faithful to the same partner throughout their life. They reach sexual maturity between two and six years of age. Their breeding season is between the rainiest periods, which vary depending on location. They are cavity breeders and normally lay 2-5 eggs, which are incubated by the hen for about four weeks. In this time the male is on food search. Defends also its hen. Until the chicks are fledged, up to three months pass, in which both adults raise the young animals. In individual cases, seven raised chicks have been recorded.

Grey parrots can live up to 60 years.

The species is not yet endangered in its native country. However, the number of birds is slowly decreasing.

Domestication of parrots

After the first sea voyages of the Portuguese in the direction of Africa, the first specimens are said to have been introduced to Europe as early as 1400. More exact data can be found from 1525, because at that time on paintings the first gray parrots are seen.

In 1799 the first offspring is said to have been bred. Two pairs raised young in Paris at that time. Nowadays, breeding is no longer a problem and gray parrots are now considered one of the most popular parrot species kept in Europe.

Attitude and behavior

Due to their size, gray parrots require a cage of at least 2 m x 1 m x 2 m (width x depth x height). With such a cage daily free flight in a secured room should be a matter of course.

A larger aviary or a separate bird room is an even better alternative. It must be thought with an outside aviary of a shelter, since the grey parrots must always have a heated retreat. The grid must be made of stainless steel and have a certain thickness, so that the parrots can not bite through the grid. It must be remembered that not every neighbor is happy about parrots in the neighbor's house or garden!

The cage equipment should consist of non-toxic woods.

To enable gray parrots the so important UV light, it is advisable to buy a UV lamp. The air humidity should be more than 60 percent. Also, a bathing opportunity should always be offered.

Grey parrots can be kept busy with various toys. So there are toys that can be destroyed, climbing toys or toys on which gray parrots can try their memory. Good occupation is very important for the gray parrots, as they may well start plucking in case of great boredom. Clicker training is also a good way to keep your pet busy.

It is very important that gray parrots – like all parrots – should never be kept alone. No human can replace the contact with a partner! Consequences of single keeping can be screeching, plucking and aggression.

Grey parrots are quite sensitive animals, which is why they must be handled very calmly. Jealousy in gray parrots has often been observed when other pets are given more attention than themselves.

The birds should be optimally of different sexes, since hens often deal bitchy with each other. If same-sex pairs are kept in pairs, then only from roosters. However, a natural pair is always the better species. Grey parrots can be kept as a pair but also in a mini flock.

Also, a gray parrot can injure a small child – whether consciously or unconsciously – which is why small children should never act alone with the parrots in any case. Grey parrots are articulate animals, they often like to imitate humans and everyday sounds – however, not every grey parrot does this either, so imitation should never be a reason for purchase. Interestingly, gray parrots often use the newly learned things, instead of their loud normal utterances.

Feeding gray parrots is not easy, as each animal has different food requirements depending on its activity, age and health status. Basically, the food should consist of various seeds, shelled (!) Nuts as well as fruit and vegetables consist. Here, every bird has its own taste, which is why different types of fresh food should be tried out in feeding. The vitamin supply is very important for gray parrots . Furthermore, you can feed gray parrots with various supplementary foods such as yogurt, cucumbers, and other foods. Feed curds as well as eggs – but this should be done no more than once a week.

Since gray parrots can become very loud and have a strong beak, an acquisition should always be clarified with the neighbors and / or with the landlord. In general, Congo gray parrots are kept more often.

Socialization of gray parrots

Grey parrot with grey parrot: Timneh and Timneh grey parrots can be kept well as a mini flock. There are at this with appropriate place. Sex ratios little problems. Likewise it looks with the attitude of Congo and Congo gray parrots in the pair and mini flock attitude. Congo and Timneh gray parrots can also be kept together, pair formation has also been observed. However, when keeping only one pair, the keeping of a pair of the same species is to be preferred.

Gray parrot with other bird: Since gray parrots in their home do not seek contact with other bird species, the attitude of gray parrots with other parrot species is to be seen critically. With enough space and offering retreats for each species, keeping gray parrots and macaws in an aviary is possible. The keeping of gray parrots with much smaller species such as zebra finch, budgerigar or cockatiel, however, is completely inadvisable, because the size difference here is much too large and a not at all malicious reaction can cause bad things for the species mentioned.

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