Dewey – African Gray Parrot

Dewey is a male African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) who joined us in July, 2014, and was born around 1980. He came to us from a woman who had him as a pet but moved to a nursing home and couldn’t keep him.

The African grey parrot is mostly grey, with a black bill, with red tail and undertail. Both males and females are similar in appearance; however juveniles will have dark grey to black eyes while adult eyes are greyish-yellow.

Little is known about how these birds court each other in the wild, however they are known to be monogamous, and nest in the cavities of trees. After 3-5 eggs are laid within the nest, the female incubates for a month while her mate brings her food. Once hatched, the young leave the nest after three months.

The natural habitat for the African grey parrot is the equatorial jungles of Africa, in the countries of Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Congo, Uganda, Kenya and Angola. Though they tend to be found in more dense forests, they are also known to inhabit the edges of the forest and savannah forests. They are rated as vulnerable by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). The largest threat to these populations is humans, due to the high mortality rate among imported birds.

The African grey is popular as a pet, due to the bird’s high intelligence and ability to mimic human speech. Research has shown these birds to perform at the cognitive level of a 5 year-old child. There are many sources on the web to show how to properly care for these birds as a pet.

African Gray Trivia: One of the most famous Greys, Alex, has been taught to recognize and identify verbally close to 50 objects, 7 colors, and 5 shapes. Alex can understand the concepts of category, same and different, and can even count.

African Gray Parrot Facts:

Body Length

13 inches

Wingspan

18 – 20 inches

Weight

1 lb

Incubation Period

30 days

Number of Eggs

3 – 5

Life Span

23 years in the wild, 40 – 60 years in captivity