African Grey Parrot
If youre looking for a long-term companion from the animal kingdom, there is almost nothing more entertaining than having an African grey parrot in the house. These remarkable birds are beautiful to look at and their high level of intelligence will keep you entertained for years.
African grey parrots are from the genus Psittacus, of which there are several subspecies. They all come from Africa and are mostly grey in color with white feathers ringing the eyes and their tails are a striking maroon or red color. Medium sized for birds, they can be as big as 13 inches from head to tail.
Parrots are very social birds and will develop strong attachments to their main handler. They do require a good deal of time and attention, though, so do not even consider adopting one of these enchanting birds unless you can care for it adequately. They can live up to 60 years in captivity so anyone considering bringing a parrot into the home should be aware that it is, indeed, a lifetime commitment.
Because of their intelligent social nature, African grey parrots are capable of mimicking the words they hear their human keepers speak. Some people deny the mimicry and attribute language skills to these lively birds. Either way, they will keep you entertained with their chatter that may come to sound like all members of the household and frequent guests.
Your African grey parrot will need a lot of calcium and vitamin A to maintain his beautiful plumage and strong beak and talons. Raw nuts, seeds, and fruits are ideal as the foundation for a healthy parrot diet but will need to be supplemented with a steady supply of leafy green vegetables. Bits of cheese from time to time will provide a tasty and nutritious treat for your African grey parrot friend.
African grey parrots have been kept as pets for so long they are depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics. In the United States, it is currently illegal to import African grey parrots that have been captured from the wild. The high demand for these interesting entertainers has led to their placement on the near threatened level of conservation status and those legally sold in the US must have been bred during captivity.