African Gray Parrot

gray parrot

The gray parrot is the smartest parrot known. This parrot with a nondescript gray appearance is able to memorize and clearly reproduce not only individual words, but also entire sentences.

Because of its conversational qualities, the gray parrot in its homeland in Africa has become the subject of illegal mass capture for the purpose of selling abroad.

As a result, today the gray parrot has become the rarest species of African parrots.

The gray parrot is the most talkative of all the currently known species of parrots. This child prodigy is able to learn several new words and even phrases in a short time and reproduce them very clearly, and with respect to the intonation heard.

A gray parrot can memorize up to hundreds of different words and phrases. It should be noted that this bird is quite noisy, so not everyone can withstand the presence of such a sociable pet in the house. There is evidence that gray parrots were kept in the form of poultry since the time of Ancient Rome, as well as under King Henry VIII. He was simply adored by the Portuguese sailors.

Description and features of the gray parrot

The gray parrot or Jaco (Psittacus) is a genus of African parrots in the subfamily Psittacinae. It contains two species: the red-tailed parrot (P. erithacus) and the brown-tailed parrot (P. timneh).

Gray Jaco is a medium-sized parrot. Its body can reach 16 inches (40 cm) in length, with a wing length of 8-10 inches (20-25 cm). The tail is relatively short, reaching a length of almost 4 inches (10 cm). Adult weight 1.2 lbs.The main plumage of this parrot is gray.

Gray Parrot Jaco

Actually, hence its name – the gray parrot. The plumage of the body has a light ending, because of this, the color seems to be scaly. The plumage around the eyes, on the lower part of the belly and under tail is light gray to almost white. The paws are black. Sexual dimorphism is poorly expressed. Only sometimes the male can differ from the female in a larger head, although it is possible to accurately determine the sex of the gray only in the laboratory. The tail can be red or brown. In addition to red-tailed and brown-tailed grays, there is also a royal one. In this species, red feathers are scattered throughout the body.

Where does the Gray Parrot live?

In their natural environment, gray parrots form small flocks. In the last century, noisy flocks of birds were observed in large numbers. But the change in habitat has affected the population size.

The myth of the existence of loners is based on the domestication of birds, when parrots, actively communicating with people, do without relatives. By nature, the Gray Parrot has a herd instinct and family relationships.

The main populations of gray parrots are found in Central and West Africa. Birds are attracted by tropical thickets. Nests inaccessible to predators and poachers are placed on high crowns. Gray parrots inhabit coastal areas with mangrove trees, dense forest thickets at the mouth of the river.

African Gray Parrot

In the early morning, parrots fly out of hiding in search of food. The intelligence of the Gray Parrot allows him to survive surrounded by feathered predators. The palm eagle is especially dangerous for parrots.

The gray parrot is distinguished by its caution and secrecy. At the end of the day, towards sunset, the birds return for the night. Large flocks gather on the branches. Parrots can climb trunks using their beak as a support. They rarely come down to earth. The real element of birds is the air environment, tree crowns. Agility, energy, natural intelligence characterize the inhabitants of the African savannah.

In captivity, birds adapt quickly. Parrots study the people around them, successfully master communication skills. If the owner devotes enough time to the pet, then the life of the Grays will be filled with bright events and impressions. Loneliness and passive existence are destructive for active parrots.

How many years can a gray parrot live?

The Gray Parrot can be attributed to centenarians. With proper care, they can live up to 70 years, but most often the average life span is 50 years.

What does a gray parrot eat?

Mostly, gray parrots eat a wide variety of fruits, nuts and seeds, but prefer the oil palm and other red fruits. Gray parrots test the edibility of food in a special way. First of all, they touch it with their tongue, and then remove the inedible parts from it. Due to the special structure of the beak, the gray parrot easily peels nuts and seeds from the shell.

Reproduction and offspring

African gray parrots breed once or twice a year. Females lay three to five round eggs. Females incubate eggs and completely feed on the food that the male brings. Incubation lasts about thirty days. Chicks leave the nest at the age of twelve weeks.

a pair of gray parrots

After the chicks leave the nest, both parents continue to feed, raise and protect them. They take care of their offspring for several years until they become independent.

Population and status of the species

Reproduction of gray parrots

Gray parrots are endemic to the primary and secondary forests of West and Central Africa, which means that they do not live anywhere else. The livelihood of these birds directly depends on the presence of huge old trees with hollows, on which Jaco arrange their nests. If such forests are reduced, then the number of these birds also decreases.

Populations of gray parrots disappear due to habitat destruction and capture of young birds, which then exported to other countries. The situation is complicated by the fact that there is no ban on the trade in these birds.