AFRICAN GRAY PARROT
HABITAT AND RANGE
Gray parrots are found in the lowland rainforest and savannah regions of Central and Western Africa. They live in large flocks numbering hundreds of individuals.
Ash gray coloration throughout with black feet and a black beak. Their tail and sometimes wingtips are bright red. These colors are used as camouflage in the trees (gray bark and red fruit).
Gray parrots, like most other parrots, feed on fruits and nuts that are available to them. They have high metabolisms so they need high energy food like fruit in order to keep up. Their strong beaks are adapted to cracking tough shelled nuts.
REPRODUCTION AND LIFESPAN
Grays normally lay 3-5 eggs per clutch. Nests are usually made in tree cavities high up in the tree canopy. The female incubates the eggs for about 30 days while the male brings her food. After the chicks hatch, both parents will care for the young. Gray parrots form lifelong monogamous bonds. Lifespan is typical of large parrots and can exceed 70 years.
African grays have been kept as pets since the time of the Roman Empire. Grays are believed to possess intelligence that rivals that of a 3-5 year old human. They can easily be trained to know up to 1000 words and some parrots have shown that they understand the meaning of the words. “Alex” the gray parrot can count and add. Scientists are trying to prove that African Gray Parrots can think for themselves. Parrots can show signs of being right or left handed. In ancient times, people used to cut out a parrots tongue and use it in medicine. They believed it could cure speech impediments.