African Grey Parrots may not be as colorful as other parrot breeds, but what it lacks in plumage it more than makes up for with its high intellect and personality. The African Grey parrot has an amazing capacity for mimicking sounds, words, and even a full phrases. They have a well-developed ear and will repeat not only the words you teach them, but also household sounds such as doorbells and telephone rings to a very convincing degree.
An African Grey can live up to about sixty years old, so when you commit to own one, you are more or less a making a life-long commitment. African Greys are very intelligent birds, and as such they will most likely become bored if not constantly stimulated. They will not be content to simply sit in a cage all day, but need parrot toys to play with and interact with daily. African Grey parrots love to interact with humans and are easily trained to speak and do tricks. Parrot talking toys are great because the recordings sound like your voice and this comforts the parrot when you are not there.
Choosing the Right African Grey Breeder
If you have decided to purchase an African Grey parrot, it is important that you buy it from a reputable breeder. Irresponsible breeders commonly have too many birds at once, and consequently the individula birds do not get enough attention or human interaction when they are young. This can lead to severe parrot health and behavior concerns when the parrot is older.
To determine whether or not a breeder is a responsible one, interview them and ask them numerous questions about how the bird is being brought up, its personality, aggression level, the intellectual stimulation it has been receiving, etc. An inexperienced and unscrupulous breeder will have difficulty answering these questions. Also ask the breeder about the parrots’ feeding habits. A good breeder will not feed his parrots seeds and pellets alone, but will supplement their diet with various different foods and be able to explain their feeding plan to you in detail.
Finally, make sure to inspect the area where the parrot breeders are keeping their birds to insure that their cages are clean. Dirty cages are a sign of a poor breeder, and birds growing up in dirty conditions will likely have health problems later on.