Congo African Grey Parrot

ANIMAL:
Congo African Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus

Type of Animal:
Parrot

Habitat:
Forests (usually lowland but can be found as high as 7,217.85 ft), forest edges/clearings, mangroves, wooded savanna, cultivated areas, gardens, savanna, woodland, savanna forest, open land adjacent to woodlands, islands in rivers, scrub forest

Location(s):
SE Ivory Coast, S Ghana, S Togo, S Benin, S Nigeria, S Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo region, Uganda, part of W Kenya, W Rwanda, W Burundi, small of W Tanzania, extreme NW Angola

Appearance:
Light-grey coloration, all black beak, grey body, slight white edges on head/body feathers, red tail feathers

Food/Diet:
Seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, vegetation, greens, vegetables, legumes, leaves, insects, grains

Status in Wild:
Threatened

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & aviculture

Lifestyle:
Can be found in flocks ranging from 2-300 birds. Breeding pairs monogamous, either nesting alone or in loose colonies of up to 100 monogamous pairs.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Flock
 
Weight:
Male: 21 oz
Female: 14 oz
Young: 7 oz

Gestation:
1 month 

Life Span:
25 years in wild, 40-70 years in captivity

Height:
Male: 1.16 ft
Female: 1 ft

Body Length:
Male: 1.16 ft
Female: 1 ft

Tail Length:
0.5 ft, same for both sexes

Main predators of adults are raptors, snakes, crocodiles, chimps, bonobos, felids, wild/domestic pigs, & canids. Monkeys prey on young.
 
Due to eating habits, play important role in seed dispersal helping propagate forest.
 
Have 1.5-1.6 ft wingspan.
 
Sexually mature at 3 years old.
 
Threatened due to pet trade, habitat loss, logging, mining, & persecution as crop pests.
 
Pairs lay 1-5 eggs per clutch, usually in tree cavities. Chicks stay w/ parents for 4-6 months. Breeds once or twice a year.
 
Often when foraging, some flock members stay on ground while others stay higher up as way to keep eye out for predators.

Fun Fact(s):
While threatened in wild, they’re popular pets & can outlive owners.
 
Known to be very smart having cognitive abilities of 3-6 year old child. These parrots can mimic human speech, identify shapes/colors, learn number sequences, ask unprompted questions, & hold entire conversations. Even capable of deductive logic & probabilistic reasoning. Probably smartest parrots if not smartest birds on the planet.
 
1 famous parrot named Alex subject of 30 year experiment by animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg, 1st at University of Arizona, then at Harvard, & then at Brandeis where he died at 31 in September 2007. Had vocab of over 100 words, recognized up to 50 different objects, recognized quantities up to 6, distinguished 7 colors & 5 shapes, & understood concepts of opposites. Irene Pepperberg wrote Alex & Me in September 2009, which became New York Times bestseller.

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