The African Gray Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) is a very talkative, intelligent, and sensitive bird. It may be the best talker of all the birds, easily learning hundreds of words and other sounds. These parrots have been kept as pets since ancient times, when the Romans wrote about them.

In the wild, this parrot lives in large flocks. They are native to western and central Africa in lowland rainforests, clearings, savannas, and villages. They mate for life. There are two subspecies of African Grays, including the African Gray Congo (illustrated above) and the African Gray Timneh (it is smaller and darker). The African Gray Parrot has a life span of up to 50 to 65 years.

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Anatomy: The Congo African Gray Parrot is about 13 to 16 inches (33 - 41 cm) long. They have a wing span of about 18 to 20 inches (46 - 52 cm). They weigh about a pound (450-550 g). These parrots have gray feathers, white patches around the eyes, and red tail feathers. The curved bill is dark gray. The males and females are hard to distinguish.

Eggs and Chicks: There are 3 to 5 eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid in one nesting period). The eggs are laid in a tree cavity high above the ground. The female incubates the eggs for 30 days, and the male feeds her. Both parents will feed the chicks.

Diet: African Gray Parrots eat seeds, berries, nuts, and fruit.