The grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), also known as the Congo grey parrot, Congo African grey parrot or African grey parrot, is an Old World parrot in the family Psittacidae. The Timneh parrot (Psittacus timneh) once was identified as a subspecies of the grey parrot, but has since been elevated to a full species.
The grey parrot is a medium-sized, predominantly grey, black-billed parrot. Its typical weight is 400 g (0.88 lb), with an approximate length of 33 cm (13 in),and a wingspan of 46–52 cm (18–20 in). The grey color on the head and wings is generally darker than its body. The head and body feathers have slight white edges. The tail feathers are red.
They are mostly frugivorous as most of their diet consists of fruit, nuts, and seeds.
The species is common in captivity and regularly kept by humans as a companion parrot, prized for its ability to mimic human speech, which makes it one of the most popular avian pets. An escaped pet in Japan was returned to his owner after repeating the owner’s name and address.
Grey parrots are notorious for mimicking noises heard in their environment and using them tirelessly. They are highly intelligent birds, needing extensive behavioral and social enrichment as well as extensive attention in captivity or else they may become distressed.
Greys are highly social species and rely on a flock-type structure, even when raised in captivity. Because they are so dependent on the other birds within their flock, much of their speech and vocal ability is acquired through interaction with the humans with whom they reside.