African Grey parrots are found primarily in equatorial Africa. They are dove gray with a white-grayish naked face. They have a black beak and red tail with red under coverts. The Timneh from Sierra Leone, parts of Guinea, the Ivory Coast and Liberia, is consider to be a sub species which is smaller and also has a Maroon rather than a scarlet tail. Both are considered to be talented mimics. While at one time they were usually called Grey Parrots; nowadays, they are usually known as African Greys.
Many consider the African Grey parrot to be the best talker as well as one of the smartest parrots available as pets. I’ve found that most African greys tend to be quieter birds and do not have the loudness of a lot of the other parrots … especially the parrots found in the Americas. It is generally agreed that the African Grey is shy by nature and is resistant to change (i.e., change of cage, new toys, etc.). There also is a tendency to bond closely with one person. Some owners I know took this into account when they got their two young African Greys. While the wife spent more time during the day with her "babies", they agreed that the husband would be the one to give them "treats". So, while the Greys bonded closer to the wife, they also "loved" the husband as well. This couple also made a special effort to exchange their toys every other week so that the greys became more acclimated to change.
There have been many studies made about the African Grey’s intelligence. Not only to they tend to have a large vocabulary, but they also understand what they say. They make remarkable pets but should have a very large cage and plenty of owner interface. They also like to take daily baths. They need many toys and such as due to their intelligence they can become easily bored. Great care should be made to provide a secure environment so that their natural shyness does not develop into nervousness which can lead to feather plucking and other avian problems.
This was one of my first earliest paintings. Due to the darkness of color, some people have questioned whether it is an African Grey or a Timneh. To be truthful, this was done so long ago that I cannot verify which bird I used. However, as the "grey" color can vary from darker to lighter grey, I do consider that this is an African Grey parrot.
For this painting, I looked for one of the lighter colored African Greys and I found a delightful pet African Grey in Atlanta. I went to the home and had a good time taking pictures of this special little lady grey. She had a huge cage and more toys than almost any parrot I have ever seen. She was just starting to talk and a real treasure, dearly loved by her owner. Her owner, like most African Grey owners, considered African Greys to be the perfect pet and wouldn’t have any other.