The highly-sought-after African Grey parrot is an incredibly sensitive bird. Its natural voice is a series of whistles, clicks and rumbling growls, but it is renowned for its ability to imitate noises and speech to a high degree.Not all African Grey parrots, however, will be brilliant talkers, so this aspect should be a secondary consideration when choosing this species as a companion. Any desirable speech should be considered a bonus!
Proven by scientist Dr Irene Pepperberg to have learning abilities equal to those of a toddler, African Grey Parrots should be treated with the utmost respect, for they will not forget or forgive rough handling, frights or neglect. And as with all parrots, company and stimulation should be high on the list of ‘must haves’ for these wonderful birds.
Socialisation with many understanding ‘parrot people’ at a young age will increase confidence and thus reduce dependency on a single figure later in life. Two well-known African Grey parrots that I bred and reared are Artha and Casper, much loved – and, as readers of Parrots Magazine will know, much written about - by owner Dot Schwarz.