African Gray Parrots behaviours

The African grey parrot is a very wonderful and intelligent bird considered as a pet by many people. It is a bird that requires great commitment and long time companions. It is a pet that provides a unique experience just like other pets. They are playful, loving and also demonstrate a bit of temperament. To understand the African Grey Parrot well it is good to look at its biting, feather plucking and body language.

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Feather plucking

This is one of the most common behaviors demonstrated by African Grey Parrot. Feather plucking could be a symptom of a behavioral problem or a physical illness. It is, therefore advisable to seek the assistance of an avian veterinarian to check whether the bird may be having physical illness. Some of the health problems that cause the birds to pluck feathers include:

Deficiency in nutrition, for example, lack of enough calcium, vitamin A or fatty acids. Other infestations that can lead to feather plucking include bacterial infection, internal or external parasite or metal toxicity because some metals such as lead and zinc poisoning can lead to this problem.

Environmental problems such as changes in weather or lack of hygiene in the cage can make the bird pluck its feathers. It is good to note that the birds require regular showers or bath in order to remain healthy and clean.

Behavioral or psychological problems also lead to feather plucking among the African Grey Parrot. For instance, boredom or lack of enough attention, stressful conditions or change of location, lack of enough rest and emotional abuse such as frightening can lead to this problem.


Many people view biting as a normal behavior in African Grey Parrot, but this is not the case. This is a behavioral problem that should be resolved to allow for the safety of the bird and the owner. To handle this problem effectively, it is good to understand the cause of this behavior.

Whenever the bird is exposed to a frightening situation it becomes vulnerable to biting. For instance, if the bird is scared it might respond by biting as a flight response.

Territorial protection: The bird might bite as it tries to protect its territory, for example, toys, cage or another bird it might have a strong bond with.

Hormones: Just like human beings birds also undergo hormonal changes, for example, during the breeding season the bird may become irritable or tense making it to bite. It is, therefore important to be respectable to the mood of the bird by leaving it alone when it does not require attention.

Other causes include playing, frustrations due to lack of attention or some of other medical conditions.

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Body language

In order to develop sustainable relationship with African Grey Parrot its good to understand its body language. The body language from its posture, eyes or reactions tells a lot.

Eyes: Pinning of the eye demonstrates that there is something happening in its immediate environment or it posture. When the bird is relaxed and its eyes pinning it shows it is concentrating or interested with something.

Yawning shows that the bird is tired or has something in its throat.

Growling or quivering demonstrates that the bird is frightened and, therefore it is good to check out.
Standing on one foot or hanging upside shows that the bird is relaxed, happy and content with whatever is happening.

By understanding the above behaviors you will develop a long lasting relationship with the African grey parrot and attain total satisfaction with it as a pet at home.

12 thoughts on “African Gray Parrots behaviours

  1. elain

    I have a 7 year old African grey who me get a lot of attention and love …for the past two weeks he is very agressive towards me…and I am the only one who can feed him since he was born….I hand raised him. When ever I put my hand in his cage to give him water or food he attacks me and nearly bit of my finger…what can be the problem…love Billy very much and just don’t know how to cope with this anger

    1. jorge herman

      We are offering handraised Parrots species from weaned Aviary at affordable prices and 100% candle tested fertile eggs for hatching healthy chicks. We are selling to persons interested in breeding and hand rearing up their own birds from egg stage. We assist clients with successfully articles & techniques. Our Available Parrots we raise are as follows:
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  2. Colin Pellowe

    My baby African grey is 15 weeks old and has bonded with me well. He has now developed a weird sound towards me like backing off and sounds like me me me me. Is this something I could overcome please. Many thanks Colin.

    1. Tanveer

      I have bought African Congo gray 20 days ago he is 8 months old .at that time previous owner told me in the start he will might misbehave for 15 days because of new location and because of staying in the cage he is stand in parrot stand here .so after 15 days he will be OK .but my problem is his behaviour is still same every time I m going close to the cage he is proving to be aggressive I don’t know what to do because I thought when he will be feel OK here I will take him out from cage and put him in a stand but I m afraid now he will bite me so what should I do ?

      1. Ashley

        There is no time limit on when a grey will finally become accepting of its new environment. It could take several months before they are finally adapted and willing to be accepting. My advice is take it slow and don’t take it personal. They are the most wonderful pets and their lifespan with you will be spent as a learning experience.

  3. Dawn bull

    I have just placed my 20 yr old African grey into a new cage and she won’t go on the perches. Staying on side of cage. I’m really worried. Any help/ideas please

  4. Natasha

    My African grey has changed her behaviour drastically in the past 3 weeks She sits in one corner making strange squicky noices whilst plucking at things in this corner of her cage She used to sing speak immitate sounds and whistle daily which she no longer does She still follows the same diet I give her vitimen syrup apple and nuts I’ve tried stress drops in her water with no change Please advise me I adopted her 3 yrs ago and have no idea how old she is

  5. jorge herman

    Male and Female African grey birds available, please contact through email for more info (

  6. Kate

    Hi there! I have an 11-month old female Grey African. She eats all kind of fruit but recently is throwing all feeders with fruit in and out of the cage; is that normal? Thanks for any feedback.

    1. Ashley

      Yes very normal for greys to throw around their foods. I’d say they only eat about 1/2 and throw around the rest

  7. Henriette

    We got a African Grey from people who left him outside for years in a cage. We dont know his age or sex. What we are worried about is that as long as his on his cage he in ok but aggressive. He can climb around and walk around. If he falls of the cage. He is very scared. He cant walk. But then he lets u touch him. Even kiss him. What can we do to help him b more sosiable.

    1. Ashley

      In order for a grey to become more sociable, they need to be exposed to people and rewarded for their good behaviors with treats. Anytime they are okay with you being in their cage and petting them, treat them. If they are not and trying to ward you off, just close the door and walk away. They learn with expressions so if you make a big scene from them biting, it is going to encourage them to continue to bite.


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