Lifespan of African Grey parrots

African gray parrots have always been a hot topic of discussion among most pet lovers. They can be described as one of the most charming parrots and their wonderful character has won great appreciation as well. These types of birds possess a harmonious blend of extraordinary charm and high intelligence and all these aspects make African grey parrots the most preferred species of all pet lovers. It can be said without any doubt that they are one of the most talkative birds available and these parrots are extremely sensitive as well. They have the inborn intelligence and skills to learn more than hundreds of words and sounds and on an average level, the lifespan of these types of birds stands in between 50 and 70 years.

554074 88730730 Lifespan of African Grey parrots

If you are an ardent pet lover lifespan of the pet will always be a major consideration for you and the long lifespan of African gray parrots definitely represents a very long commitment. When you compare the lifespan of other pets with these parrots you will realize the true significance of African gray parrots and if they are kept healthy and happy some of these birds may go beyond 70 years as well. On an average level, the size of these birds will be around 35 cm or 13.5 inches and as the name suggests, they are gray in color. These types of pets can be classified into two subspecies and they include African Gray Congo and African Gray Timneh.

The Congo African gray parrot can be described as a slightly bigger bird in comparison with the Timneh and they also have bright red tail feathers. The tail feathers of Timneh parrots are a bit darker and their natural overall color is also a bit darker than the Congo (it is not always the case). Another difference between these two categories is that the beak of the Congo is grey and upper mandible of Timneh is bone colored with a dark edge. At the same time, the lower mandible of Timneh is grey and there will not be too much difference between the lifespan of these two subspecies as well. Several factors will have to be taken into consideration while determining the exact lifespan of these types of birds and they include the history of the bird, diseases, lifestyle, stress factors and other related aspects.

321150 7554 Lifespan of African Grey parrots

African gray parrot has the unique ability to talk or mimic noises and sounds and they also possess the skills and capacity for putting the words and sounds into the right context, instead of simply repeating them. The weight of these words will be in between 15-20 ounces and because of their high intelligence, they are often being known as the ‘Einstein’ of the bird world. It can be said without an iota of doubt that these parrots benefit from continued learning and new challenges and various studies have shown that subspecies like Alex has the unique ability to count numbers. In addition to that, these birds can also recognize and label colors and in a nutshell, it can be said that all these aspects including the extended lifespan of African gray parrots make them one of the most favorite pets of all time.

82 thoughts on “Lifespan of African Grey parrots

  1. Glenna Bailes

    My Grey has lost all her down feathers and I can find no reason such as not eating. She is healthy other than loss of down.

    1. jafo

      Spend more time with the bird. And offer some new treats. Also, make sure to put mite filters in your cage, just in case it’s not psycholical.

      Greys love carrots, penuts, strawberrys, and catalope. Feed in moderation, daily.

    2. Dawn

      Glenna, Please take your grey to an avian vet to have blood work done to rule out avian kidney disease. We discovered this too late for our bird and she did not recover. She was only 20 years old when we lost her. She could have lived a much longer life with me had I gotten her to the vet sooner. One sign was very loose watery stools and severe feather picking. Don’t wait to get your bird checked out by a qualified avian vet.

      1. melanie bloch

        My African Grey is 42. He shredded his tail feathers 25 years ago. I started giving him a cooked chicken bone, which he loves, and now gets a cooked chicken wing with meat and bone nearly every day. His feathers grew back and he is like a young bird

        1. William Roach

          My Madison is 36. Recently, she seams to lose feeling in her right leg. It comes back within 2 minutes. She wants to eat anything we do. Ice cream is her favorite.
          Is there anything we can do for her?

  2. ana

    Im getting an african gray tomorrow.. its around 4 yrs old and the owner cant keep her no more due to health reasons.. any advice on how to make her as comfortable as possible to ease the change in moving.. i really want to keep this bird she . Is so cool n smart.. but also scared it may get depress in the change in environment… plz email me any suggestions.. ty..

    1. Trish Worrall

      The adapt to change usually ok. They will let u know for sure if not happy. Take time with it. Introduce new toys. Keep it occupied as it settles.

  3. amanda hill

    I have just lost mine he was 17 years old and i had him since he was 5 mths he niot been ill or any thing he was fine yesterday its killing why he just gone xx

    1. kevin griffin

      Ours just died..12 years old..whole family upset..she was fine singing and morning ,dead ….

      1. Oana

        I’ve just lost my Grey. He was 10. He made a heart attack and he died in my arms. My heart is broke

    2. Ashley

      The one who creates everything we see and don’t see takes us and all living g things as easy as we we were put here. The one who created us and your grey only knows when we will leave from this life. Hope you all the best is this life and the hear after.

  4. Jose a rodriguez Jr

    Hi, I have been with my African grey parrot for over 15 yrs her name is Kyra. She’s very smart and knowsee a lot of words and phrases and sounds. I’m having trouble with her some time when I try to pick her up. My wife just got a new puppy he is 4 months old. What can I do. Thanks for your help and time. Jr…

    1. patricia mcneese

      African grey stress easily . bc of the dog that why she is giving a hard time. My bird get nerves with children. Sometimes it takes longer for them to feel at ease.

  5. Emily

    I have a Congo African Grey. Her name is Molly and she will be 11 in March. She is very, very smart. She puts words and sounds into context. When she senses there is tension in the room, such as if someone is fighting or yelling, Molly will say “don’t worry!”. Also, when she sees someone take a drink of water/pop/etc she will make a popping noise, almost sounding like a can of pop being opened. That’s not all of the intelligent/funny things she does. I love her so much. She is so sweet, funny, and intelligent. I love parrots so much.

  6. jonny

    We hav a grey called jake had him for nearly 20 years.. he is so funny but can b a tiny bit visicious at times.. he also used to talk so much but in da last year he hardly makes noises Now. he dont like new people.. they put fingers in to stroke him but 9 times out of 10 he wil bite.. dont no wots got into him.. any ideas on wots up wiv him ????

    1. patricia mcneese

      Is something diffierentc in your house? My bird if someone comes to visit she will not talk or make sounds until she. Feels comfortable . birds know when a person is nerves with them so they will bite out of fear.


    I really would like to plan for getting an African Grey however, I have an adult son who is wheelchair bound and unable to use his arms.
    He spends most of his day in our family room, where I have one of the few places to set up for the parrot and his accessories.
    Is this not a good idea? I would love all the advice, thanks in advance!

    1. Amy

      When putting the African Grey in a family room you want to make sure you have them in the correct spot. Some birds tend to get very stressed out if there is a lot of traffic going through the room they are in. You will get to realize all the sounds the parrot picks up from the TV. It is very cute. Good luck with your African Grey!

  8. Caroline

    When I think about the heartache I will experience when I have to say goodbye to my beloved kitties in the next few years, I’m just so grateful to know that my baby CAG will outlive me and possibly whichever of my kids takes it after I die. Having a pet is a lifetime commitment, I just wish that with most of them it were longer.
    Oh and yes, we are very careful about the cats around the birds. We know the risks.

  9. mar

    There is a stray African Gray Parrot in my backyard on the tree. It’s been standing in the same spot for over 4 hours now. I have been trying to get it down by leaving nuts and fruits on my balcony, however, it won’t come down or fly away. Is there a reason why it just stay in the same spot for hours.

  10. Tia

    6/25/15 we lost our beloved Paco. He was only 21yrs old. He was my grandfather’s African Grey. My grandfather died 7yrs ago 5/7/08. Paco was the last thing that my grandmother had left….sort of a piece of my grandfather. He mimicked both their voices. She’s heart broken and feels like she has nothing left of him. He was such a smart bird and always loving. (I’m not a bird person but I grew up and grew to love Paco) I hope he’s as happy now that he’s with my pop (he called my grandpa Dad) in heaven. Fly High buddy….we will miss you every day Paco. Xo

  11. John Griffiths

    I have always regretted selling my African Grey Parrot to a dodgy looking bloke in a pet shop in Manor Park for £45.00 back in the mid 70s. Joey was noisy and made a lot of mess. Not surprising trapped in cage all the time. I realise now that it was cruel and birds should not kept as pets but allowed to be free to fly and get food.

  12. Claudio

    My wife and I have had our grey Buffy for 22 years, since her birth. We love her very much but are concerned because we are aging and afraid of what will happen to her when we pass. She is a joyt but a little spoiled. Can anyone recommend a rehoming organization located nearby Las Vegas Nevada.

    1. Oliver mateljan

      I live in Laughlin NV and I’m looking to get an African grey. If your looking for a great home let me know I have plenty of bird experience. Names Jay 702 4206344

  13. Caroline

    I know there is an organization somewhere in the St George, area, but don’t know the name.

  14. Tobi Ramonette

    I SOOOOOO LOVE MY “SUNSHINE” bird. No idea of. Her age. She has had several homes, and a huge assortment of sayings and voices. She is spectacular! She was born with splayed legs, so she can’take perch like others. She gets around alright with the help of her beek, and her happy chatter delights everyone… especially me

  15. Austin

    I just inherited my great grand parents Congo African grey, they passed away at 90 and 94. Greystone is 53 years old. I love this bird, I grew up spending every weekend at their house, and spending all of my summer’s there. I love how he mimics their words and some of their conversations, sounding just like them and knowing that they live on for me through him. He is most talkative in the morning, always the one to wake me up. And he sings me a song every night after I put the blanket over his cage. The same song my gram sang to me at night definitely the best pet you could ever have.

  16. Raul

    with a very heart we lost our African Grey “Smokey” after 28 yrs. No signs of illness, always given frest seeds, pretty bird vitamins and harrisons coarse pellets. Fresh veggies and fruit and fresh water daily. Found him on the bottom of the cage went over to him picked him up and he died in my hands. I’m soooo sad.

  17. Betsy Meier

    We just lost our female African Grey. She evidently died in the middle of the night because when I said good night to them she seemed fine. Yesterday she ate and drank so I’m not sure what happened. She was 21 years old.
    I don’t know quite what to expect from her mate. They never had babies but they’ve been together since the male (he’s 20) was only 4 months old. I’m trying to find something on what to expect. Does anyone know what I should expect, or what to do to help him?

  18. Raul

    you may want to go to a certified avian vet if that’s possible that way you would know that your other African grey has a clean bill of health.
    So sorry for your loss!
    I keep thinking it’s my fault for not seeing a sign or something unusual with my Smokey, but their wasn’t anything unusual.
    I am heart broken to say the least as I’m sure you are too.
    He was our only Parrot and it’s so quiet at home now that I don’t want to come home!!!
    Keep us posted.

    God Bless

    1. Yvette

      My heart goes out to you. All pets should be loved this way. You’re doing all that you can. Your vibrations of love and tenderness are of utmost importance regardless of the outcome.

    2. Ashley

      Only the one who created you knows when you or the grey will live for. There are people who live until they are 19 and people who live till 100. Also greys as you can see here there alot that live only 20 years we just human beings and don’t know the unseen.njust do your research and if you can give a good home and enjoy then why not. Just how the one who created you takes care of you if you left this life before your bird the one who created it will take care of the bird.

  19. Trey

    Our grey was hatched on 11/11/90 and we got her on 1/13/91. We called “Grady” a boy until August 20th 2016, that was the day Grady laid an egg. Grady is definitely a girl. To say the least we were shocked. Three weeks ago we packed up our North Carolina home for the season and returned to our home in South Florida. After about 10 days back in FL we noticed Grady was being very quite. Also there was a loss of appetite for her favorite foods. So off to the vet we go. The fact is we have not had very many reasons over the years to go to the vet. However, one of the best Avian vets in South FL is very close by. Test, X-rays, cultures, you name it, we did it all. Red blood cell count is slightly elevated but all else checked OK. Even the culture came back clear. Grady is now experiencing shortness of breath and is so weak she can no longer balance on a perch. He are still giving her all of her meds and stay with her constantly but it looks really bad. Our vet tells us that a 30 year old grey is physiologically the same age as a 65 year old human and he rarely sees over 40 year old greys.
    Hopefully we see improvement tonight but our vet suspects heart failure. Makes no sense to us. So as we are back in a nesting box as we were when she was a baby I have gone back to hand feeding the same baby cereal like we did for the first 6 weeks we had her. She actually took the food with a great deal of interest.
    We are not ready to lose Grady and hopefully we can get past whatever this is and enjoy many more years. Grady has been trying to master the Andy Griffith theme song for the past 25 years and needs more time to practice and get it right. Having Grady for the past 26 years is the best thing we ever did. Praying for a better day tomorrow.

    1. Trey

      Update, Grady is still with us and is responding to the baby food. She is a little stronger this evening. I updated our vet Sam this afternoon, he suggested a powdered food that he could provide which is far more nutritious than the Gerber baby food. There is no telling yet but I think we just might be on the rebound.

      1. Trey

        11/18/2016 update. Grady peacefully passed away at 3 pm this afternoon in Jan’s arms. She was 26 years and one week old. Not near long enough for us. Thank you to whoever furnishes this website as documenting this has been therapeutic. I do have one piece of advice to all grey owners, if you see a change in behavior don’t make the mistake we made and wait nearly a week before going to the vet. In all honestly it probably wouldn’t have changed a thing other than not dealing with feelings of guilt about not being more immediately reactive. But you see when we got Grady we were told she would live at least 60 to 70 years, popular books of that time backed that up. However according to Sam our vet, who was wonderful, that is not the case. Don’t get me wrong, they do occasionally live very long lives but that appears to be the exception and not the rule. We would have had Grady exactly 26 years this coming January 13th. That was an exciting day for us. So cherish every day and love your grey like we loved Grady. Trey.

        1. Shina Godwin

          thanks for the lifespan info, I got my African grey last month, his name is keewee, he is six months old, I will like to know why he is so aggressive to my family members and myself, and everyday he likes plucking his feather, although he wakes up before everybody and whitsle till the sun rise, and when the sun sets he whistles then take his dinner before going to sleep, I need ur advice on how to make him friendly and as well how to stop him from plucking his feathers, he also has a bad habit of biting the cage, looking for a way out. My email Addy is shinagodwin@

      2. Bruce Little

        God bless Grady
        I have my Gracie for 27 years now, since she hatched from her egg. She believes though she is human, and not hatched from an egg. I do pray so for you each. I believe an almost certain way of knowing the sex of an African Grey Parrot, is given the choice who they first bond with. Odds are great they bond first with a human being of the opposite sex. Goodness why I do not know or totally understand, but I hear the same time and time again.
        Bruce Little

    2. Kim artessa

      I hope all turns out well. My neighbors have 3 CAG and a McCaw. 1 of their greys sings the Andy Griffith song! So cute.

      I’m also in swfl. Can you suggest a good aviary vet?

      1. Trey

        The vet we used is Dr Sam Backos on Hillsboro Blvd in Deerfield Beach FL, east coast. I think you said you are in SW FL?

  20. Yvette

    I am new to this site. My CAG is 23 years old. Got her as a gift when she was a baby. Had no idea about birds, but, I kept her love, her dearly. Admire all of you, for your passion and dedication. My heart goes to all who’s beloved feathered friend passed. I hope you all take this the way it’s meant. Your loss could be a blessing you cannot imagine….would be a blessing for me, and my girl, Phoenix, if she were to pass on before I ever had to surrender her elsewhere. And I am feeling close to that point because of changes my life, health and energy. Devastating, wouldn’t even begin to describe the thought. A friend babysits her for me, because I am so burnt out. I also care for two cats. One is very special needs. I always tell strangers and friends, they aren’t toys.. don’t get one. Volunteer or foster. Thank you all for being so caring.

  21. Kim artessa

    Ahhh, yes. I’m in West coast. My Gino is in great health but would like to get him set up somewhere

  22. Bonnie Chasanov

    I have 2 rescue AGs. I love them so much. One is 26 and the other is 6. They now are just starting to mix with each other. I’ve had them 4 years. They’re messy and sometimes demanding but I wouldn’t take anything for them. They love me and I love them

  23. Garry

    We lost our African Grey ‘Popeye’ approx. 4 weeks ago. She has been with us 19 years as a family, no idea how old she was when we bought her unfortunately.
    What is really upsetting is that she became sick so suddenly and we probably didn’t pick up on her illness as soon as we should. Very few sign’s of any illness.
    A great Parrot that brought a lot of love and affection to the family, her whistles and general chit chat is really missed.

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  31. Elaine

    Hi everyone.
    I just wanted to leave some information about the loss of my African Grey, Elliott. I am in deep grief. He was 26 1/2 born on July 23, 1991. I took him home at 11 weeks and weaned him and loved him deeply. He passed away on February 6, 2018 at Tufts Veterinary Hospital. I was there. I’m crying deeply as I type this. I loved him so much. I would urge everyone who has an African Grey to take them to a veterinary hospital every year where, not only for blood work and throat cultures but tests for arteriosclerosis. Elliott started to have mini strokes last March 2017. The first time it happened he fell off his perch, I ran to pick him up and his wings were spread out, his claws were clenched, his pupils were dilated. He was vocalizing. I held him to my chest with a small towel over him until it passed. The next day I to him to his Avian vet and through X-rays was told that he had atherosclerosis. I was given “something” his vet made up and told to give it to him 2 times a day. I did. He fell again in May, June, July. It is very frightening. Each time I took him to his vet his throat culture came back with- Ecoli and he was put on antibiotics. Every time. In September Elliott had a very bad stroke and as I held him his eyes were closing. I thought he was dying and I was softly crying. But he came back and I kept bringing him back to the same doctor for more cultures and more AB’s. Finally in January, I visited another Avian vet w/o Elliott. I was hysterically crying. She was so compassionate and told me I could bring Elliott there but advised me to take him to Tufts Veterinary Hospital as she did not have the staff or equipment. I did that on January 22, 2018 and left him for 3 days. Tufts took all his records from his other vet and did blood work, EKG, Echo cardiogram, X-rays. The cardiologist called me that same night. Elliott. He said, has “end stage cardiovascular disease”. I was numb and through soft tears asked how long Elliott had. The cardiologist said- weeks/months. He told me he ordered Elliott a prescription drug called Isoxuprine (sp?), a vasodilator to be given at night by mouth. I picked Elliottnup on January 25, 2018/with the medicine and still n denial, took him home thinking we had a chance. I gave him his medicine every night and on Monday night at 8;45PM, Elliott was in his room playing and I heard him fall. I ran in to get him and he was in his back; claws clenched. I picked him up and held him and this time I heard gurgling in his throat as he was stroking. He came out of it and I knew, just knew that the medicine was not working. I put him bed and the next morning he was very quiet. He ate a little breakfast and then had another stroke at 8:30AM. My husband and I rushed him to Tufts hospital. On the way there, I looked into Elliott’s eyes and he was saying to me, “I am tired. I can’t do this anymore but if you want to take me home, I’ll go”. I looked at him through tear filled eyes and said, “I got it, buddy; I understand”. That is how bonded we were. When we arrived, my husband asked the doctor- where is Elliott?- at the beginning of the night, the middle of the night or the end? The doctor said, Elliott is at the end. I could not let him suffer anymore and I said my goodbyes and hugged and kissed him and let him go. I’m crying as I type this because even now my pain is so deep.

    I urge anyone, if you have a Grey, they are more prone than other parrots to atherosclerosis. Please take him/her to a veterinary teaching Hospital if your loved is seizing, stroking. Because I truly believe that if I left his vet a year ago March 2017 when Elliott had his first stroke and took him to Tufts maybe with the vasodilator he would still be here today. I leave you my email if I can help anyone but urge you to do thay. There was one more thing: Elliott was a great talker and he stopped talking at 17 years of age. I believe his heart condition may have started then and he probably had a stroke and that is why he stopped talking.

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  33. Angel

    I lost my african grey last night,he was just 2.5 months.I got him when he was 1 month. After one week he started to vomitting, I took him to vet for fours times and unfourtunately even by taking medicine, he became weaker. He died in my arms, I do not know what was my fault I am heart broken, I will miss him so much.

  34. Lori A Davis

    I have a pair of CAGs that I inherited from my sister. The female is 30yrs old and the male is 20. Is the female too old to reproduce?

  35. buy birdsnow

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  37. seera

    Psittacus Erithacus Lifespan
    African grey parrot lifespan has an extremely long lifespan they live an average of 60 years the Longevity depends on many parameters (food, hygiene, genetics, health …). Your role is paramount in the life of your parrot. Offer him a good diet, physical activity, care adapted to his species, a healthy living space, etc.

    Can an African Grey Become 90 years old?
    african grey parrot lifespan

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  39. Bruce Little

    I have a fearful question. Gracie is 27 years old and I have raised since birth, she is all I have in my 67 years of life. We spend day and night together. Now Gracies daddy is failing in health, and I have seen first hand what happens to the kindest souls in the animal kingdom African Greys when they loose their owner. Can anyone give me options for that fateful day??? I love my Gracie more than life, I would give her my heart and cut it out myself to save her. I’m not afraid of death, I am scared to death at what becomes of my Congo African Grey Gracie Marie Little in the event I have to leave earth before her. Does anyone out there who knows and feels this same kind of love for their African Grey, have any words of wisdom for this dilemma? I tell Gracie that a Creator that could plant such seeds of love between two different kinds of creatures…just could not take it all away forever in the blink of an eye one day. And that we will be always forever together, no matter what. As an grown old man, I weep in writing this. Gracie is one of the most beautiful intelligent creatures on this earth, but she cannot take care without daddy. What, no how do I prepare her for that day?
    Bruce Little

    1. Sheila Ryan

      Dear Mr. Little’
      I found a parrot rescue close to me and made arrangements that they would take my Polo when my time came. They have promised to find a good and caring home for him. They advised me to write a letter explaining Polo likes and dislikes so that the new owner could carry on his routine, food likes and favorite songs and phrases. I had adopted many years ago a Grey who’s owner had died and he was very much loved by me and I always wished I had known more about him. I had him for 10 very happy years. Polo is now 23 and I am 73 so nothing is sure. I know what my other option could be and I am willing to do that if I have any concerns about his future.
      Sheila Ryan


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