African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus)
African gray parrots are highly preferred in Turkey as a breed from the notorious african grey parrot Psittacus family. There are 3 species of gir parrots as the only member of this family, Psittacus Erihacus.
African Grey Parrot Species
- Erithatus: It is called Congo, Cameroon or Red Tail gray parrot in Turkey. Most growers and breeders prefer this species, it is the largest among them in terms of size. It is the largest gray parrot species in length and weight among the 3 species. In terms of size, the distance between the head and the feet of a red tail gray parrot is between 31 cm and 41 cm under normal conditions. The length distance between the wings of a normal red tail gray parrot is between 47 cm and 50 cm. In general conditions, a normal Congo parrot weighs between 450 g and 700 g. This species with a black beak has a bright red tail, which is one of the most important features of the parrot breed. The red tail gray parrot, which is light in color as 2 types, is also separated as silver color.
- Timneh: It is slightly smaller than Erithatus (African red tail gray parrot), a breed known as African gray timneh or Timneh in Turkey. If we look at its dimensions, it is between 25cm and 30cm and its weight is between 250gr and 300gr. In terms of color, they are darker gray and close to black. Their tails are close to dark red brown in color. The upper part of their beak is yellow.
- Princeps: This species was found in ancient sources, but it has been determined that it is extinct today. We observe that this species is a hybrid of Erithatus and Timneh parrots, which we have described above. The habitat of this species was seen in the Gulf of Ghana, Principe and Fernando Poo islands, according to ancient sources. Since we can no longer see this species anywhere in the African continent, it is recorded as the third species. It is also recorded as the African parrot with the darkest color among these three species.
Let’s Examine the African Gray Parrot Regionally
Countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Grain, Uganda, Kenya, and Gabon observe the red tail gray parrot as the main countries of this breed. There are also physical differences of gray parrots according to the regions they are found in. In the map below, the body weights of red tail gray parrots increase as Gabon comes to Congo in the parts indicated by the blue line. While the weight of the parrot in the Zahire region is 600gr, it reaches up to 700 grams in the Gabon-Congo sides. Timneh species are found in countries such as Sierra and Liberia. The gray parrot trade is shown as the largest trade in these countries. While the gray parrot species is going to extinction due to irregular hunting, we hear that precautions are taken in these regions to protect this species.
African Gray Parrot Characteristics
In Africa, countries such as Congo, Cameroon, Ghana, and Zahire were allowed to leave the country through legal means in the parrot trade, but were stopped for a while. These beautiful animals are taken out of the country illegally in other states as well as in our country. Due to bad travel conditions, most of them die during the journey or even though they complete their journey in a sick way, they do not lead a very active life in their later life.
One of the most interesting cage birds in recent times is the African Gray Parrot. This breed, known as the Amazon Parrot, has a much superior speech ability compared to other amazon parrots with many different colors. Although other African parrots are more beautiful and colorful, they are less talkative. Gray parrots are so talented that many breeders emphasize that their birds imitate their owners’ voices very well, even with the tone of voice. So much so that the parrot speaking with a father’s voice was able to deceive the man’s son. The fact that they have enough imitation power to fool people so well makes them very popular.
Gray parrots are mostly brought from South America, Asia, Australia and Africa. A male African parrot is usually the size of a pigeon. The female is even smaller. The body is gray, the tail is light red in the adult, and the dark red color tone is dominant in the immature. While the eyes are black under one year of age, they turn gray after 1 year and finally yellowish. Normally, they can live 20-25 years, sometimes up to 70s.
Behavior Patterns of Jaco Parrots in Their Habitats
It is a species that generally lives in herds and in harmony with each other. They form large flocks, disperse in the general habitat and forage. Towards sunset, the flock chooses a certain accommodation and always stays together. Herd members from every corner call each other loudly and show directions until it gets dark and night falls. With the first light of the morning, the herd starts to disperse in small groups, loudly calling each other to the feeding areas they have determined before. In cagelife, this instinctive behavior is the reason why jackos sing loudly in the early morning and before dark in the evening.
What Do African Gray Parrots Eat?
The main ingredients in their diet are local fruits and seeds, freshly ripened tree seeds and cereals. They fly very long distances and look for fodder areas, while they plunder especially corn and grain fields close to settlements. For this reason, they are often hunted by local people and are not very well liked.