Timneh African Grey Parrot: Features, Facts To Know About The Species

The most common family pets you can think of are the canines and the felines; however, there are still people whose taste in animal companions runs to feathery creatures, especially the parrots. Among the category of parrots referred to as African Grey Parrot is the Timneh African Grey Parrot which gained popularity for its outstanding ability to learn and mimic any sound it hears.

According to people who keep these birds as companions, the Timneh Parrot is always attuned to people’s emotions and often talks in context. The bird is highly intelligent, earning the title “The Einsteins of the Bird World” for their smartness.

Physical Characteristics Of The Timneh African Grey Parrot

The Timneh African Grey Parrot can weigh 275–375 grams or 9.7–13.2 oz at the adult stage when it gets to a height that ranges from 28 to 33 cm or 11 to 13 in. This statistic is an indication of the grey bird’s medium size. Other physical characteristics of the Timneh include a pair of pale yellow eyes and a white face mask.

It is recognized as one of the Psittacus species which includes the Congo Africa Grey Parrot; however, the Timneh is darker and smaller in comparison. Rather than crimson, the bird’s tail comes in a dull, dark maroon. Its upper mandible has a horn-colored patch. Timneh parrot is one bird credited with intelligence and as one of the greatest mimics that exist among the species of parrots. Besides, the Timneh develops very fast and starts talking relatively early. The bird is comfortable around human beings and is quite outgoing.

Personality: Do They Make Good Pets?

Personality traits of the Timneh African Grey Parrot suggest that they are highly intelligent birds, talkative, sociable, and able to blend with humans.

Lumped with its closely related cousin – the Congo Parrot as the African Grey Parrots, Timneh has gained popularity as one of the most popular pet birds in different parts of the world like Europe, The United States of America, as well as the Middle East. This is all thanks to the bird’s longevity and surprising ability to imitate human speech.

Though Timneh African Grey Parrots are known to make good family pets, they require loads of hands-on time and attention. However, owners need to be aware of the fact that this talkative bird is not a cuddle bug that will appreciate too much physical contact, but there are individual birds that won’t mind being snuggled from time to time.

Your Timneh may tolerate a bit of petting involving some head-scratching, but you must remember that each bird comes with its individual preferences and tastes. Thus, you shouldn’t be too disappointed if your feathery baby is averse to petting. Also, there are some grey parrots that show tendencies of becoming a “one person bird” even when all family members made conscious efforts to socialize with it from inception. This category of birds may not tolerate any other person.

Timneh African Grey Parrot which is classed among the most talkative in the parrot family has the talking ability as its greatest appeal. The bird is capable of repeating phrases and words after hearing them for the first time or twice. This feathery baby’s full talking ability is attained at age one, but we have seen individual cases where a Timneh becomes capable of mimics much earlier than a year.

However, pet parents shouldn’t be deceived by this beautiful talking ability of the Timneh African Grey Parrot as that doesn’t make them less noisy than other birds. The Timneh may not be as persistent or loud as many of the species from South America, but they are capable of imbibing household sounds which they will use non-stop to the dismay of their human family. You can imagine a cellphone ringing incessantly or the microwave beeping continuously without that luxury of switching it off.

Differences & Similarities Between A Timneh African Grey Parrot And Congo Africa Grey

Timneh African Grey Parrot
Timneh versus Congo source

The Timneh African Grey Parrot and Congo Africa Grey Parrot share a lot of similarities as much as they have some distinctive differences. For one, they are both medium-sized birds but compared to Congo Africa Grey, Timneh is a bit on the small side, growing up to 11–13 in or 28–33 centimeters. On the other hand, the Congo Grey’s height is approximately 13 inches or 33 cm with a wingspan that can be spread across 18–20 in or 46–52 cm. While the Timneh can weigh from 9.7–13.2 oz or 275–375 grams, the Congo Grey typically weighs 0.88 lb or 400g.

While both birds are predominantly grey, Timneh African Grey Parrot’s plumage is majorly a speckled grey with eyes that are pale yellow and a whitish face mask. Relative to the Congo Grey, the Timneh appears darker, and rather than crimson, it sports a dull, dark maroon tail tapered to the end of its body. Also, there is a horn-colored patch visible on the bird’s upper mandible. For the Congo Grey Parrot, its grey color appears darker on the two wings and over its head. The bird’s body feathers and head come with slight white edges. The Congo Grey is distinguished by its tail feathers that are red in color.

Read Also: How Long do Rabbits Live as Pets?

Parrot breeders who engage in selection breeding have realized several grey parrots that are either partly red or the whole body is covered in red color. Both the males and the females have a similar appearance, even the younger birds have similar coloration to the adult ones. However, the juvenile grey parrots have eyes that are dark grey to black, relative to the yellow irises surrounding the dark eyes of the adult birds. Besides, the undertail coverts of the younger birds are tinged with grey.

Another similarity that the Timneh African Grey Parrot shares with the Congo Grey parrot is its extraordinary intelligence which makes the bird a skilled mimic. This is exactly why people love to keep them as household pets. However, the Timneh African Grey Parrot has an edge over the Congo Grey as it starts talking at a younger age. They are known to be less nervous than their cousins and more outgoing when they are around humans.

How Long Does The Timneh African Grey Parrot Live?

It is an established fact that animals that live in the wild will have a shorter life expectancy than their domesticated counterparts and the Timneh African Grey Parrot is not different from the rest. The feral bird may survive for a period that will not exceed 23 years, however, the few ones that are lucky to be adopted into families as household pets are at a greater advantage of living as long as 40 years.

There have been special cases of Timneh that lived up to 60 years with their human families. This points
to the fact that the bird enjoys longevity.

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