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Personality

Strangely enough for a bird who tends to have such a big tendency to be fearful and neurotic, the African Gray possesses the most stable temperament in the psittacide world. As much as he can prove to be rather unruly when he is young, further down the line when he reaches his clothes temperament becomes calm and thoughtful. In contrast to other parrots, the Gray does not have the inclination to change his personality or behavior during the mating season, which is in my opinion a very big point in his favor.

In that respect you'll also be glad to learn about the African Gray's mating call, or rather the lack thereof. In fact, this parrot does not really have a recognizable mating call per se, which is good news for the heat of spring – when hormones are raging and most parrots are screaming. However sound-wise they can still drive you crazy: African Greys can make their imitation of the microwave oven beep or other electrical appliance every bit as maddening as a repetitive mating call!

Even though they are less popular, Timneh African parrots have a less sullen character than their Congo cousins. They tend to be less nervous and more rebellious, and also more inclined to do silly things to attract their audience's attention or simply to have fun.

Behavior

The more intelligent animal is, the more he is at risk of developing behavioral problems, and as you know, the African Gray is extremely intelligent! For example, only attention-hungry Cockatoos engage in more severe feather plucking than Greys do, so their sensitivity has to be taken into account to avoid similar excesses.

Due largely to his sensitive nature and to his impressive intelligence, the African Gray can react in a very negative way to a clumsy educator or to a coercing training session. This is why training African Greys should never implying forcing them to do what they do not want to, otherwise it is actually certain they will develop a phobic behavior.

Greys only learn through positive reinforcement, therefore educating a Gray should draw more from child pedagogy than dog training principles.

Socialization

Socialization is a very important consideration when re-homing an African Gray parrot.

In your first days with an African Gray, he will start to weave a very strong link with his perceived partner (be it another bird or a human) and will become totally devoted to him or her. He can become possessive with the latter and aggressive towards their entourage, and even be jealous of his favorite human so much that he will reject all the other members of the family, including other pets.

A good socialization can prevent that problem. Greys are the most gregarious of all parrots and need to feel accepted as full members of their social group (or human family). On the contrary, lack of socialization in his early days could turn your feathered friend into a neurotic adult parrot.

In a word, even if you try to socialize your bird as much as you can (and you should), remember that as they are distrusting, shy and angry by nature, Greys will not very sociable towards strangers, and in general will not get along with children.

The bottom line

In contrast to what is often heard, the African Gray is a very affectionate bird. In his early childhood, when your Gray has not yet developed a high level of mistrust, it is necessary to handle him often and to let him live safe "adventures", like seeing different places in the house, or meeting different people and realizing them 're not a threat. Teaching him early on that biting is not a means to communicate will also help. After this stage, your Gray will become a lot more ready to accept new humans and new objects in his familiar environment.

Source by Laurene Arroyo