Fun Timneh Parrot Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
Oct 20, 2022 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Timneh parrot facts, also called African grey parrot timneh.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.0 Min

Let us explore some interesting facts about African grey parrots, known as timneh parrot. It is also named timneh grey parrot or timneh African grey parrot.

Congo African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) and timneh grey parrot (Psittacus timneh) are two types of grey parrots that are available over a wide range in Africa. Earlier it was grouped under the subspecies of the grey parrots Psittacus erithacus timneh.

But in 2012 because of its unique features such as size, plumage, and behavior, it was ranked with a separate name called Psittacus timneh.

This parrot is famous among pet birds in the US and Middle Eastern countries because people are fascinated by its intelligence and ability to mimic human speech and words. In addition, it is one of the best-loved pets worldwide because of its affectionate and fun-loving nature.

Read on to know more about this timneh African grey parrot. To learn about similar species, check out these blue jay facts and hummingbird facts.

Timneh Parrot Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a timneh parrot?

Timneh parrot is one of the West African grey parrots and is the best companion parrot. It can be seen naturally in West and Central Africa. It is one of the most intelligent birds which can grasp and understand the human language.

What class of animal does a timneh parrot belong to?

Timneh African grey parrots (TAG) belong to the Aves class and the Psittacidae family.

How many timneh parrots are there in the world?

The total number of timneh parrots range from 120,000–259,000. The maximum populations are seen in countries such as Liberia (50,000–100,000) and Ivory Coast (54,000–130,000), Guinea-Bissau (100–1,000), Guinea (5,000–10,000), Sierra Leone (11,000–18,000).

Where does a timneh parrot live?

Timneh African grey Psittacus has originated in the West African country Liberia. Timneh parrots' range spreads across Western parts of Upper Guinean forests in West Africa, ranging from Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leona, and Southern Mali to the east of Bandama River in Ivory Coast.

What is a timneh parrot's habitat?

The habitat of these Congo African greys is dense woodlands in the forest beside waterways, mangroves, savanna woodland. They are sometimes found in agricultural lands but their stability in such cultivated lands is not studied. These African greys migrate from the barren range habitats in the dry season.

Who do timneh parrots live with?

Timneh parrots are medium in size, shy, grey parrots interested in living in large colonies. They do not like to mingle with other bird species.

They are often found mingling with African greys for searching and consuming food such as shoots and tender roots. They cannot stay alone for long hours. Loneliness can show adverse effects on these birds, and sometimes they depict feather-picking behavior when they are alone.

How long does a timneh parrot live?

Owners of these greys cannot settle with a single reason to love and care for this pet. The life span of this magnificent African grey Psittacus is 50-70 long years. So you will have a long-established time to spend with this talkative timneh African parrot.

How do they reproduce?

Timneh can attain sexual maturity at four years of age. Once they attain maturity, they enter into life long monogamous relationship with their partner, where these birds select their partner very carefully.

Their mating reflects both physical and emotional attachment where the male feeds the female, and both enjoy singing soft notes and perform dances by dropping their feathers. They search for nesting sites away from the predators.

In general African greys form nest on the old trees at a height. While the female bird rests in the nest and incubates the eggs, the male bird will act as a guardian.

Both parents will feed the baby birds until they become independent in one year. The female lays 3-5 eggs in two to five days. The incubation period is 30 days.

What is their conservation status?

As per IUCN red list, the conservation status of this timneh African greys is Endangered. Based on the genetic, plumage, vocal differences, this species is given separate status and classified as Endangered by BirdLife International in 2012.

Because of habitat loss and the illegal pet trade, the population of these birds has been rapidly reducing for the last three generations. This valuable species should be protected and taken care of from the illegal pet trade before it's too late.

Trade restrictions are implemented, and conservation sites are identified in Sierra Leone, Guinea, to save this species.

Timneh Parrot Fun Facts

What do timneh parrots look like?

It is the best companion parrot called TAG in aviculture, a short form of Timneh African grey. This parrot is darker grey compared to Congo African grey, with dark feathers on the head, upper chest, and back and lighter shades on their abdomen.

The feathers are in V shape. Its plumage is in mottled grey with a white face mask; one unique feature is the upper beak in the color of horns. Juveniles have black eyes while the adults with pale yellow eyes.

Psittacus erithacus timneh, with dark grey feathers on the head, back, and upper chest.

How cute are they?

They are cute parrots that entertain us with their talking ability and mimicry skills. Generally, parrots are cute species with attractive colors.

How do they communicate?

Some birds start talking at early stages, around five months, but most birds will start talking around eight months. Just like humans, they also pass through the babbling stage. In a relaxed mood, they make jungle sounds.

When threatened, they make a growling sound. They grasp things easily and can imitate any other animal's voice with ease. These birds sometimes mislead you by making telephonic sounds or mimicking your favorite television show; they have an incredible capacity of learning 200 words and solving simple puzzles.

How big is a timneh parrot?

The length of this Psittacus erithacus timneh is 11-13 in (27.5 - 32.5 cm) from beak to tail.  

How fast can a timneh parrot fly?

These monogamous parrots fly freely in forest environments. The exact speed of this bird is not known, but they can travel to a distance of 6.21 miles (10 km ) in a single day.

How much does a timneh parrot weigh?

The weight of this timneh parrot is 9.7–14.10 oz (275–400 g). Its weight is approximately two-thirds the weight of Congo African greys.

What are the male and female names of the species?

This species is monomorphic. Even owners cannot distinguish between males and females. In general, the male is called male timneh parrot and a female as female timneh parrot.

What would you call a baby timneh parrot?

The baby timneh parrot is known as a chick. Chicks are in dark grey shaded colors as compared to adults.

What do they eat?

In the wild, these birds feed on seeds, nuts, fruits, and sometimes snails. They are often found near waterholes eating clay.

The habit of eating clay helps to remove toxins and helps in providing essential minerals. In captivity, it is advised to provide a small serving of fruits, veggies along with pellets, and turkey to prevent calcium deficiency and for healthy growth.

Are they dangerous?

No, these parrots are not dangerous birds, they love to be around people, and it's one of the best options as a pet bird.

Would they make a good pet?

It is the best option as a companion pet just like a cockatiels. It can be compared to a five-year-old toddler in its intelligence. You can't resist praising its ability to replicate the words and simple sentences, and it will never disappoint you and will become a part of your family.

Did you know...

Did you know that African grey parrots shiver? It may be because of cold or when they are scared or excited.

The average price of timneh is $2,000 – $3,500. While adopting it may only cost up to $450.

What is the difference between a timneh African grey parrot and a Congo parrot?

TAG is a calm-natured parrot that often gets confused with an African grey parrot. Both have a similar diet, region, and reproductive system, so it's common to get confused between them. Let's explore some of the differences between African grey parrot and timneh grey parrot.

The Congo African greys have a vivid red tail, timneh African grey parrot has a dark maroon tail. The Congo parrot has a color range from dark to light grey with a black beak. At the same time, timneh African bird is in dark charcoal grey with a pink upper beak.

Congo African grey is slightly larger than the timneh African grey bird. Congo grows till 12-16 in (30.5-40.6 cm) and weighs around 0.8–1.4 lb (362.9-635.03 gm), whereas timneh African reaches up to 11.1 in (28.2 cm) and grows to 0.6–0.8 lb (272.16-362.9 gm).

Though both species are African range parrots, Congo African grey is native of Central Africa (Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda) whereas timneh African is native to western Africa (Mali, Sierra Lorne, Guinea).

Congo African grey parrot and timneh African grey Psittacus are great talkers and equally intelligent. Timneh African greys mature earlier and begin to talk simple words and sentences by six months, whereas Congos begin talking by one year.

They both mingle quickly with their caretakers; Congo African grey likes one person at a time while in contrast, timneh likes to gel up with all the members of the family. Congos has good mimic skills in contrast to timneh.

African greys like to use their voice. Timneh African greys are less nervous when compared to Congo African greys.

Why are timneh parrots endangered?

Timneh African greys were considered to be endangered in 2016 by IUCN. Global wildlife trade, habitat loss are the main threats that resulted in the decline of these African greys.

In addition, climatic changes and the loss of forests indirectly resulted in the food unavailability for these birds. All these factors contributed to the change in its status to endangered.

Awareness among pet traders about the rules of exports, a ban on exporting these birds, strict punishments to the poachers, and the reintroduction process in the suitable habitat will help to save these species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these  Amazon parrot facts and rainbow bee eater facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Timneh parrot coloring pages.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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