African grey parrots are extremely intelligent and alert. They are considered to be one of the top companion bird species for potential mimicking, which may include sounds such as dripping water, flushing toilets, squeaky doors, and coughs or sneezes of family members. Although African greys have been recorded to live 50 years or more in the wild, they tend to live only an average of 15 years in captivity, often due to inappropriate diet. Research indicates that African grey parrots must have direct daily access to sunlight or UVB full-spectrum lighting in order to obtain the ideal levels of vitamin D3 and normal calcium levels in the blood.
There is a tendency for African greys to form a bond with an individual family member and become aggressive toward others, especially during the breeding season. African grey parrots may also have a tendency toward atherosclerosis and feather picking. Feeding Harrison’s High Potency Coarse formulation as directed on the bag, with no seeds, nuts or table foods, appears to minimize these negative characteristics.