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Types of African Grey Parrots


Staff member
Types of African Grey Parrots

Most people may not know that African Grey Parrots have two different types. African grey parrots are divided into two subspecies. They are the Congo African grey and the Timneh African grey. Both look very similar. Although the Congo and Timneh African Grey parrots do both come from Africa, they hail from different regions of the continent. They are different sizes and have slight color differences.


Both are intelligent birds, however, and will bond with their humans. It is the Timneh that is considered the calmer of the two breeds, and they are less likely to suffer from anxiety and stress-related illnesses. Although there are some differences in the way they mimic, both breeds are known to be effective talkers. The more quickly maturing Timneh is the most likely to talk from a younger age, however, and will usually be able to string together a sentence by the time he reaches 6 months of age.

The Difference Between Timneh & Congo Parrots

The main way that you’ll be able to tell which variety you have is by looking at the size of your African grey. A Congo African grey will almost always be larger than a Timneh African grey. Congos typically reach between 12 and 14 inches in length. Congo African grey parrots have wingspans that extend up to 20 inches. They typically weigh in at about 16 ounces. A Timneh African grey parrot is slightly smaller.

You’ll typically see them measuring in at around 10 inches in length with wingspans of 14 inches. The typical Timneh African grey weighs around 11 ounces. Both Congo and Timneh African grey parrots share the same intelligence levels and talking abilities. The only difference that can be observed in regards to speech ability is that Timneh African greys tend to begin forming sentences for the first time at around six months of age. It typically takes a Congo African grey a full year to form a sentence.

Visual Differences

The two parrots show slight differences in color. Timneh is dark gray and charcoal, while Congo can range from dark gray to light gray. The Timneh also has a pink upper beak and the Congo has a plain black beak. The tail feathers of the African grey Congo are bright red. While the Timneh has dark brown tail feathers.


Both Congo and Timneh African greys have the intellectual capacity of a 5-year-old child and the emotional level of a perpetual 2 year old. Timneh African greys are known to have a more stable personality than their larger cousins, because they have a faster maturation rate. Congo’s can be just as stable with the right encouragement, commitment and nurturing. Read complete article here!