Grey Parrots Vs Eclectus Parrots

Both Grey Parrots and Eclectus Parrots are widely bred and both of them make popular pets, especially the African Grey.

grey parrots vs eclectus parrots

Grey Parrots Vs Eclectus Parrots

The Grey is very popular as a pet, but neither of them has close relatives within the parrot family.

They were both brought to Europe as early as the 1500s, althought it was only realized a lot later that the cock and hen Eclectus Parrot are in fact the same species of bird, as their appearance is so different.

The grey parrot extends right across Africa, living in the equatorial region south of the Sahara.

There are two recognizable forms, the timneh and the red-tailed.

The timneh is found only on the western side of the continent. It can be distinguished from the red-tailed by its smaller size, darker grey coloration, lighter colored upper bill and maroon tail feathers.

Young birds of either type can be identified by their dark irises, and mature birds have darker irises.

Sexing grey parrots visually is difficult, although in some cases cock birds may have recognizably darker coloring on their wings.eclectus parrot

For breeding purposes DNA sexing is recommended, although simply having a true pair offers no guarantee of success if wanting to breed. Compatibility is an important consideration, and it is for this reason that a proven pair of grey parrots is likely to command a premium price compared with a sexed pair which have not bred together previously.

Should you find that after two years or so, a pair has shown no interest in breeding, it may be worthwhile swapping the maie out. Breeding success may then follow quite rapidly, with the hen already well-established in her quarters.

A standard quality parrot seed mix can be used as the basis for their diet, but a complete pelleted diet is always better.

Greys are prone to feather plucking, particularly in the home, and this may be linked to a poor diet coupled with lack of bathing facilities.

Daily spraying is necessary if the parrot is kept in the house.

Greys dislike cold damp weather and in an aviary it is vital they have suitable indoor accommodation when the weather is bad. Only well-acclimatized birds should be expected to be out in winter without heating.

Greys develop into excellent pets and are unrivaled mimics, but they do have a shy side to their natures.

It is very important to get a grey parrot soon after weaning if you are seeking a pet. They are shy birds, and it is very difficult to win the confidence of an untamed adult bird.african grey parrot

Greys nest through much of the year and are bred and hand-reared on a large scale, so there is usually a ready choice of chicks available worldwide.

Eclectus parrots do not have a fixed breeding season, but can breed through much of the year.

Hens lay two eggs in a clutch, with incubation and fledging details similar to those of the grey parrot. Pairs will often produce young of one sex only, although it is unclear why this is so.

It is vital that eclectus parrots have a good supply of green stuff such as spinach, chickweed and dandelion as part of their regular daily diet, along with vegetables such as corn on the cob and carrots. A vitamin and mineral supplement is advisable if the birds are eating seed rather than complete food.

The cock bird is predominantly green while the hen is mainly red. Young birds show these different colors as soon as they start to feather up in the nest.


  1. I LOVE BIRDS. African greys used to be my favorites, however, I was told that they were either very nice and rarely talked, or mean and talked a lot. 

    Over the years, I learned (or believe) that is not true. I have only owned Parakeets and they have been amazing, friendly, and super attached. I was so glad you mentioned that the pellet diet is more beneficial for them. So many people just assume to feed seeds, not realizing the lack of nutrients in that diet. Not to mention the fact that you can feed them certain vegetables and fruits! This was an informative article. TY

    1. Thanks for your comment Kelly Ann. I think the more patient you are and the more time you give to your bird, the tamer and more friendly it becomes. They only get aggressive if they are insecure and not looked after properly or not stimulated enough.

      Pellets are definitely the best if you want your bird to get a balanced diet. The problem is sometimes they don’t want to eat the pellets, so this is a training process in itself.

  2. I grew up having parrots. They were one of my favorite pets to have. Very docile at times and playful. My brothers and I loved having them loose around the house.

    They would sing and croak like crazy and drive my mom up a wall. But we loved them anyhow and as some passed on or flew away we would buy more.

    Great pet to have for any age group especially when you get into the more rare breeds. When you raise them from a baby is always best.

  3. I have heard about Grey Parrots before a lot, but didn’t know that Eclectus parrots are also kept as pets and they look beautiful. I love the red and black colors, and I hope that I can find them somewhere to buy them. Although I will inform myself a lot more before having it as a pet, because I have heard that there can be behaviour problems and that they can get quite old, so I would need to make sure that my children could take care of it after I’m gone.

    1. A parrot does make a wonderful pet or more, a member of the family as they live so long. It is a huge commitment to take one on as they do need love and attention and it’s a forever type of pet. The tricky part is choosing the right type of parrot for you, so you are right to do your due diligence.

  4. Hi Michel, 

    Thanks for your post on Parrots. We grew up with parakeets. I have learned much about real parrots from your post. Are Grey Parrots and Eclectus Parrots found mostly in Europe? They are beautiful birds. Knowing the best foods for their diet will keep keep a healthy bird. I was wondering, how long can you expect parrots to live? How long should you expect to have one?

    1. Actually Carolyn they come mainly from different parts of Africa. If you buy a parrot, expect a pet for at least forty to sixty years. You can definitely consider a parrot of this nature a life long pet.

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