African Grey Parrot Behavior (Problems and Treatment)

Last Updated on April 12, 2023 by Ali Shahid

The African Grey Parrot is an extremely demanding and delicate bird. You must take care of the needs of your African Grey. African Grey parrot behavior problems are typically the result of a lack of responsibility on our part.

As I have already stated, these birds follow a very strict lifestyle and daily routine. The change in their daily routine will have a profound impact on them.

Most of the cases I see at my clinic involve feather-destructive behavior, aggression, inappropriate noises, and excessive vocalization.

Usually, these are more common than medical conditions. In most cases, it is caused by stress, fear, and not enough attention. As highly intelligent parrots, they require plenty of toys and outside playtime to meet their mental stimulation needs.

In this article, I will discuss all African gray parrot behavior problems and how to prevent them, so if you own an African grey parrot, read this article carefully.

African Grey Parrot Behavior

Common African Grey Parrot Behavior Problems and Solutions

Feather Plucking

When African Greys are depressed, stressed, bored, or ill, they pluck their feathers. However, falling feathers in their cages may not mean they have started plucking; it may be a normal molt.

When they begin plucking their own feathers, you should be concerned. Immediately contact an avian veterinarian if you notice your African gray is plucking its feathers. In the meantime, give your parrot some new toys, bathe him regularly, and don’t leave him alone.


African Grey bite, as do other parrots, particularly when they feel threatened. Other reasons may also contribute to biting. Although biting is undesirable, grey parrots might do so to control their environment.

This is a method of challenging you and gaining control over your surroundings. Finally, your parrot may bite if it simply explores its surroundings or an object with its mouth.

Chewing and Gnawing

Chewing is a natural behavior for all parrots. African Greys use their beaks to build nests in the wild or modify hollow trees. The most common behavior is chewing and gnawing. You need the right toys and supplies to satisfy this urge.

African Greys will gnaw on furniture, plants, electrical cords, or other household items if they do not have chewing toys. Parrots chew naturally to keep their beaks healthy.

Standing and Sleeping on One Foot

Normally, your parrot will sleep on one foot, with one foot in the belly feathers. However, if your bird always sleeps or perches on both feet, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Destructive behavior

When a grey parrot exhibits destructive behavior, he or she usually has a problem with the environment or isn’t receiving enough mental stimulation. The grey parrot is an intelligent species that needs constant attention to prevent boredom.

Consider how you spend your time with your bird if it shows signs of blatantly destructive behavior. Generally, this can greatly reduce the destructive tendencies of pet parrots.


Often, a grey parrot who becomes territorial in the middle of the breeding season is simply experiencing hormonal issues.

However, territoriality can be triggered by other factors and can indicate that your parrot does not feel comfortable around you.

Practice some bonding techniques with your feathered friend to prevent territorial behavior. Fundamentally improving your relationship with your pet can help resolve behavior problems. If your bonding practices don’t work, hire a parrot behavior consultant.


Occasionally, grey parrots will charge or lunge at people or other animals. Even though this behavior may be undesirable, it is often a common one among parrots. I recommend that you do not respond to this situation.

This response may have the effect of making your parrot feel threatened and in control of his human. If you do not react, you will notice that the behavior will diminish over time.


It is common for grey parrots to vocalize, but they tend to scream when they feel neglected or are in distress. If a parrot begins to scream, it may be difficult to stop.

Some birds scream when they are tired, frightened, or need to protect their household or family members. Nevertheless, your bird may occasionally scream to let you know he is not alone.

Don’t forget to comfort your companion and let him know you’re there. Most birds will be satisfied with this and will cease to bother you.


A bird performs this behavior in order to relieve tension or to begin the preening process. Nevertheless, if your bird fluffs up and stays that way, you should consult your veterinarian, as it may be an indication of illness.

Treatment of African Grey Parrot Behavioral Problems

The veterinarian will provide you with appropriate treatment and medication if the bird has a medical condition or illness. 

However, if it’s an environmental problem, you can do a few things to fix it. In case you are not a seasoned bird owner or your bird is overly aggressive, it is always advisable to consult with a professional.

  • Cage Size

You should never confine your grey parrot to a small cage. A small cage will cause stress to your bird, resulting in behavioral problems. In general, the width, height, and depth of your parrot’s cage should be twice its wingspan.

The size of the cage will need to be upgraded as the bird grows and matures, so be prepared to do so.

  • Cage Height

The cage of your bird should not be placed on the floor, as this will result in increased stress. The cage should always be placed on a stand at a height just below eye level.

If you have an active, social bird like an African Grey parrot, a larger, taller cage is acceptable.

  • Location of the Cage

If your parrot requires constant social interaction, you should place his or her cage in the room that is most active during the day. However, nervous parrots should be housed in a quieter area.

Place one side of your bird’s cage against a wall at all times. In this way, your bird will be protected from stress since he or she will have a place to hide when required.

It is never a good idea to place your bird’s cage near a window. You will constantly be stressing your bird as it searches for enemies that may harm it.

  • Sleep deprivation

Since grey parrots are native to the tropics, they spend approximately 10 to 12 hours each night in darkness. Generally, adult Grey parrots should sleep for 10 to 12 hours at night.

Rather than simply covering your bird’s cage at night, you should move the cage to a quiet location during the night. When your bird’s cage is kept in the main part of the house, it can still hear the sounds of the house, which will keep them awake.

I recommend dedicating an entire bedroom to their bird’s sleeping quarters and leaving the large cage in the main living area.

  • Boredom

When a bird is bored, it will seek out means of amusement. When you get home from work after several hours of being at work, be prepared to give your bird your full attention.

To relieve your bird’s boredom, provide them with interactive toys that will stimulate their brain and provide amusement. To prevent your bird from becoming bored with the same toys, rotate their toys weekly so they always have something new to play with.

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