How Long Do African Grey Parrots Live?

The lifespan of an African grey parrot is typically 20 to 30 years old. However, with the proper care, some African grey parrots have been known to live beyond 50 years old!


African Grey Parrots are one of the most popular pet birds due to their intelligence and sociable nature. But how long do they live? On average, African Grey Parrots live between 25 and 50 years. However, there are a few factors that can influence their life expectancy. In this article, we’ll discuss more about the lifespan of African Grey Parrots and how to maximize their longevity.

Lifespan of African Grey Parrots

African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) are intelligent birds native to African countries such as Congo, Uganda and Kenya. These birds can live for more than 60 years in captivity and anywhere from 5 to 15 years in the wild. Research suggests that the African grey parrot has a cognitive intelligence equivalent to a 4 or 5 year old human child, with some birds shown to possess unique problem-solving capabilities.

African grey parrots differ from other species of parrots due to their smaller size and quieter mannerisms. Normally, they measure between 10-12 inches in length and between 2 – 3 pounds when fully grown. Characterized by their predominantly grey feathers and white face, tails, wings and crest (top of head), they also have vibrant red accents on their tails which make them quite distinctive from other species.

The maximum lifespan of an African Grey Parrot is determined by various factors, such as the bird’s feeding habits, living environment, access to daily exercise, attentive care and regular veterinarian checkups. In order for your bird to enjoy its full lifespan (50 – 60 years), you must provide your African Grey with a nutrient-rich diet rich in vitamins A & E supplemented with calcium mineral blocks along with sufficient exercise per day.

Factors Affecting Lifespan

The African Grey parrot is renowned for being one of the longest-living parrots, with some individuals living up to 60 years or more. However, there are a variety of factors that can affect the lifespan of your African Grey. From diet and exercise, to environment and genetics, each factor can play a role in how long your parrot will live. Let’s explore the potential factors that can affect the lifespan of African Grey parrots.


The diet of an African Grey Parrot can have a great impact on its lifespan. All parrots benefit from a well-balanced diet that includes seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted or cooked grains, nuts, and pulses like legumes. Additionally, many experts recommend adding a specially formulated parrot pellet mix to create a balanced diet. The diet should be supplemented with calcium sources such as chop (a mix of foods high in calcium) or mineral blocks to prevent any deficiency-related conditions.

Fresh foods should make up 50 to 80 percent of the bird’s daily intake and should be supplemented with vitamins and minerals as suggested by your veterinarian. Avoid over-feeding your African Grey Parrot processed food as it will provide too few vitamins and minerals which are essential for proper growth and development. Limit treats like nut-based treats to 10 percent of the bird’s dietary intake and avoid feeding it chocolate or avocado, which are potentially toxic for birds. By following these guidelines you can ensure the optimum health of your pet African Grey Parrot by providing it with the necessary nutrients for long life.


Many factors can contribute to a long and happy lifespans for African Grey Parrots. With the right care and environment, these birds are capable of living for up to 60 years. Environment plays an important role in this, as it can greatly affect their health and emotional well-being.

African Grey Parrots require adequate space in which to fly and interact with their owners as well as other birds or small animals. If kept in a cage, it must be large enough for the bird’s wingspan, with barriers set high enough so they cannot escape or injure themselves while flying around their enclosure. The cage should also have a selection of suitable perches and toys to keep them busy and stimulated.

Fresh air is very important for African Greys, so owners should ensure that they have regular outdoor access on supervised outdoor trips to keep them active and encourage exploration. This will help prevent boredom as well as reduce stress levels by introducing new stimulus into their surroundings on a regular basis. Proper nutrition is another important factor in determining lifespan; it is best to offer variety in food such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and insects which supplement seed diets providing extra vitamins and minerals that these parrots need for optimal health. Regular trips to the avian veterinarian are also an essential part of responsible ownership, helping identify any potential problems before they become too serious.

Health Care

Maintaining good health care is one of the most important factors influencing the lifespan of African Grey Parrots. Regular visits to an avian veterinarian can help detect any potential health problems early and prevent them from becoming life-threatening illnesses. High-quality nutrition, regular exercise and adequate stimulation are also essential for these birds to remain healthy and live a long, happy life.

Good nutrition can make a big difference in an African Grey Parrot’s life expectancy. It should include a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit, supplemented with a commercial diet specifically designed for parrots. Monitor their food intake to be sure they are consuming enough calories on a daily basis — unlike other pets such as cats or dogs, birds tend not to overeat. It’s important to note that parrots should never be given avocados or chocolate as these contain toxins that are fatal to birds.

Regular exercise is essential for African Grey Parrots to stay active and alert, allowing them to burn off pent up energy in order to stay healthy both physically and mentally. These smart birds learn quickly and enjoy playing with toys that challenge them mentally — puzzles, ladders or anything else that encourages activity are great options for keeping their minds stimulated. Additionally, providing frequent activities such as baths or playtime outside of their cages gives them diversified physical activities which will help improve their muscle coordination while having fun!

Health Concerns

African Grey Parrots have a few health concerns that can affect their life span. These birds can be prone to respiratory illnesses and feather plucking, so proper care needs to be taken to ensure they stay healthy. Diet is also an important factor in the life expectancy of an African Grey Parrot. Proper nutrition and exercise are key to keeping these birds healthy and living a long life. Let’s look into some of the health concerns for African Grey Parrots and how to help prevent them.

Feather Plucking

Feather plucking is a serious health concern in African Grey parrots and can affect their lifespan. If untreated, this behavior can destroy an African Grey’s plumage, and subsequent issues of malnutrition due to reduced intake of food, infection due to exposed skin, and self-mutilation can create further health issues. Causes of feather plucking are many, though most often attributed to boredom or stress. It is important that owners do what they can to minimize stressors in the parrot’s environment by providing ample opportunity for interaction with its human family and providing stimulating toys and activities. Veterinary diagnosis is typically necessary to identify any medical problems related to the feather plucking condition. Treatment for feather plucking might include psychopharmaceutical drugs or behavior modification techniques as prescribed by your Avian veterinary specialist. Early detection of feather plucking is important for successfully implementing treatment and returning the African Grey Parrot to a healthy state.

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) is a virus which affects parrots of the Psittacidae family and is an emerging health concern for African grey parrots in particular. This virus can be found naturally in wild birds, but it is much easier for pet populations to contract due to contact among birds or even contaminated environments. Symptoms of this disease may include changes to beak and feather appearance, decreased appetite, weight loss, lethargy, issues with normal body functions and increased susceptibility to other diseases. Currently there is no cure but researchers continue working on potential treatments. To help reduce the chance of infection bird owners should avoid bringing in new birds or allowing contact with other birds’ pet cages or aviaries, as well as using appropriate cleaning protocols for toys and equipment that come into contact with diseased birds.

Respiratory Infections

African Grey Parrots are susceptible to respiratory illnesses, and one of the leading causes of death in avian companion birds is respiratory infections. These infections can be caused by viral, bacterial or fungal organisms, and some can be passed from wild birds to companion parrots. To reduce your parrot’s risk of developing a respiratory infection, avoid exposing your parrot to other birds as much as possible and carefully monitor its health for signs of illness such as weight loss, coughing or sneezing. Proper hygiene and sanitation is key in keeping your African Grey Parrot healthy — keep their environment clean and don’t forget regular visits to the veterinarian for preventative health screenings. It’s also important to get your African Grey Parrot tested for avian born diseases (ABD) at least once a year so you can stay informed about any health risks that may arise.

Tips for a Longer Lifespan

African Grey Parrots are one of the most intelligent and beloved species of pet parrot in the world. However, their lifespan can vary significantly depending on how well they are taken care of. There are a few tips you can follow to help ensure that your African Grey Parrot lives a long and healthy life. In this article, we will discuss these tips and how to make sure your African Grey Parrot lives for as long as possible.

Provide the Proper Diet

A proper diet is essential for African Grey parrots to reach their maximum lifespan. A diet that is low in fat and high in vitamins, minerals, and proteins helps provide the nutrients African Greys need to stay healthy and happy. Feeding your African Grey a variety of foods from all the food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins) keeps them from becoming bored with the same foods every day. Offer foods such as fruits like apples and oranges; vegetables such as carrots and broccoli; grains like millet or sprouted sunflower seeds; proteins like hard-boiled eggs or cooked beans or other legumes; nuts like almonds or walnuts; as well as cooked plain poultry that has been prepared specifically for birds.

African Greys love fresh foods but canned and commercial mixes may also be used occasionally. Avoid fatty treats like sunflower seeds in the shell—they are high in fat—as well as dairy products, since they can cause digestive problems. In addition to the fresh foods described above, many pet owners feed their branch of the family dried leafy greens they purchase at pet stores such as kale chips or mung bean sprouts. Store bought mixes containing a variety of nuts, pellets and other foodstuffs can also provide a balanced diet for your lovely parrot.

Ensure Proper Exercise

Physical exercise is essential for any animal, and African Grey Parrots are no exception. Without proper exercise, the physical and nutritious needs of any pet are not met. While it’s important to give your parrot plenty of time to fly and explore, it’s also important to provide them with toys and puzzles that stimulate their minds. There are a variety of options for these activities, and when rotated frequently they will keep your parrot active and entertained.

Regular exercises ensure that all aspects of health needs are met; mental alertness is improved through activity levels, stronger bones due to the activity levels aiding in balance and coordination, better nutrition as the more active your parrot is the greater the appetite which can help in picking out a dietary variety of food as well as ensure that there aren’t any overweightness related health issues such as diabetes or joint problems. All of this contributes towards providing an African Grey Parrot with a longer lifespan potential than if these aspects were merely overlooked or not taken seriously.

Provide a Stimulating Environment

Providing a stimulating environment for an African Grey parrot is an essential part of keeping it healthy and giving it a long life. Parrots need mental and physical exercise to stay healthy, so put thought into the design of your pet bird’s home. Include such items as ropes, ladders, colorful toys, bells, mirrors, swings and cuttlebones to help keep your African Grey engaged and active. Place high-quality food near different perches throughout its cage to provide challenges as your pet looks for the food in different areas. Also place on each perch at least one item that encourages play, like hardwood blocks or colorful paper shreds with words written on them. Additionally, provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the diet of your African Grey parrot at least four times each week to ensure optimal health and long life.


In conclusion, African Grey Parrots have the potential to live anywhere from 15-50 years, and the exact lifespan of any individual African Grey is influenced by many factors. These include genetics, nutrition, husbandry and overall health. It is important to do your research before deciding if you can give your parrot a loving home for life. With proper care and attention, African Greys are an amazing pet that can easily form a lifelong bond with their owners.

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