Congo African Grey Parrot

(Psittacus erithacus erithacus)

The Zoo is home to one African grey parrot named Minnow. He was born in 1995 and came to the Zoo in 1998. African grey parrots are well known for their ability to mimic sounds and words, and Minnow is no exception. Minnow is a part of the program animal collection.

Animal Facts


The diet of the African grey parrot consists of the fruits, seeds, nuts and berries of several native rainforest species, including the flesh of oil-palm trees. Its powerful bill can crush most seeds and nuts.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

The Congo African grey is found in Equatorial Africa, ranging from Angola to The Ivory Coast, inland from Kenya to Tanzania. It inhabits rainforests, cultivated land, mangroves, wooded savannas and gardens.

Unfortunately, the African grey parrot has become popular in the pet trade due to its attractive colors and unbelievable talent to mimic sounds and words. It is in the top three most commonly traded birds. Due to such a large demand, baby greys are stolen from the wild to supply the demand. The U.S. Wild Bird Act forbids the commercial import of any bird listed by CITES which includes most parrots — endangered or threatened.