Timneh African Grey

The Timneh (pronunciation: tim-nuh) African grey parrot, found in West Africa, is part of the genus given the moniker, ‘the Einstein’s of the bird world,’ and by no means is the epithet a stretch. It is rapidly catching up with the Congo African grey in terms of popularity for adoption as pets, and with good reason, as the Timneh is smaller and easier to maintain than the Congo.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Psittaciformes
Superfamily Psittacoidea
Family Psittacidae
Subfamily Psittacinae
Genus Psittacus
Scientific Name Psittacus timneh


Quick Information

Other Names Timneh grey parrot, Timneh African grey parrot, TAG
Size 11-13 inches (28-33 cm)
Weight 9.7-13.2 oz (275-375 gm)
Color Mottled grey plumage, white face mask, pale yellow eyes, dark maroon tail and the upper mandible is black with pink patches on either side
Distribution Liberia, Sierra Leone, extreme western parts of Ivory Coast, Southern Guinea
Habitat Dense forests, forest edges and clearings, savannah woodlands and mangroves

Sometimes also found in gardens and cultivation fields

Sounds & Talking Noise levels are moderate with this bird, while their talking ability is excellent, they are also skilled mimics and tend to pick up sounds they listen in the environment around them
Clutch 3-5 oval eggs
Incubation Period 30 days after laying the first egg
Breeding Season Variable
Fledging 12 weeks
Sexual Maturity 4 years
Lifespan An average life expectancy of 15-25 years, some can live in captivity for up to 70 years
Diet Fruits, seeds, nuts, and leaves
IUCN Conservation Status Vulnerable

Color mutations

  • Red pied
  • Albino
  • Ino
  • Blue
  • Cinnamon
  • Red
African Grey Timneh

African Grey Timneh

Red Timneh African Grey

Red Timneh African Grey

As pets

The Timneh African grey has recently gained considerable popularity as pets across the world owing to its easy going ways, good sociable characteristics and cheerful demeanor.


Provide your bird a cage with as large a size as possible, preferably 4’x4’x4’, as Timnehs are an active bird who like to spread their wings frequently. It needs to be let out of the cage for as long as possible. The cage should be placed somewhere that is draft-free and well-lighted. A parrot perch or a playpen will ensure that you TAG is kept busy for most of the day, without requiring too much of your attention.

Perches made out of natural wood must be provided to your bird, as well as toys such as parrot swings, bells, chains, climbing ropes, and destructible bird toys.


The Timneh African grey can be kept at room temperature.

Timneh African Grey Baby

Timneh African Grey Baby

Timneh African Grey Bird

Timneh African Grey Bird

Temperament & Personality

Compared to its close cousin, the Congo African grey parrot, Timnehs are less nervous around new surroundings and has a more inquisitive behavior by nature. In fact, when it comes to being able to learn to talk, the Timnehs have excelled more than their cousins from Congo by being able to pick up lessons at a much younger age. Training must be started from an adequately young age to get the best results.

One thing to keep in mind with all African grey parrots, including the Timneh, is that they tend to have hard beaks and sometimes instead of giving a gentle nip to warn off its human, it bites hard. Although this happens very rarely, often while the parrot is being asked to do something that it does not like, and taking a cue from its body language is a way to avoid such painful biting wounds.


Food items that you can give your pet Timneh are sprouts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and commercial pellets. You can also share some of the nutritional foods that you consume with your bird. A cuttlefish bone or a calcium block should be a good source of calcium for your pet.

Avoid giving the parrot avocado and chocolate, as they can turn out to be life-threatening for the bird. Also, sugar and salt should not be given to it.


Timnehs enjoy the occasional bath, and you can provide this to them by way of a mist-spray or a fine spraying hose, the water should be tepid and later on the bird should be allowed to dry itself out under sufficient sunlight.

Trimming the wings of the bird should be done regularly to discourage flight. But this must be done with utmost care, and only some feathers should be trimmed. Otherwise, this heavy bird may injure itself by taking flight, before crashing down to the floor below.

Perches and toys should take care of keeping the beak and claws in top shape, but in case they don’t, you would need to have those clipped as well.

Timneh African Grey Pictures

Timneh African Grey Pictures

Timneh African Grey Tail

Timneh African Grey Tail

 Health problems

Some of the common ailments that the Timneh African grey parrots are plagued with are:

  • Sarcocystis
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Fungal, bacterial and viral diseases
  • Calcium deficiency disorder
  • Tapeworms
  • Psittacine beak and feather disease
  • Feather picking
  • Psittacosis (Chlamydiosis)
  • Heavy metal poisoning
  • Tumors
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Bone deformities in chicks


The price of a Timneh African grey is around $2000-$2,500.

Interesting fact

  • There is an estimated 120,000-259,000 individual Timneh African grey parrot in the wild and their population trend in on a decline.
Timneh African Grey Parrot

Timneh African Grey Parrot

Timneh African Grey Video:  Timneh African Grey Talking


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timneh_parrot
  2. https://zupreem.com/bird-owner-info/timneh-african-grey-parrot/
  3. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22736498/0
  4. https://animal-world.com/encyclo/birds/greys/timneh.php
  5. http://animal-world.com/encyclo/birds/greys/timneh.php
  6. https://susanclubb.com/knowledge-center/bird-species-profiles/13-african/24-timneh-african-grey

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