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Timnehs and Red Tails – the Two Kinds of Greys

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens

It has been some 300 years since the first documented captivity breeding of a pair of African Grey Parrots by a western aviculturist. Millions of pet bird keepers have maintained a lasting love affair with this intriguing old-world psittacine. Desire for these vulturine-looking parrots with the perceptive eye and the virtuoso voice seems to remain steadily strong with the years. That is one of the reasons Africa’s Grey parrot is one of the most smuggler-persecuted psittacines on the planet.

Locating a new captive raised source for a hand-fed baby Grey in a world market that never seems saturated is kind of like trying to obtain singing male canaries in September: “Sorry, all sold, thank you!”

With regular success in certain quarters amongst the many Red-tailed and Timneh Grey pairs set up during the heydays of import stations, one would think finding a Grey parrot would be a bit easier. Not so. I remember former acquaintances with several parrots who called me looking for a baby, declaring: “I’ve always wanted a Grey. I’ve just been waiting for the price to come down.”

That is certainly an ill-fated waiting game. Even the smaller Timneh prices are now fully comparable to the larger Red-tailed Greys, while those prejudiced claims of Timnehs as “second rate parrots” among some unenlightened dealers in populated breeding states long ago disappeared.

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