African Greys are often described as being independent birds. Some would go so far as saying that Greys do not enjoy being physically handled the way other large parrots do. But is this true? I’m here with Smokey to offer our take on this.
One suggestion, some of the ‘cuddling’ you are doing with Smokey is not
recommended for mature AG parrots (5+ years) as these can lead to sexual
responses from the parrot. Avoid touching the back and under the wings; in
the wild these are areas only accessed by mates, but scritching
(allo-preening) the head and neck is done between any friendly non-mated
I have a CAG she is my best friend and I am the only one she will give a
kiss to without bribery lol. She came from a Rescue.
I was working with her gaining her trust one day on her cage when i was
working with her something startled her and she leaped backwards on to my
bare hand lol I don’t know who was more shocked and scared me or her lol.
But every since that day she has always got on my hand and never once tried
to bite me. I went to the UK to be with a now Ex GF for 6 months and she
stayed with my mother. When I was coming home my mom was telling me don’t
be surprised if she wants nothing to do with you, i laughed said she will
remember me. I walked in and opened the cage door and she couldn’t get on
my hand fast enough or give me a kiss fast enough.
She is a very Cuddly bird and loves to be held close and have her neck and
head scratched and rubbed under her wings.
One thing she will raise a fuss about is bath time she screams like she is
being killed but she gets out onto my hand and gives me kisses right away.
The water is not hot or cold it is room temp like you would bath a baby in
and it is never to deep. Even with a spray mist bottle she screams. I don’t
if she was punished with water in the past since she came from a rescue or
what so I try not to bath her more then at the very most 1 time a week in
the summer and she always gets a reward for it which she promptly tosses
down out of anger but I always get the kisses when it is done lol .
My grey loves it when I give him kisses but won’t let me pet him. He
sometimes lets me have my finger on his beak for a couple of seconds but
most times rather than not he gives me nips that don’t really hurt at all
but more rather a warning. I’ve only had him for a couple of months but I
can feed him treats and he semi knows target training (by that i mean that
he tries to touch the stick but instead of walking over to it he just
streches…) and he also does this weird pumping type thing…Any
recomendations to help me be able to pet my bird?
I’m semi-cuddly! 🙂 But only when I’m in the mood. It’s important to read
your bird’s body language. If she’s not in the mood, don’t push it… or
you may get bitten. That’s just the way we communicate when you have failed
to read the other signs I’m giving you.
I love grays, but I am an Amazon owner, same concepts for our birds,just
harder bites and more stubbornness. These 2 birds are by FAR my favorite
species 🙂 Also, you remind me of my grandmother who loves cuddling with
her grays, Ecclectus, and Amazons. Great video and your passion is awesome!
Greys are a very moody species. It takes time for a handler to develop a
feeling for understanding a bird’s personality and moodiness. I find that
if a Grey doesn’t want to cuddle, it will not cuddle. Everything tends to
be on their own terms.
They’re also intelligent enough to know when you’re trying to bribe or
manipulate them. They’re problem solving abilities are astounding. I put a
dial-combination padlock near mine and rotated the dial back and forth to
unlock it… While he isn’t intelligent enough to know the combination,
despite watching me enter it in front of him numerous times, he is
intelligent enough to understand that you rotate the dial right, than left,
than right again and try to pull the lock open.
They’re fascinating creatures.
That was adorable
Very sweet bird. Thanks for posting!
Thank you for these wonderful videos. My grey, Mani, passed away last month
and it has been so hard for me, but watching these videos reminds me of all
the great times we had. He was super affectionate like Smokey. He was smart
too. I never had him sexed and always thought he was a girl. I have a BGM
who is a boy and used to call them “Mani girl” and “Lucky boy”. Somehow,
Mani differentiated the words by himself and refused to say “Mani girl” he
always said “Hello Mani Boy”. Sharing this story reminds me of how superbly
intelligent these birds are. Thank you for encouraging owners to
continually stimulate their minds.
I have an African Grey that I’ve had for around 17 years. She’s a very
nervous bird and I’ve recently been teaching her to trust me more boldly.
I’ve been creating a deeper connection with my bird, Clemenza by feeding
her pistachios and peanuts by hand. Recently I’ve started letting her out
of her cage and start roaming around. I would love to teach the bird more,
such as being able to pet it or trust me to a deeper extent. My bird is
VERY nervous, when I went on vacation and had a pet sitter over to care for
my pets, my bird plucked out all of its feathers. She will also bite if she
feels the need to do it. Any suggestions? Thanks.
I am a Proud Owner of Rocky.born 1989..yes,African Grey..I got him @age
4…. Hes not a bird to cuddle… loves his head scratched..& will bite
when he wants it to Stop..than giggles at you …even says Ouch before a
bite…I will admit He has me Trained…rofl… Love My African Grey. Great
hello man i gave you a sub because i am a bird lover i wish and i have
knowledge on how to feed them and train them please wish me best luck
I have had my African grey for 11 years now and she has only bitten me once
when i first got her and after that she started to bond to me and now she
will not bite me and she loves to sit on my chest wail am laid in bed
Your opinion about getting a Grey and your example of what’s possible is
awesome. It’s the most intelligent over view I’ve seen to date. Thank you.
Sasha can be very sweet some days and other days if I put my hands on her
cage she will charge me to bite me. I have not been bitten by her because I
have been careful not to let her. Other days she will sit on my shoulder,
get head rubs. My son can do more with her because they are bonded. She
even likes her beak rub by him. The last time he was here visiting she must
have been mad at him because she bit him.It had been awhile sense he
visited.She loves to laugh and has me laughing a lot because she is a
My Hewie is nothing like all the sweet, adorable African Greys on Youtube.
He belches at people, tells them they smell, and he won’t hesitate to steal
food. Although he does have the cutest laugh and loves to give kisses! And
he loves to whistle his messed up rendition of the Andy Griffith theme. :)
your bird was reggurigating, i think he’s feeling the “love” :P
Pretty cool video, my Grey is the same. But it takes a time and trust, you
are absolutely right. Another thing – I absolutely love your perch. Can you
please tell me where you got it from?
OMG, if I tried to hold either of my greys upside down – I would be in the
emergency room! Each grey has a different personality. I have been bitten
hard by both of mine on different occasions.
Awesome birds, but not for the faint hearted. Btw – both of my greys were
rehomed several times before coming home forever.
Even baby greys can have problems with attitudes.
If you can’t provide them a permanent, loving forever home – don’t get one!
You must get up every morning to make them FRESH VEGGIE AND FRUIT BOWLS and
give them interactions.
Greys are not a hobby, they are a lifetime investment.
Oh, did I mention vet bills? Gracie has been ill and vet bills were over
I will always provide my various birds with the best care possible. Mind
you, I have no car or mortgage payments. If you can’t commit a lifetime and
endless funds, please dont even think about getting a bird.
My parakeet got sick and vet bill was over 250.00. I paid it and am
treating her. She has outlived the prognosis. Go Storm!
I love the last part you said about trust and not dominance. I couldn’t
agree more with you!
My African Grey Wilson can be the most tempermental little beast or so
sweet he brings tears to your eyes. The thing I love about him the most is
he chooses who he trusts, he is one of the family. He has good days and
bad! just like us ! I love the fact that he has a mind of his own. I try
very hard not to be his person as I want the whole family to share him we
all take turns feeding him and tidying his cage. He is more female
orientated as he was hand reared by a woman but nearly a year old and he is
developing a good relationship with my son and husband. He talks in my sons
voice! He is the most complicated animal I have ever had but also the most
compelling. He can be cuddly, loves a neck scratch and wiggles around on
his back for me playing. He also likes his space and quiet time. You need
to learn how to read African greys they tell you everything with their
bodies respect them and they will learn to trust you. It is not a dominant
relationship but an equal one built on trust…..With the occasional day
I have had my grey since he has hatched. I personally have done no special
training, simply because I like the personalities that usually shine
through just from every day interactions. As for being cuddly, my grey
thinks he in a G2!!! The second i sit/lay somewhere, he automatically fly’s
to me and wants to lay down on me. I have even woke up to find that he
broke out of his cage and was sleeping (laying down) on the pillow next to
my head. From my own experiences with a few different species, I just
think its the animal. Not all dogs and cats like to be pet or lay with
their owners (and many other animals), so why should grey’s be any
My Current Flock:
M2 – Dante (rescue)
G2- Daisy (rescue)
CAG – Alfred Hatchcock (Store Bought)
Blue Quaker/Monk – Rico (rescue)
And in talks of adopting a 3 y/o Greenwing Macaw!
Great video very informative planning on purchasing an African grey good
heads up for me to help for future training
Smokey is beautiful!
My grey is cuddly, but he’s never been a fan of lying on his back. I don’t
know that I’ll ever have him interested in being like Smokey is at 2:21!
Our African grey is more time than you ever believe.. Maybe yours isn’t a
friendly cuddly bird… Ours is amazing.. It’s down to you to mould there
personality.. That’s if u buy them from a baby.. If you buy a second hand
bird then you can’t comment if it’s not friendly.. Because frankly… Youv
done nothing to deserve a awsome bird they take work and show them the
world.. If you get one that’s already tame cool.. But I believe rewards
should be reaped by caring for them from an infant that is when ure see
true love from a bird
Hi. My mom has an African Grey Dixie, and she is about 12 years old. We got
her at 5 months from a local pet store and have put a lot of time and
effort into being with and talking to her. One of us is always home so she
is never alone. However she is not at all cuddly. One thing I think that
should be very known is that it more depends on the bird. All birds are
different just like people. She has her cage open all the time and has free
range all over the house. She is very smart, but can still get into nasty
moods, start screaming and bite for no reason. Also when she turned 10 she
hit sexual maturity and started trying to attack me (she sees my mom as her
mate), luckily she got over that though. Greys are extremely temperamental
and can be very neurotic. I think it’s because they are so smart-the
intelligence of a 5 year old as most believe but yet the emotional maturity
of a 2 year old. So just FYI for anyone thing they are like smokey here.
Plus she would bite the hell out of us if we ever tried to turn her over
i have an african grey that is very super cuddly sometimes he sleeps on the
bed with me blows kisses and call my name but physically he is not a very
active bird he would stay in the same spot for hours and im trying to teach
him to go on his back but when i do he bite the …. out of me help
Yours is a bit more cuddly than mine. My bird calls the shots. Are we
going to rough and tumble or cuddle or just leave me alone for now.
I have always wanted one of these birds; they are so gorgeous. But I
completely agree with you. They take A LOT of time, patience, and research.
Right now my job just doesn’t call for bringing one of these wonderful
birds into my life, so I have been waiting and doing a lot of reading on
them in the mean time. Someday I hope to be blessed with their company. <= They are such cool birds.
I don’t own a gray simply because I truly do not think I have the
responsibility but I do own a white caped pionus and he is truly a delight
to have apart of my life
I’m so glad that I came across this video! I have wanted a bird all my life
and have taken it a little more serious lately by deciding I will save and
spend the next two years learning what I can about greys, they are a
fascinating species and can not wait to have my own to nurture, care and
give my time to! I have subscribed to your channel and look forward to
seeing the rest of your videos!
Sooo sweet, mines not very cuddly at all but thats because my mum raised
him and never got him used to things very well. But hes slowing improving
good man. pets will be nice and respond to your word only if they can trust
you. it hurts to see caged animals….. especially birds 🙂 good work. what
a beautiful bird
I have interacted with african greys at pet shops and I seem to be okay
with them. One is a little nippy, bites when I stop petting, the other is
young and very affectionate and get VERY excited for attention, I thought
he was trying to bite me but when I left my finger in the cage he did not
bite be, he started putting his beak around my finger and moving it like he
was trying to get food from his mother.
Which is why I hate pet shops, poor sweetie wasn’t getting the attention he
great and honest video
Grey owners, what are your thoughts?
For the past year I’ve been wanting to get an African Grey… I’m not old
enough to afford one (I’m unemployed and in high school) so I thought, why
not spend this time learning how to care for one if I get one in a few
years? The past month I’ve been doing research, mostly just watching videos
from responsible owners and it’s overwhelming to see the care that is put
into African Greys. I’m not saying this as a negative thing! I’m just glad
I’m spending this time learning about them because in the future, if I
still want to be an owner of an African Grey, I want to make sure they’re
Can anyone recommend ways to learn more about African Greys? Or throw me a
few tips for future reference? This channel and a few others have been very
helpful…. Soon I’m going to try to find some books if I can.
I think what I’m most worried about is making a bad impression on the bird
and having it be a very introverted, upset bird. I want to ensure that I
can make a connection with them and give them the attention and care they
my grey likes a cuddle and tickle, i have only just got him to lay on his
back which takes a great deal of trust from the bird…
You offered a lot of great insight! I’m glad I found this :)
Smokey is so beautiful.
What’s the difference in a female vs male ? I have a 2 year old male
Eclectus and I am looking into getting a grey..was wondering if the sex
would matter any ? Also do you keep your birds in the same room ?
I got my grey 3 weeks ago. He was 12 weeks old. I wasn’t bothered if he
spoke or not. Today he said his name and hello. Made my day. We all in
family speak to him but me more so. He is very affectionate and loves his
cuddles. As u said u need to spend time with them. If your not willing to
do this then dnt get one. If we go out we leave the radio on for him. As
soon as we get bac he is fussed and cage open straight away. He has loads
of toys. Love him to bits.
Well done. I am jealous.
I made the mistake of getting an 8 year old bird and am totally
disappointed. He is a great talker, but quite aggressive. Two years on, no
one in the house likes him because he is quick to bite. I hate to give him
up, passing the problem on and making him worse, moving house to house. I
just don’t know what else to do.
I Should have got a baby.
very well made dude….greys are very hard bird to pet….
I’ve been told multiple times that if a bird does something naughty or
painful (i.e. biting you) you should do something to let it know that it’s
in the wrong, like giving a firm NO and a slight shake of your arm, but
just to be careful you never do anything that is painful or scary. Is that
considered punishment based training? (they were mainly talking about
macaws in this case)
Good video ❤️
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