Types of African Grey Parrots

The Difference Between Timneh & Congo Parrots

Most people may not know that African Grey Parrots have two different types. African grey parrots are divided into two subspecies. They are the Congo African grey and the Timneh African grey. Both look very similar.

Although the Congo and Timneh African Grey parrots do both come from Africa, they hail from different regions of the continent. They are different sizes and have slight color differences.

Both are intelligent birds, however, and will bond with their humans. It is the Timneh that is considered the calmer of the two breeds, and they are less likely to suffer from anxiety and stress-related illnesses. Although there are some differences in the way they mimic, both breeds are known to be effective talkers.

The more quickly maturing Timneh is the most likely to talk from a younger age, however, and will usually be able to string together a sentence by the time he reaches 6 months of age.

The Difference Between Timneh & Congo Parrots

The main way that you’ll be able to tell which variety you have is by looking at the size of your African grey. A Congo African grey will almost always be larger than a Timneh African grey. Congos typically reach between 12 and 14 inches in length. Congo African grey parrots have wingspans that extend up to 20 inches. They typically weigh in at about 16 ounces. A Timneh African grey parrot is slightly smaller.

You’ll typically see them measuring in at around 10 inches in length with wingspans of 14 inches. The typical Timneh African grey weighs around 11 ounces.

Both Congo and Timneh African grey parrots share the same intelligence levels and talking abilities. The only difference that can be observed in regards to speech ability is that Timneh African greys tend to begin forming sentences for the first time at around six months of age. It typically takes a Congo African grey a full year to form a sentence.

Visual Differences


Both Congo and Timneh African greys have the intellectual capacity of a 5-year-old child and the emotional level of a perpetual 2 year old. Timneh African greys are known to have a more stable personality than their larger cousins, because they have a faster maturation rate. Congo’s can be just as stable with the right encouragement, commitment and nurturing.

Sociability varies from bird to bird. Generally speaking, both subspecies are cautious birds. African greys have a tendency to sit back and observe the environment before becoming an active part of it.

Congo African grey’s and Timneh African grey’s appear to have the same talking ability, and gender does not appear to play a role in determining if they learn to talk. Timneh African greys can form simple sentences around 6 months of age, where as Congo African greys usually begin to talk sometime after they are a year old.

Both can become masters at mimicking daily household sounds to the point where they often fool owners to false knocks on the door and phantom phone ringing. Both the Congo and Timneh African greys make wonderful companions.

As I mentioned earlier, Timneh African grays are often considered to be calmer and more even-tempered than their larger relatives. The timnehs mature quicker, have fewer anxiety issues and suffer less from nervous feather plucking.

While Congo and timneh African grays can make fantastic pets with the right socialization and training, a timneh may be a better choice for a novice bird owner.

Talking Ability of Timneh & Congo Parrots

Both timneh and Congo African grays are generally great talkers. Since timnehs mature quicker, they will often begin using words and simple sentences at 6 months of age. Many Congos don’t start talking until after they are a year old.

Most Congos will mimic the voice of the person they are talking to. In contrast, most timnehs have their own voices, which has been compared to a munchkin from “The Wizard of Oz” movie or a small child.

Which type of Mitthu (the TiktokParrot) is?

My Mitthu (The TiktokParrot) is Congo African Grey Parrot and you can see him in the above images 🙂

The Congo African Grey Parrot is the largest and most popular African Grey parrot species in Africa. The Congo African Grey Parrot is a species highly prized for its intelligence, its ability to speak and its sociability. It has been appreciated for thousands of years, because already the rich Greeks, then the Romans loved these birds so special that could reproduce the language of men.

Life expectancy The Congo African Grey Parrot lives on average 50 years and can exceed the 65 years, so be prepared in most cases to a commitment for life. You can read more about my Mitthu (TiktokParrot) at here

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