The Amazon Parrot and the African Grey are similar birds that have many traits in common, but they also have many distinct differences.
What are they?
Amazon Parrots come from Mexico and the Caribbean, have 31 subspecies, are green with touches of other colors, and make singing and honking sounds. African Greys are from West and Central Africa, have two subspecies, are grey, and like to chatter. Both are intelligent birds with a knack for mimicry.
Differences Between the Amazon Parrot and the African Grey
Although the African Grey and the Amazon Parrot are very similar birds, several differences set them apart, from habitat to the number of subspecies to the sound of their natural vocalizations.
The Amazon Parrot and the African Grey come from different parts of the globe and diverse ecosystems.
The Amazon Parrot hails from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean in the palm groves, savannas, rainforest, and scrub forest.
The African Grey is native to West and Central Africa in coastal mangroves, the edges of forests, and savannas.
Number of Subspecies
The Amazon Parrot has more subspecies than the African Grey. There are two kinds of African Grey: the Timneh African Grey (TAG) and the Congo African Grey (CAG), also called the red-tailed grey.
There are 31 kinds of Amazon Parrot, with those most commonly kept as pets listed below:
- Double yellow-headed Amazon
- Blue-fronted Amazon
- Yellow-naped Amazon
- Lilac-crowned Amazon
- Orange-winged Amazon
- White-fronted Amazon
- Mealy Amazon
In the wild, both Amazon Parrots and African Greys make loud sounds, especially contact calls to other members of their flocks.
However, Amazon Parrots are known for their singing, honking sounds, and shrill sounds of delight.
African Greys are known for their persistent mimicry of environmental sounds and for chattering rather than screaming.
The African Grey is a grey parrot, where the Amazon Parrot is usually green, with touches of red, yellow, blue, white, or purple.
In general, the Amazon Parrot is more brightly colored and comes in a greater variety of colors than the African Grey does.
Common Health Conditions
The African Grey and the Amazon Parrot are both susceptible to some common health conditions but are likely to be affected by different ones.
The African Grey is vulnerable to deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium. Respiratory infections, psittacosis, and psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) are also common in the species.
Amazon Parrots are at risk for obesity, polyomavirus, chlamydiosis, and vitamin A deficiency.
You can reduce the risk of these developing in both birds by researching the proper diet and ensuring you meet its nutritional needs.
Similarities Between the Amazon Parrot and the African Grey
Despite being such different birds in some ways, the Amazon Parrot and the African Grey have a lot in common, from the ability to mimic voices to the ability to live in the savanna.
Both groups include endangered species, too, primarily due to the effects of habitat loss and the global pet trade.
Both Amazon Parrots and African Greys are impressive talkers and can mimic a wide range of sounds, including human speech and singing.
They can both be noisy, and both use sound as a way of demanding attention. With training, both birds can learn to communicate effectively with words, associating sounds with their meanings.
African Greys and some Amazon Parrots are considered endangered species and are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss and capture.
Deforestation is the key reason for habitat loss for both birds, and importation for the pet trade is the main reason for their capture.
Thanks to recently passed legislation, both parrots are now bred in captivity rather than captured for trade.
If you’re planning to adopt an African Grey or an Amazon Parrot, make sure it’s been bred in captivity and not captured from the wild. Ask for paperwork to confirm the bird’s background.
Although the Amazon Parrot and the African Grey come from different parts of the globe, they both live in the savanna.
Both are capable of flying long distances to make their way to food and water during the long dry seasons, and both do well in hot temperatures.
In fact, the heat makes it easier for them to fly because the hot air rises and lifts them along with it.
The Amazon Parrot and the African Grey are medium-sized parrots, usually about 13 in (33.02 cm) long, and weigh roughly 2.5 lbs (1.13 kg).
They have a similar appearance as each other, besides color, and both share the traits that larger parrots have in common: a louder voice and a greater need for exercise.
The African Grey and the Amazon Parrot have a similar lifespan, related to their similarities in size.
Both kinds of parrots can live for over thirty years if cared for appropriately, although they might not live as long in the wild without the care of a human companion.
It’s not uncommon for domesticated parrots of these varieties to reach 60 years of age.
In the wild, both the African Grey and the Amazon Parrot subsist on a diet of seeds, berries, other fruits, vegetation, and nuts.
And in captivity, both do well with a pelleted diet manufactured to have all the nutrients they need. You can also feed both birds supplemental fruits and vegetables as treats.
Suggested fruits or vegetables to offer to either bird include the following:
- Cherries without the pit
- Bok choy
- Bell peppers
- Sweet Potatoes
Because both birds forage similarly, they both have a similar, curved beak shape that’s common to most parrots.
Both Amazon Parrots and African Greys roost in flocks in the cavities of trees, where they’re safe from predators.
They live a similar distance from the equator, which means that they have similar day and night cycles, and both of these birds will roost throughout the night.
Both African Greys and Amazon Parrots are zygodactyls, meaning that each foot has four toes, two that point forward and two that point backward.
This trait helps them perch on the branches of trees while remaining stable. The toes on each side allow them to maintain balance and get a good grip.
Should I Buy an Amazon Parrot or an African Grey?
Both Amazon Parrots and African Greys are intelligent birds with a knack for mimicry and can make pleasant and loyal companion birds.
The choice between the two mostly comes down to personal preference, whether for their appearance or where the bird comes from.
However, only experienced birdkeepers should adopt either. These birds are highly intelligent and require plenty of mental stimulation and time spent outside the cage.
They also need large, wide cages that provide plenty of room for movement and wing-stretching. Both should have perches low to the ground and need plenty of interaction and attention.
Amazon and African grey parrots are similar birds, but they each have many key differences. The Amazon has more species and color variety than the African gray.
They’re also native to different regions; the Amazon parrot comes from South and Central America, whereas the African grey comes from West and Central Africa.