The African Grey

Photos Above are of Wild Congo Flocks

Oh, those African Greys! They have a nice new colony that is nearly 40 feet long. I love to listen to their pops and whistles. They vocalize early in the morning when all of the Cockatoos are quiet. 

They all stop talking once they are mixed in with the flock. I don’t see them preening each other, either. Though their head feathers are always groomed.

Their new colony is tucked into a wooded area near the quiet Ducorp enclosure. I haven’t landscaped the area yet so, the bushes are growing into their colony. The Greys are having a good time trimming it into a hedge. See Photos Below

Once again, the Greys have a favorite toy and it is the party hat. It is made out of red metal sled disk from Radio Flyer. The sled is turned upside down, painted and fitted with colorful bead fringe. They sleep under them and use them when it rains. I make toys during the winter months I knew this would be a hit with the Cockatoos, I had no idea the Macaws and Greys would be as excited, as they are. They look very silly sitting under them.

The Greys love climbing upside down on the inside wire of their enclosure. Their gray color blends into the forest and it’s difficult to see them in photos. I have never been much of a picture taker, because of that, many of the birds here, will hide under the roof panels when the camera comes out. Our Grey colony is new, that’s why I have so many pictures of their enclosure. In the Cockatoo sections I am having to repeat some photos…. I will replace them with new ones I’ll take this season.

I am surprised the Greys don’t have better social skills. They don’t communicate using body language like the Cockatoo’s. For example; if one of the Greys is eating from the food pan at the feeding station, and another bird approaches… there is tension and lack of trust. The first Grey stops eating until he is convinced the second bird has found a spot, away from the first Grey. As though, they don’t trust each other. The Cockatoo’s don’t stop eating, they assume everybody is a friend. I am unaware of any drama between the Greys, they have been together for years. They don’t trust each other completely……I want to know why.  

Fun Story

We have a large variety of ferns that are native to Western WA. Eastern WA has a dryer climate. I refer to it as a desert scrub type native growth. Western WA where our Cockatoo Rescue and Sanctuary is located, has a rain forest flora and fauna.

Our 20 acre Sanctuary has an abundance of ferns. They are non toxic and grow and spread everywhere. The Greys love to play with them. The Braken fern pictured left, grows on a single stalk and flares out on the top. Mine can grow to 6-7 feet, tall which is unusually high. A few years ago, the Greys decided to let them grow inside their colony. I thought it was funny, there was a “group meeting” about it. As the ferns grow, they filled the colony and the Greys were harder to see. I didn’t worry, just thought it was curious. Because these Braken ferns grow on one stalk before they flare out, I could get on my knees and see through the fern forest where red tails were visible. When I tried to clean they would growl at me, I couldn’t see them but, they could see me. 

The whole summer, I wondered what the heck are they doing? I would see them, only occasionally, at the feeding station and food was missing. When its fall, those ferns die, and I can finally see, what the heck they were doing all summer. They had a campsite with logs (broken perches) toys parts, a few divots lots of wood chips chewed into sawdust. Looks like they were busy camping. They got bored with the ferns as they faded with the start of fall. Only then, did things return to normal.

That was a few years ago and it hasn’t happened since. How goofy! Now that they have a new location, the bushes behind their enclosure are the focus. 

I am telling you, it’s like there is a soap opera everyday. As the Sanctuary turns.

The Greys seem really happy with their new quieter location, away from the larger Cockatoos. They are vocalizing more and they are not as sedentary as they were before. But, the Greys and Macaws are still perch potatoes compared to the Cockatoos.


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