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African grey parrot

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Gray Parrot Psittacus erithacus Parrot

African grey parrot

Name Dutch: African grey parrot
Scientific name: Psittacus erithacus erithacus
Origin: Africa
Age: 50-70 years (depending on how the bird is kept)
Height: About 33cm
Birth: Egg laying (about 2 to 5 eggs per nest). These come out after about a month.
Activity: Day active
Legislation: CITES A It is mandatory that the bird has a life ring with unique identification or a chip. In addition, the bird must have an EU certificate.
Climate: From a desert climate to a (sub)tropical climate.
Stay: A large cage or aviary with a loose java tree or playground.
Minimum size: 120x80x100cm. ''The bigger the better''.

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With a body length of about 33 cm, the Redstart is certainly not the largest parrot we know, but that is not inferior to its intelligence. A redstart has the brains of a 5 year old child. A gray redstart is therefore not a bird that should be put in a cage and not looked after. This bird needs a real challenge and will certainly come to look for it with you.

Because the Redstart is such a beautiful bird, it has led to a lot of illegal trade and poaching. As a result, the gray redstart is in danger of extinction. It has therefore been decided to put the redstart on CITES Appendix I with effect from 2 January 2017 and shortly thereafter (4 February 2017) also in an EU Regulation Appendix A. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna) is an international agreement concluded in 1974 between 182 countries and the European Union. In this agreement, these 183 parties have made agreements about the international trade of endangered animal and plant species. The CITES has 3 Appendices I, II and III. Appendix I, which includes the gray redstart, lists all animals that are threatened with extinction.

Because the animals are threatened with extinction, they should not be traded if they have been taken from the wild. Even if a couple of gray redstarts that has been taken from the wild and has a youngster in captivity (you call this an F1, or a first generation offspring) this may not be traded, not even with this young.

EU Certificate and Ring required!

It is important to know that the gray redstart is on CITES Appendix I and EU Annex A if you have a gray redstart yourself. It is in fact prohibited to transport and/or trade the bird without the valid EU certificate. In addition, it is mandatory that the animal has a closed leg ring with markings. These must be CITES rings and therefore cannot be rings with only the following year or the breeder code. This should therefore not be a ring with a seam in it (Pinch ring). A seam usually indicates that the ring was not fitted immediately after birth, but that it was fitted at a later age. It is also important that this leg ring has the correct size (11,0 mm and for the smaller Timneh subspecies 10,0 mm).

If your gray redstart does not have a leg ring, it is recommended to have the bird chipped. Our advice is to always have this done by an avian vet. The chip must be placed in the pectoral muscle and not under the skin as is done with a dog or cat. An avian vet knows how to do this and which method is best. Would you like to know more about this legislation? Then visit the website of the RVO.

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Please note!

Are you planning to buy a gray redstart? Then don't let the seller mislead you. Unfortunately, it often happens that the seller promises to send you the CITES papers / EU certificate ''at a later date'' or ''soon''. Don't fall for this! The papers should be in your hands along with the bird transfer. There is a chance that the bird presented to you in this way has not been legally bred, but has been caught/looted from the wild. Or there is no valid documentation and this can only be requested by whoever had the bird before 2017, for which proof is required with the application.

No matter how nice the seller's talk is and even if the bird has a closed foot ring, buy it just when you don't immediately get the papers. The foot ring can also be placed on youngsters that have been robbed from the nest of parents from the wild. These young are then illegally hand raised and sold as being "legal". The moment you agree with the seller and think: '' those papers will come'', it may be that the seller has left with the northern sun. Or the seller cannot prove that the bird was in his possession before January 2, 2017 and can therefore not request papers. Remember: at that moment you are also punishable! When in doubt, our advice is: don't buy the bird!

Please note that if you want to apply for CITES papers and/or an EU certificate, you must be able to demonstrate that the bird was in your possession before January 2, 2017. So do you have a gray redstart and does it not yet have valid papers? Then go to the link below as soon as possible for more information on how to apply for it:

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If we want to know more about the sex of a gray redstart, we can look at the appearance of the bird. This method is not completely foolproof and can ensure that the owner is wrong if he wants to determine the sex of the bird on external characteristics. Some of these characteristics can also be influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the origin of the bird. For example, there can be differences between gray redstarts if the ancestors come from different parts of Africa. If you really want to be sure, it's best to have a DNA test done. We will discuss the external features further below.

Veterinary Clinic Avonturia The Hague

A doll

The characteristics we see in a doll (a female bird):

  1. The head of a female Redstart is somewhat rounder than that of a male.
  2. The bill of a female Gray Redstart is slightly smaller than that of a male.
  3. The build of a female Gray Redstart is somewhat narrower/smaller than that of a male specimen.
  4. The plumage of a female Gray Redstart is slightly lighter in color than that of a male.
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How To Tell If It Is A Male Gray Redstart Avonturia

A man

The Characteristics of a Man:

  1. The head of a male Gray Redstart is somewhat more oval/ovoid than that of a female.
  2. The bill of a male gray redstart is slightly larger than that of a female. This should not be confused with an overly long bill that can be caused by incorrect feeding and poor maintenance.
  3. The build of a male gray redstart is somewhat fuller/larger than that of a female specimen.
  4. The plumage of a male Gray Redstart is slightly darker in color than that of a female.
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Gray redstarts are sexually mature at the age of about 4 to 5 years. A female Gray Parrot lays about 2 to 5 eggs per nest, which hatch after about a month. The young leave the nest after about 3 months. After 103 days, the gray redstart young can only be separated from the parents. This is stipulated in the "Animal Keepers Decree" that came into effect on 1 July 2014. This has been decided because it is essential for a young parrot to stay with his parents long enough so that he can properly learn all it takes to become a good Gray Parrot. They learn how to eat, where to find the food, what normal behavior is, what other birds look like and so on.

In the past, birds were sometimes taken far too early from their parents and reared by hand. Under the guise of then ''you get a bird that is more focused on humans''. Fortunately, this is prohibited by the new ''Ordinance Holders of Animals'' that came into effect on July 1, 2014. Many birds that are removed from their parents too early often develop behavioral problems. For example, they can start to see humans as a reproductive partner. This is frustrating for the bird and it can take it out on humans (because the urge is not satisfied).

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Feeding Gray Redstart Avonturia


The redstart is generally a very social animal. In nature they live in large groups. The gray redstart is a real tree dweller in nature. If he finds a partner, it's for life. Together they make a hollow in the tree or look for a pre-existing hole in the tree to nest in. It is therefore not surprising that the gray redstart does not really like to sit alone in our living room. Often it is decided to add a congener.

Other combinations are also possible, but it is in any case preferable that the gray redstart that is already in the house can / may choose the buddy itself. ''They're just like people'' and it has to click between the two. If you make the choice yourself and it doesn't click, this can lead to major war in the house. So take your time and look carefully at what suits your own gray redstart. Sometimes there are parrots that are not at all waiting for a mate. It can even stress them out, so make an informed decision before purchasing a mate for your bird.

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Behavior Gray Redstart Avonturia

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Good nutrition for a redstart is essential. In nature, the redstart's diet can consist of up to 80% fatty acids palm nuts† This just doesn't mean you should give the same to your own parrot that doesn't get as much exercise as its wild counterparts in the wild. It is true that in captivity the redstart, like its siblings living in the wild, has a somewhat more fatty diet than some other bird species. So a palm nut here and there certainly can't hurt.

Our advice is to give a well-balanced diet to your Redstart. We recommend that about 70% of your parrot's diet consists of Pellets and/or Nutri-Berries in combination with about 30% of seeds, fruit, vegetables and nuts. There are many types of pellets on the market and there is a lot of difference between them in terms of taste, shape, nutritional value and so on.

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