African Nature Site
Natures Corner Magazine
Chat Group
Meet Buckwheat

The Grey Play Round Table
African Grey Parrot Information
Home Legend Subscribe Grey Place Store Back Issues Contributors Contact Us
Bringing Back the Magic: A Transformational Memior
By Jean Pattison

If you want to know the sex of your Grey, a DNA test is recommended. It only requires a few drops of blood, which can be taken from a nail clipping. The following tips are to be used only as a guide for visually sexing a Grey. It is for birds 18 months and older.

  • BASIC COLOR DIFFERENCES: Most aviculturists are aware that male Greys are darker in color than the hens. This comparison can only be made when both birds originated from the same region of Africa, or when the chicks are from the same clutch. Another difference is that hens usually have a gradual dark to light transition of gray, from neck to belly. By contrast, males have a more uniform gray color in the same area.
  • UNDER-TAIL COVERTS: The under-tail coverts are directly under the tail feathers and consist of ten feathers. These feathers almost seem to support the main tail feathers. They form a "V" shape with the point stopping slightly shorter than the tips of the tail feathers. Feathers of the hens will be edged in gray, while those of the males will be solid red. Males may occasionally have a "hairline" of white on the edge.
  • VISUALIZING THE WINGS: Observe your Grey from approximately five to ten feet while it is either perching or hanging upside down from the cage top and flapping its wings. With this action you are able to distinguish three bands of gray on the underside of the wing. The top band comprises the ventral antebrachial coverts. The band directly below is called the ventral wing coverts. The third band consists of the primary remiges. In a hen, these bands respectively "appear" gray, white and dark gray. The band colors for the male "appear" to be gray, gray and dark gray, respectively. If you hold your bird, rather than viewing from a five to ten foot distance, and study the bands at close range, your eyes will "see" the actual different bands but you cannot easily distinguish between male and female.
  • LENGTH OF WINGS: The length of the female's wings appear to be a bit longer than that of the males. Specifically, females' wings extend beyond the tail just a bit. By contrast, males' wings appear to fall a bit short.

When one has a male and female Grey whose parents originated from the same regions in Africa, the differences are very obvious. However, if you have only one bird, it is more difficult since you have nothing with which to compare. In other words, if you REALLY want to know the sex of your Grey, have it DNA sexed.

Jean "THE AFRICAN QUEEN" Pattison breeds both Congo and Timneh African Grey Parrots. She can be reached by e-mail at: .

This article was published in the Fall 1998 issue of the Grey Play Round Table® Magazine: ; ; .

All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author.

أربيك]  汉语  漢語  Nederlands  Français  Deutsch  Italiano 
 日本語  한국어  Português    Español  
African Grey,articles,nutrition,advice,living skills,Congo,Timneh, Grey parrot, African Grey, parrots, Maggie Wright
Spanish Articles
Alicia McWatters Nutritional Advice
Helpful Hints
Grey Links
Photo Gallery
Radio Show with Maggie