Ask Lafeber


December 21, 2020

African Grey Behavior

I have 2 female timneh African grays Happy is about 10 and Maggie about 8 and they have been together for about 7 years. They both have their own cages, toys etc. And as long as they are 3 or more feet apart all is good but if any closer Happy will charge Maggie and she will fly away. The one good thing is that Happy being the aggressor and Maggie flying away because Happy is the one that shredded all his wing feathers and can not fly. I take it that they just tolerate one another and they are not going to be friends. Might there be anything I could do to help them become friends of just leave them along.


Hi Patricia,

It’s actually best to leave them alone. If you refer to the question two below yours – Cockatoo companion – I address this very subject. Basically you are the companion for each bird. Instinctively, they do not want another companion. They view each other as rivals and this would be the same if they lived in a wild flock and each had a mate. If they were to bond with each other, you would be the one who gets left out. I do get this question a lot, and I always explain that as young birds, parrots will have contact with other flock members, but once they are adults and choose a mate, other flock members are only there for protection in numbers and any physical contact ends. If you kept trying to get them to like each other, it would actually cause a lot of stress and confusion for each bird because each sees you as her companion.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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