The African Grey - Princeps



  • Common Name:  African Grey - Princeps

  • Other Common Names:  Ghana African Grey, Princeps African Grey

  • Scientific Name:  Psittacus erithacus princeps

  • Group:  African

  • Origin or Range:  Gulf of Guinea

  • Relative Size:  Larger Than Average  

  • Average Lifespan:  50 years

  • Compatibility:  Average 

  • Category:  Parrots

The Princeps African Grey is a member of the group of parrots known collectively as African Grey Parrots. These parrots are most known forThe African Grey - Princeps their excellent ability to talk, intelligence, and entertaining personalities.

The Princeps African Grey, also called the Ghana African Grey by some, is the third subspecies of African Grey. The most known is the Congo African Grey (note this breed is also referred to as a Ghana by some fanciers), followed by the Timnah African Grey. The Princeps African Grey is very similar to the Congo African Grey in appearance and differs by slightly darker plumage. Some also hold that it is slightly smaller than the Congo.

Many experts have questioned the existence of the Princeps African Grey. The Princeps African Grey is said to have originated on two small Islands off the coast of African in the Gulf of Guinea. These islands are the Island of Principé and the Island of Fernando Poo. The debate to its existence centers on its distinction from the Congo African Grey. Many maintain that it may have at one time been a distinct breed, but interbreeding with the nominate variety (the Congo) has wiped away any genetic variation between the two. Others hold that there has always been much migration between the islands and the mainland that there was probably never any distinction to begin with. Whichever the case, most hold that if the Princeps African Grey was ever a distinct species it is probably not today.

If you would like more information on African Grey parrots please see the two related articles on the Congo and Timnah varieties.


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Copyright 2004 [Southeast Texas Avian Rescue, Inc.]. All rights reserved. Revised: 12/10/11