The African grey parrot is known for his intelligence and ability to imitate human speech. The birds breed once or twice a year -- although not at specific times of year -- and mate frequently for several weeks before the hen lays her first egg. Typical male mating behavior includes feeding the female and performing a dance in front of her.
Captivity Differs from Wild
The gestation period for the eggs after laying is 28 days on average when the parrot is bred in captivity. The hen lays between three and five eggs in a clutch, but she doesn't lay them all on the same day. Typically she lays one egg, but doesn't sit on the nest until she has laid the second egg. As a result, these first two eggs usually hatch at around the 28 to 29 day period. It is difficult to spot when she lays the remaining eggs because she is sitting on the nest, so they may hatch two or three days after the first two. In the wild, the parrot averages a clutch of two to three eggs with an incubation period of between 21 and 30 days. Babies usually leave the nest about 80 days after hatching.
Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.