This African Grey Has An Attitude. Some Folks Just Don’t Like To Be Touched.

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African grey parrots classically are not cuddly. It's true, this could be a misconception. If you have a Congo or a Timneh African grey that seems standoffish, it's okay. We can't take this behavior personally.. Many parrots need to work up to the point when they will trust. Of course, there are African grey parrots, Congo and Timneh, that are comfortable with petting and seek it out. My African grey gives me stink eye when he doesn't want to be touched. In the evenings, though, he loves a good head preening. And anytime of day, he wants to stay within feet of me, or hang out on my knee. It took many months of interaction with my CAG to get to the point where he trusted me.

But this one tells his owner exactly what he doesn't want:

In recent years, more studies are being done on various animal species regarding intelligence. The African grey has become a popular subject, especailly sine Dr. Irene Pepperberg made Alex the CAG famous in her research lab. Do we really need to take such a cold, scientific look at live, sentient beings?

Read on:

African Grey Parrots Are Studied For Cognitive Speech Patterns


ParrotShop is a news and media website that collects stories, information and resources from around the web. Michaela Kennedy, online publisher and owner of the website, researches birds, both captive and in the wild, in order to support parrot rescues, wildlife rehabilitation and conservation, and promote awareness for parrots in need. Please visit and post comments and questions about parrot behavior, nutrition, and any other questions you may have about birds in our world. Thank you for visiting, and come back often!

86 Comments to This African Grey Has An Attitude. Some Folks Just Don’t Like To Be Touched.

  1. My Simon asks me to “pet the head” and if I say “no” he says “please”. I can pick him up, he loves to cuddle under my chin and really loves it when I kiss under his wings. He sticks that wing straight up for me to kiss under…. Lol

  2. My African Grey Parker, likes to be cuddled blown on, stroked and kissed. When he feels like it. He then demands “want a “coffee” That usually kissed half an hour on the head usually when you are busy!

  3. My girl would cuddle with me and nap in the crook of my neck. Sadly she died from heart problems. The one I have now is sweet, but not a cuddle kind of guy. He is more interested in getting into everything!

  4. They can be hard work really and had a grey for 24 years and dont think anyone should buy them as a pet if they dont know anything about them.
    Agree with previous comments but they are a wild bird and have big moods and only have one partner as in their nature

  5. some time ago we took our grey to have her beak and claws clipped, when removing her from the carry box she – with great gusto said- TOERAG to the vet,. oh we did laugh lol lol.

  6. My grey picks, looks like a junkyard bird at times but loves the hell outta me and only me. Lol. She’s 16, I rescued her at 6 yrs old and she likes me to hold her and pet her. She rode my shoulder cross country and even slept on my chest while I Drove. Yeah, she’s cuddly.

  7. I have a Grey. His name is Oscar. He will NOT allow ANY males at all to go near his cage.. My poor grandson despite being repeatedly told to leave him.. and my poor husband has been attacked and bitten MANY times. Pippa.. our previous Grey.. didn’t like me going to her cage but if she was out and sat with my husband ~ I was allowed to give her tickles. Proven fact. Male greys bond with the female in the home and vice versa. My Mums two greys are the same. Rascal loves Poppa and Bertie Loves her.. and will only tolerate a small amount of interaction from the opposite sex

  8. My little feller won’t let me touch him now As a hand raised baby it was all about mom but when he hit puberty he tossed me like a bag of bad potatoes and is all about my husband now. He still loves me but no touching now (for 7 years!!) LOL

  9. Sometimes they just want their head scratched but watch for the eye out te corner of the eye, it’s gotcha game. I walk away as soon as he bites to teach him I’ll go away if he bites. He knows everything. Asked him what he is doing and he said “listening”.

  10. My Owen, a 16 yr old CAG, was super cuddly until he was a couple of years old, and then he wasn’t. And then, at about 14, he got cuddly again. Now, if he doesn’t get his hugs, he’s crabby.

  11. My husband’s African Grey, Rebel, will give him kisses on his nose & cheek, but I don’t get that close to him! If I ask him, “rub the beak?”, sometimes he’ll stick that weapon thru the wires of cage & let me rub him on beak without trying to bite me, so guess he somewhat likes me! LOL!

  12. Most Greys I know are brilliant, but not always cuddly…or in a few cases, even nice. Athena is the only parrot I’ve ever met of any species who negotiates not by implied or actual beak attacks, but by beak kisses. She uses them to say thanks, to dissuade/persuade, etc.. We can learn so much from them.

  13. Miss Henry was at least 33 years old when she came to us and we expected she wouldn’t be very cuddly. A few weeks after she arrived she said “I’m a cuddle bird!” And from then on (2 years now) she has had to have special cuddle time everyday. It’s part of our nightly routine but she’ll say “I’m a love bird” or “I’m a cuddle bird” if she wants to snuggle at other times. She’s super sweet!

  14. My girl is 25 years old and I raised her from a hatchling, she trusts me and loves a good head rub and kisses but only when she is in the mood.

  15. All Grey’s, TAGs and CAGs both, have at$#%&!@*ude. It is what makes them a blessing to us willing to understand what they think to be funny. I am blessed to have a male CAG and a female TAG. (Congo African Grey, Timneh African Grey)

  16. So cute lol 🙂 I have a Timneh African Grey and a Red-bellied parrot and maybe it’s because I got them as babies and hand fed them and snuggled them every night but they are both real snuggly. The only time I get at$#%&!@*ude is when I put them back in their room after a snuggling session because they don’t want to go in!

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