Timneh African Grey VS Congo – Which Is Better for You?

Learn about the differences between the Timneh African Grey VS Congo. The scientific name for the Congo African grey is Psittacus erithacus erithacus, versus the scientific name for the Timneh African grey is Psittacus timneh. At one time, they did classify the Timneh as a subspecies of the Congo African grey; however, it is now a  species in its own right.

Even though there are some significant differences between the  Timneh African Grey VS Congo, still each bird may have some color variations within each subspecies. Overall the African grey Timneh is a smaller bird (not much) than the congo. Both types of African greys require someone patient and caring.

When your parrot bites you for what seems like no reason, it will take patience to try to understand what triggered them to bite. However, we will go into the specific details on the differences between Timneh and Congo African grey below.

What is the Difference Between a Congo and Timneh African Grey

If you wonder what the types of African greys are, we can help. The two primary African grey parrots are the Congo African grey and Timneh African grey. Both birds are similar in their intelligence behavior, and they both have a powder coating on their feathers. The only way to figure out the gender of each subspecies is through a DNA test. Some people claim that their male birds have darker back feathers; however, DNA is the best way to tell the difference between male and female African grey parrots.

Timneh African Grey VS Congo African Grey

African Grey Size Comparison

How big are African grey parrots? That depends on whether you are talking about a Timneh African Grey VS Congo.  The Congo African grey is the more significant two types of African greys. The male Congo African grey can grow up to be 14 inches in height, while the more petite Timneh African Grey only grows to 10 inches or so.

The difference between a Congo and Timneh just might be one of your primary concerns if you are considering adding an African grey parrot to your family. Which is better for you? The Congo or Timneh? Well, the Congo has a larger body for a giant bird. However, the Timneh is smaller, but both birds have similar personalities.

They both require a lot of care and attention. Having an African grey is like having a two-year-old for the next 40+ years. African greys can be loud; they are famous for screeching when they want attention or want to call you over.

Both the Timneh and Congo will bond with their owners. Furthermore, they are both used to living in a large flock, so if you have multiple family members in the house, the birds should do just fine.

Sometimes the African grey temperament also depends on having a Timneh African Grey VS Congo. Like all animals, including humans, each bird is unique, and its character depends partly on nature and nurture. 

Keep in mind that whether you have a Timneh African grey VS Congo, you will have to learn what to feed your African grey parrot. They both have similar dietary needs.

African Grey Congo Parrot Overview

Congo african grey has brighter red feathers

The African grey Congo parrot is endemic to equatorial Africa, including the ivory coast, Ghana, and Kenya. The Congo African grey parrot bird is larger. The Congo is known for its chunkier body solid black beak; Congo’s are typically grey and white with red tails. They can vary in shades of colors, like some birds have the red factor.

The red factor is a gene mutation that initially occurred in the wild, and breeders now are explicitly choosing to create all red African grey parrots. Keep in mind that both types of African grey parrots are endangered.

Features of Timneh VS Congo African Grey Parrot

Congo is a lighter grey vs. the darker grey Timneh. The Congo African grey has. Brighter red tail than the Timneh.

How Big?

A Congo African grey parrot is 12 to 14 inches and weighs 400 to 650 grams.

Parrot Wingspan

16 – 21 inches

Congo African Grey Personality

Remember that each bird is an individual, so any differences you find being reported between the Timneh and Congo are usually purely anecdotal. A little louder than the Timneh’s, and some are more high-strung. However, it all depends on how they are handled and interacted with at a young age.


The Congo African Grey is a talker and loves to repeat things it hears. The Congo often takes a little longer to mature than the Timneh and will not usually begin talking and repeating until 1-2 years.


40 – 70 years

The African grey parrot lifespan is similar for both species.

Suitable for:

The Congo African grey needs a lot of care and companionship. They are not for novice bird owners and will do best in a home where they don’t spend a lot of time alone. Some people say they tend to be high strung and are usually not good in a house with small children. Unfortunately, when the African grey parrot ends up in a home that does not pay enough attention,  this environment can create a bird under stress and unhappiness.

Read More About cage liners for birds and what to put on an African Grey’s cage.

African Grey Timneh Parrot Overview

timneh African grey has a darker back feathers
Timneh african grey from behind

The African grey Timneh parrot (TAG) is endemic to western parts of Africa, Upper Guinean forest, including Mali and Sierra Leone. The Timneh African grey is a smaller version of the African grey Congo. The Timneh is known for its darker gray body, maroon red tail, solid black lower beak, and dark rosy/brown upper beak.

Timneh’s have a variety of color variations making each bird unique based on their genetics. Although they are typically darker than Congo’s, they vary, just like all parrots can vary in shades. Anotherunhappyto not about Timneh’s is that they are less prone to feather plucking than the Congo species.


Timneh is a darker grey vs. the lighter grey Congo. The Timnehs have a solid black lower beak and a dark rosy more golden upper beak. The Timneh African grey VS Congo has a more maroon color for the tail.

How Big?

Timnehs are about 11 to 13 inches tall and weigh 275 to 400 grams.

Parrot Wingspan

13 – 15 inches

Timneh African Grey Personality/Character

Remember that each bird is an individual, so differences are usually purely anecdotal. Often less high-strung than the Congo, some people claim their Timneh parrots are more friendly than their Congo greys. However, we like to reiterate that each bird is unique, and their personality partly has to do with how much handling and training they get from a young age. Both the Timneh and the Congo can make excellent companion animals for the right person.


The Timneh is a talkative bird and will readily repeat anything they hear. A Timneh usually starts talking and stringing words together at around six months.


40 – 70 years

Suitable for:

They will do great in a home where they will receive plenty of attention, playtimeTheTo, and interaction.

young Timneh parrot

Which Breed is Right For You?

One thing to consider is that the Timneh is a little bit smaller than a Congo African grey. In particular, if you live in an apartment or have a smaller house, then you might want to consider getting a Timneh African grey. Therefore, the Congo is more oversized, eats more food, and will need more things to shred.

However, you can always supplement their diet with pellets and other healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables to ensure they don’t go hungry. Both Timnehs and Congos are great talkers, but it all depends. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that reports Congos to have a more extensive vocabulary.

Final Thoughts on Timneh African Grey VS Congo

Choosing between a Timneh African grey and Congo African Grey parrot can be difficult, as both breeds have their unique personalities and features. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what you are looking for in a pet bird and how much care you are willing to provide. If you want a high-energy, talkative bird that loves companionship, either the Congo or the Timneh will make a great choice. Furthermore, if you live in a small home or are not prepared to handle a large bird, the Timneh might be more suitable. Whichever species you choose, make sure to spend plenty of time with your new companion and give them lots of love!

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