How to Care for an African Grey Parrot in a Cold Climate

African Grey Parrot image by mickkid from

For animal lovers, an exotic pet like a parrot is intriguing. Just viewing one of the videos of Dr. Irene Pepperberg's Alex, the African Grey Parrot, will make you want to add a hook-bill to your family. All parrots are tropical creatures, and among their special care needs is a stable temperature.

While in native Africa, an African Grey would be used to an average temperature of 26.7 degrees C. If you live in any of the northern states in the U.S., 26.7 degrees C might be considered a high, with a median temperature much closer to 15.6 degrees C or even much lower in winter. Parrots can be acclimated to live comfortably in almost any environment, but you'll want to make some provisions once an African Grey has joined your household.

Place your bird's cage in a draft-free area of your home. Regardless of where you set your thermostat, drafts and cool breezes can give your parrot a chill which can quickly lead to serious illness.

Set your thermostat so that the temperature in your home won't fall below 15.6 degrees C in the winter. Likewise in the summer, your thermostat should be set so that you home doesn't get any warmer than 32.2 degrees C. Within the 60 to 90 degree range is the optimal temperature for African Greys, as well as for most parrots.

Feed your parrot a healthy diet as recommended by an avian veterinarian. The correct balance of nutrients is vital for the health of any pet, but keeping your African Grey fed enough without overfeeding is just as important, as an underweight bird will have a hard time staying warm and an overweight bird will just as easily overheat.