Saturday, July 21, 2007

Species Profile - Pionus Parrots

Pionus Parrots

Today we are featuring the Pionus Parrot. Mom says she used to just adore a little white capped pionus she used to baby sit before I came along. Let's learn a little more about them. (This article originally appeared in the Your Parrot Place) Newsletter 08-2004.

Pionus Parrots - Species Profile
by Taylor Knight
The photo is of Stinky Pi, a white capped Pionus.
Photos are courtesy of Margaret Madison.

Species: Blue-headed (P. menstruus), Bronz-Winged (Pionus chalcopterus), Dusky (P. fuscus), White-capped (P. senils), Maximilian's (P. maxmiliani), Coral-billed (P. sordidus), Plum-crowned (P. tumultuosus), White-headed (P. t. seniloides).

Species commonly kept as pets are the blue-headed, Maximilians, white-capped and bronze-winged Pionus.

Coloring / Size: Pionus do not have any overtly bright coloring like Macaws, but are beautiful. Each species has their own "color scheme" and some of their feathers have an iridescent quality. They are a medium size - between a Caique and an African Grey. About 23-30 cm (9 - 12 inches)

Originating Country: Central and South America

Possible life span: 30 to 45 years

Overall Personality: A bit on the quieter side (for a parrot), but produce both soft and loud sounds. Can be a little cautious of new new environments and may need time to adjust. Pionus can mimic sounds and learn to speak. These little guys can also become intensely loyal. They are not known to have extreme behavioral problems. Pionus can be affected, briefly, by hormones - but it soon passes.

Pionus are generally not overly cuddly. Meaning you can pet them and love them, but they have a more "independent" nature and are content to be around the family without having to be picked up and held all the time (unlike cockatoos!). Pionus parrots love to climb, hang, and play. I would seriously consider getting them a separate parrot playstand to keep them busy outside their cage.

Unusual characteristics: Pionus make an unusual wheezing sound when stressed or occasionally when they feel good. They can also make a purring sound when getting a head scratch. They give off a musky odor, it's normal.

Cages: A 20x20x28 cage or larger with ¾-inch bar spacing.

Sexing: Both male and female look identical and need to sexed by a professional.

Other issues: Pionus are known for sometimes having a weight problem. Just make sure they eat right, get enough exercise and learn how to check thier body condition and it won't be an issue.

Pionus Parrot
Avian Network
Impeckable Aviaries
Bird Talk Magazine