Pionus parrots are beautiful, quiet, sweet birds.
The Pionus parrot has instinctive behaviors and needs you should know to avoid problem behaviors.
The Pionus parrot is known to be a relatively quiet bird that loves attention, but will also be content to entertain itself when provided stimulating toys.
They are not as demanding as other parrot species, but that does not mean they don’t need human companionship. Most love to perch outside the cage next to you and enjoy head scratches.
Some owners claim that their birds are accepting of strangers, while others say that their bird will not go to strangers. I believe that, for the most part, it has to do with how the bird is raised.
If your parrot is hand-fed and well socialized as a young bird, it will be much more likely to accept strangers. The Pionus parrot has a tendency to become a one-owner bird if it is not well socialized.
At times when these birds get frightened or excited will sometimes wheeze and sound like it can’t breath properly. This is perfectly normal and nothing to fret about.
Exercise, play and a balanced diet are very important, for without these things they tend to become overweight and develop health problems.
All Pionus' do have the ability to talk, but most don’t have large vocabularies. The Blue-Headed and the Maximilian are noted for the better vocabularies. They are also good at imitating household noises.
Some birds are louder than others, just like children. Spending time with your feathered companion and learning what makes him happy will help keep the volume level down.
You should check out Chet's FREE Parrot Training information below. After he sends you your free information, I'm sure you will want to purchase his whole training system!
Another factor to consider is boredom. You need to provide plenty of toys for your parrot to attack and also some to destroy.
Find great Parrot Bird Toys page here
Common Pionus Species
The Blue-Headed Pionus is a small to medium size parrot. They have a green plumage with a bright blue head, black feathers over the ears, and throat feathers with varying amounts of pink. As is true of all the Pionus parrots, they have bright red feathers under their tails.
Like many parrots, the Blue-headed Pionus does not get it’s full coloring until it is one or two years of age. Some Blue-Heads have darker heads than others. Their beak is black, with a red spot on either side of the upper mandible. Juveniles have paler coloring and less blue on their heads than the adults.
These birds are known for their gentle, quiet nature and are considered an excellent choice for a first time parrot owner. They are great pets for those who live in apartments.
The stocky Bronze-Winged Pionus makes a wonderful, quiet family pet. They have violet-blue plumage, white chin feathers with pink tips on the throat, and a bronze-green shimmer on the wings. They have bright red feathers under their tails. Juveniles have less coloring than the adults.
The Dusky Pionus is sometimes called the Violet Pionus. They appear to have slate blue plumage, a red spot on both sides of their head just above the beak with white streaks on their neck. Their primary wing feathers are a beautiful blue and they have bright red feathers under their tail. Juveniles have a bit more green on their heads, a greenish tinge over their wings, and their eyes are darker.
The Maximilian Pionus is a small to medium size stocky parrot. They have bronze-green plumage with a pretty blue chest. Their tail feathers are green down the middle and blue on the outside edges. They have the bright red under the tail feathers. Juveniles are paler overall and have less blue on their throats than the adults.
The White-Capped Pionus parrots tend to have more attitude than the other birds, but are just as sweet and affectionate. They need more consistent training and a little more attention according to many owners.
These birds have white on their forehead and throat. The rest of the head is blue and the breast has olive-brown feathers edged with deep violet-blues, gradually turning green across the abdomen.
They have a variety of colors on the tops of the wings from golden browns, violet-blues, blues, to greens and under their wings are a bluish green moving to a dull green. The tail is green tipped with blue with blue feathers on the outside with bright red feathers underneath.
Pionus parrots need a diet that has 60 - 80 percent of good quality low-fat pellets. Some pellets are just junk. We like the Totally Organics Pellets because they are 100% organic and they don't even have artificial vitamins in them. This is important if you have a bird with allergies. We also like Harrison's Organic Pellets.
I suggest that you pick one that is organic and not artificially dyed. Anything artificial has to be cleansed by the kidneys before it can be used. A lot of pellets are just junk.
Switching Birds To Pellets article
The other 20 - 40 percent of their diet should consist of some seed blend along with dehydrated or fresh colorful vegetables, beans, rice and a little fruit, again preferably organic. Remember that the chemicals sprayed and fed to plants have to be cleansed by their tiny kidneys. The Totally Organics All In One Seed Mix is a great choice!
CAUTION: Never give your parrot alcohol, avocado or chocolate - these can kill your parrot! Also avoid asparagus, eggplant, cabbage, caffeine products, junk food, milk and cream, raw potato, and rhubarb (including the leaves).
Any chemicals or artificial coloring makes their kidneys work hard to filter it all out. Who knows what may have been sprayed on all that stuff?
No matter what the manufacturer of pellets say, most experienced parrot breeders and owners will tell you that parrots on an all pellet diet are not as healthy as those that get a variety of healthy foods.
Get some high quality organic pellets and dehydrated veggie, fruit and nut mixes here.
When fresh fruits and vegetables are not possible, dehydrated fruits and vegetables are great! Many birds love to crunch on dried fruits and veggies.
The best thing about them is that they don't spoil, so you can leave them in the cage for hours or even days. This is handy when you are trying to get them to accept fruits and veggies.
When you are going to be home with them, you can moisten them with warm water to provide fresh-like fruits and veggies. Boy does this come in handy when you are traveling or on an outing!
See the Lixit Bottles we sell at competitive prices here!
We provide bath water in the morning and sometimes in the evening on warm days, but we only leave it in there one to two hours so that they don’t drink nasty water all day.
Do invest in a water bottle. You will avoid lots of potential health problems by insuring they have clean water to drink that hasn’t been bathed and pooped in.
If your parrot has not used a water bottle before, you will need to provide both a water bottle and a dish until you see that they are drinking from the bottle.
Lixit makes a glass water bottle that has a wire instead of a spring that keeps it on the cage if you are worried about safety. (Some birds get their foot or beak stuck in the spring attachment on other bottles.)
Here are some cages you can consider
Pionus parrots need a lot of room to climb and play. Provide a cage at least 24x24x32 with 3/4" bar spacing. For the larger species (Blue-Headed or Maximilian) the spacing can be increased to one inch.
They should be provided with a variety of toys and they need to be rotated out so they don’t become bored. Consider getting a cage with a playpen on top for them to play on when you are home. The more room they have the happier they will be.
Some will argue with me and say that they should be in a small cage so that they will be happy to get out and play with you. We have not found that to be an issue with our birds.
If your family becomes its flock, because you are spending quality time with it, the bird will want to come out and be with you. A large cage will not change his love for you in my opinion.
Cages for Vet Visits and Outings
You need to consider what type of carrier you will use for transporting your Pionus Parrot in. You never know if you might break down or may decide to take your parrot with you on a trip. Purchase a comfortable cage for these occasions.
Look at Discount Travel Bird Cages now
Pionus Parrot Stories written by their owners
Below is a list of Pionus pictures and some have short informational stories written by their owners. You will want to read all of them! Have fun.