scruffy, disheveled feathers on blue-headed pionus
by Deborah Savage
I recently adopted a 6-year old female blue-headed pionus parrot. She came from what seemed to be a knowledgeable home, where she had been one of about five or six other parrots, all different species and each caged separately but allowed lots of free time.
When I picked up my parrot, I thought she appeared very scruffy. The former owner's other birds were all normally sleek-looking. Only the pionus was scruffy. I have now had her about three months and she is still very disheveled in her appearance. She is not dropping feathers nor plucking (just normal-seeming preening)but her feathers are just...messy. The feathers don't lie flat, they stick out every which way on her back, head, and esp.around her tail, and on her breast the under-down sticks out through the feathers. She is not sleek and shiny the way others of her species appear in photos.
She came with a cage, which is quite large enough, it seems--she has plenty of room. I was told she hated getting wet and that attempts to bathe her (by spritzer bottle) resulted in her becoming quite upset, so I don't want to try it unless that is the reason for her messy-looking feathers. But how to wash her if it traumatizes her??!
She is in all other respects (as far as I can tell) quite healthy--active, responsive, excellent appetite,engages in normal preening, adapted quickly and well to her new home. No apparent mites or parasites (but haven't checked with vet). Her beak is healthy-looking, her eyes clear. I am feeding her as per instructions from her former owner: pellets, a good seed mixture, "monkey" biscuits, and plenty of extras: scrambled or boiled egg, oatmeal, beans, also veges and fruit (although she isn't keen on them). Also I have placed a full-spectrum light on over her cage to make up for not much exposure to sunlight.