Classification Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae Scientific Name Pionus Menstruus Other Common Names Blue headed Parrot
Species Description The Blue-headed Parrot is about 27 cm long and
weighs 245 g. It is mainly green with a blue head, neck and upper
breast, red undertail, and some yellow on the wing coverts. Sexes
are alike, but immatures have less blue on the head, as well as red
or pinkish feathers around the ceres. They molt into their adult
plumage at about 8 months of age, but it can take up to two years
for the full blue hood to emerge.
The Blue-headed Parrot
nests in tree cavities. The eggs are white and there are usually
three to five in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about
26 days and the chicks leave the nest about 70 days after hatching.
Habitat Forest and semi-open country, including
Distribution It is a resident breeding bird in tropical
Central and South America, from Costa Rica and Trinidad south to
Bolivia and Brazil.
Captivity The Blue-headed Pionus is noted for its gentle
nature and can become a very devoted pet, sometimes bonding fiercely
to their owner. They are considered an excellent bird for a
beginning parrot owner, and because they are generally calm and
quiet, they are also a great pet for people who live in apartments
or in close proximity to neighbors where noise can be a problem.
Summary Pionus is a genus of medium-sized parrots
native to Central and South America. Characteristic of the genus are
the chunky body, bare eye ring, (which can vary in color), and short
tail. They are superficially similar to Amazon parrots, but smaller.
Coloration is generally subdued yet complex; under bright lighting,
their feathers shimmer with iridescent brilliance. All species share
bright red undertail coverts; the scientific name of one species,
the Blue-headed Parrot (P. menstruus), refers to this. Males and
females are similar, with no notable sexual dimorphism.
Pionus parrots are regarded as excellent pets, although some species
are very rare in captivity. Most commonly kept species are the
Blue-headed, Maximillian (Scaly-headed) and White-capped. Others,
such as the Dusky and the Bronze-winged have become more common due
to captive breeding.
Pionus parrots are quieter than
Amazon Parrots. Unlike some other companion parrots, aviculturists
have noted that they are not particularly energetic, and do not
generally enjoy hands-on play (for example, being flipped on their
backs), but they do provide companionship and are described as
gentle and charming pets.
When excited or frightened,
birds of this genus emit a characteristic wheezing or snorting sound
that is sometimes mistaken for a sign of distress, or a symptom of
disease. They also give off a musky or sweet odor that some
caretakers find unpleasant, but others enjoy.
parrots are susceptible to obesity, vitamin A deficiency, and
aspergillosis in captivity. These conditions, with the exception of
aspergillosis, are easily prevented.