Avian Species Menu

Blue head Pionus Parrot

Blue head Pionus Parrot

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Species Organizations

National Audubon Society
Website: www.audubon.org
Cornell Lab of Orinthology
Website: www.birds.cornell.edu
The Avian Web
Website: www.avianweb.com

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 cultivated areas.

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.

Pionus parrots are susceptible to obesity, vitamin A deficiency, and aspergillosis in captivity. These conditions, with the exception of aspergillosis, are easily prevented.


Dogs
Horse Herd