Avian Species Menu

Bronze wing Pionus Parrot

Bronze wing 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

Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae
Scientific Name
Pionus Chalopterus
Other Common Names
Blue headed Parrot
Species Description
Violet-blue; head and nape bronze-brown, feathers broadly edged dark violet-grey; chin white; throat dull pink; back, rump and shoulder feathers dark bronze-green with blue edging; breast and abdomen dark green broadly edged with dark violet-blue; under tail-coverts red; wing-coverts bronze-brown; primary-coverts and primaries purple-blue; tail dark blue, outer feathers with red base; bill yellowish horn-color; skin to periophthalmic ring dull to dark pink; iris brown; feet flesh-colored.

Forest of tropical and sub-tropical zones between 1,500 ft and 6,000 ft occasionally higher or lower; regular visitor to cleared and partially deforested areas.

Northern part of South America, including Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and northern Peru.

Being curious, personable, and quite intelligent, the Bronze-winged Pionus makes a wonderful family pet. They are also a great pet for people who live in apartments or in close proximity to neighbors (where noise can be a problem) because they have a relatively quiet calm personality.

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.