Avian Species Menu

Dusky Pionus Parrot

Dusky 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 Fuscus
Other Common Names
Species Description
A dull slate-blue head, their lores area is red and their ear coverts are black edged with whitish feathers. Their chin feathers are edged with a dull punk and their back and wings are a dark brown, each feather with a pale edge. The breast and abdomen are brown with a dull pink or bluish edging. Their under wing coverts are violet-blue and their tail is dark blue with the outer tails feathers having a red base. Their bill is blackish and horn coloured on the sides. The skin around their ophthalmic rings is grey and their iris's brown. Their feet are grey. The immature Dusky Pionus has darker iris's and a greenish-blue head.

The Dusky Parrot nests in tree cavities. The eggs are white and there are usually three or four in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about 26 days and the chicks leave the nest about 70 days after hatching.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

The Dusky Parrot's range is northern South America, and is centered on the Guiana countries, the Guiana Shield, and the northeastern Amazon Basin. It is mostly limited on the west in central-eastern Venezuela by avoiding the Orinoco River itself, but living on its eastern side, from near the Caribbean coast to about 1000 km upstream. To the west a small disjunct group lives west of Lake Maracaibo on the Colombia-Venezuela border.

Other limits to Dusky Parrot's range is northwest Maranh�o state Brazil, Baia de Sao Marcos; also in the southeast Amazon Basin, the confluence of the northern flowing Araguaia-Tocantins River. South of Guyana in the western Guianas, the range limit of the Dusky Parrot is in central Roraima state Brazil; the bird is found east of the south flowing Branco River in its lower reaches; the upper reaches are in the contiguous range going into Guyana and Venezuela.

They are very quiet in comparison with other parrot families and make excellent pets. They are not known for talking like other parrots; instead they can say from 10-20 words.

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.

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