Classification Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae Scientific Name Pionus Fuscus Other Common Names N/A
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.
Habitat Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical
moist lowland forests.
Distribution 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.
Captivity 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.
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.