Classification ------------ Scientific Name ------------ Other Common Names ------------
Species Description ------------
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.