Pionus Parrots Make Great Pets

The Blue-headed Parrot has a gentle nature, a quiet voice and is quite small. It makes an ideal pet and is eminently suitable for a child. The most frequently available member of the Pionus parrots, its requirements are simple. Diet should include a rather large proportions of small seeds such as canary, buckwheat and hemp (if available) in relation to the larger sunflower and safflower seed consumed in greater quantity by Amazons. Peanuts and pine nuts are also relished. Naturally, fruit and vegetables should also be provided and this bird also enjoys shelled walnuts.

Although this little parrot is not as colorful as an Amazon it is far easier to manage, particularly for the novice. Training should be faily low-key to allow for the bird's quite sensitive nature—never try to rush things. This parrot soon becomes very tame if handled gently. If you can obtain a youngster you will have no problems in teaching it to be a well behaved pet. It should soon be perching happily on a small stand when out of its cage and will nestle happily on your shoulder for long periods usually enjoying having its head stroked.

The Blue-headed Parrot is not noted for any talking ability but there is no reason why it should not learn a word or two. As it is capable of showing great affection you may not be too worried about any lack of vocal capability.

This parrot has an attractive face and is very graceful. Spraying regularly with warm water will impart a fine gloss to the plumage. It is not given to a great deal of flying, usually preferring to perch quietly in a favorite spot.

In addition to the Blue-headed there are a number of other Pionus parrots that are frequently quite easy to obtain. They are all highly suitable for those nervous of larger birds and for children. These little parrots very quickly learn to go in and out of their cages, enjoy sitting on top of their cages or on a stand and are surprisingly obedient. The four listed below all make excellent pets.

MAXIMILIAN'S PARROT (Pionus maximiliani)
Original habitat: Argentina and Brazil
Average size: 11 in.
This parrot makes a delightful and engaging pet and often learns to say a word or two in a quiet little voice.

CORAL-BILLED PARROT (Pionus sordidus corallinus)
Original habitat: Tropical South America
Average size: 11 in.
The name comes from its rather pretty beak.

Average size: 9.6 in.
The smallest of the group with a striking white-capped head, frequently an amusing bird which enjoys playing with its owner. In form, habits and general coloration resembles the Blue-headed Parrot. It is a little bit noisier than the Blue-headed. In the wildIt is found mainly in the range from eastern Mexico to western Panama.

BRONZE-WINGED PARROT (Pionus chalcopterus)
Original habitat: Tropical South America
Average size: 11 in.
A small parrot with very beautiful plumage which looks iridiscent if kept well sprayed, a myriad mix of colors. Usually much more expensive than the other Pionus parrots mentioned, but a joy to own for its looks as well as its personality.