Blue Headed Pionus Parrot
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Cage Accessories of Blue Headed Pionus Parrot
The cage should be spacious as small cages make the bird sedentary and overweight. Toys can be put inside the cage for entertainment purpose.
They should be kept in environments where the temperature does not exceed 80°F (26.7°C) in summer, whereas during winter, the temperature should be maintained between 40°F and 50°F (5°C and 10°C).
Personality and Behavior of Blue Headed Pionus Parrot
Blue-headed pionus make good pets, being easy-going and fun-loving. Even though they do not have much talking ability, they are a better option than many loud and noisy species due to their peaceful nature. Affectionate, and sociable, the birds respond well to training, enjoying direct contact with the owner, like a head scratch. They are known to be independent as they engage themselves with food and toys without being constantly monitored by you.
They are less aggressive than other parrot species and tend to bite less often. However, during their breeding season, the temperament of the males is very aggressive towards their mates and keeper as well.
Care for Blue Headed Pionus Parrot
Regular bath will help maintain healthy plumage and skin. Care should be taken not to trim the wing feathers too much as they tend to fall and get injured.
They should be given high quality formulated pelleted food with fresh fruits and vegetables. With a proper diet, they do not require additional nutritional supplements. However, as they are known to be prone to vitamin-A deficiency, consulting a doctor may be necessary if you notice any warning signs, like patchy feather-loss. Although, ringworms may also cause the same symptom.
They tend to suffer from aspergillosis, a type of birds’ respiratory disease and also bacterial and fungal infections. Visceral gout is another illness which affects blue-headed pionus, and the disease may be associated with improper diet. Pox virus infection, feather-picking, psittacosis, and toe necrosis are some other disorders associated with blue-headed pionus.
The Blue-headed Parrot is a medium-large parrot, averaging 11 inches (28 cm) in length and its weight range is between 200 to 260 grams.
The plumage of the adult Blue Headed Pionus is generally green. The head, neck and upper breast are a deep blue. There is a red base on the feathers on their necks that show through. They have black patches on their ear coverts (feathers covering the ears) and the undertail is red. There is some yellow on the wing coverts. Their bill is blackish with red at the sides. The skin around their eyes (periophthalmic ring) is grey and their irides (= plural of iris) are a dark brown. Their feet and legs are grey.
Both males and females look alike. DNA or surgical sexing is recommended for those desiring to determine the gender.
Immatures have less blue on the head. Younger birds have a reddish frontal band [a few red feathers right above the cere (nose)]. The number of red feathers varies greatly with individuals, and these red feathers usually fall out by the time the pionus is 3 months old and are completely gone by the time the pionus reaches 1 year of age. The blue color is close to complete at one year of age. However, the blue can increase in intensity until about the second year of age. When the pionus is 2 to 3 years old, they will have attained full adult coloring.
Diet / Feeding
They feed on fruits, seeds, berries and blossom. They are also considered “crop pests” as they cause considerable damage to cornfields.
Blue-headed Pionus Parrots are increasingly popular as pets. They are very affectionate and although they are not birds that particularly enjoy being cuddled, they do love a head scratch.
They are quite independent birds, they are happy to amuse themselves with toys and food without constant attention from the owner. Well-socialized pionus parrots really enjoy interacting with people.