Pionus

The playful pionus

The pionus parrot (pronounced pi-oh-nus) is not a well-known species to the average person. They definitely take a back seat to their more colorful parrot cousins. But their larger than life and outgoing personality that makes them an attractive choice to perspective new owners.

The pionus are fun and active birds that enjoy some raucous and rowdy playtime. The pionus is sometimes compared with the caique in their style of play. They are fairly adept at mimicking, and are intelligent parrots. As is always the case with intelligence, it is typically accompanied by unusual behavior.

A friend once told me that her two maximillian pionus parrots would resort to complete deception when frightened. They would begin “gasping”. They might mimic convulsions or a loss of coordination to the point of “falling” from its perch. All of this drama could be brought on by the appearance of a broom – the symptoms would remarkably vanish as soon as the broom did. No doubt, this a tactic to deter the attack of predators in the wild. Does it work? Who knows? But it scared my friend half to death on more than one occasion.

As amusing, and interesting, as this story is, one has to consider the likeliness that this species of parrot is smart enough to use manipulation of other sorts to get its way. We owners can be easily distracted by their charm and fall right into their trap. It is in everyone’s best interest to establish a plan for peaceful co-existence as soon as the new bird has adjusted to being in your home.

How to bond with your pionus parrot

By nature, the pionus makes a pleasant companion bird. They are not loud and they play well independently without making too many demands of the humans in their life. This is an easy going bird that doesn’t seem to let stress get in the way of their fun.

Fun for the pionus is laying on its back wrestling a foot toy. Fun is swinging from the plastic chain link by one foot. Fun is around every corner for this playful species. To help maintain a strong bond with your bird, see that you are a part of you pionus’ play regimen.

Training is the ideal way to create strong bonds as it gives you both the opportunity to spend quality time together while building trust and achieving a common goal.

You will want to establish a time during each day for uninterrupted interaction that involves direct eye contact and your undivided attention. This way, your pionus will view you as something more than a caregiver – you will become a human flock mate.

11 comments

Mark

This article seems to be written about another species of parrot and certaily not the pionus. A caique is realy a high energy bird as compared to the low energy pionus. Maybe the pionus is the ‘lowest’ energy parrot type.

Mark
Arlene Lawson

Are there any honest breeders? I have been searching for a bronzewing Pionus but am very skeptical of those that I have come across online. They scream of scammers and the red flag jumps right out, unfortunately. Can you help me find one? Thank you.

Arlene Lawson
Ryan Paul Somerville Leeke

I’ve just adopted a 20 year old female Dusky Pionus, and although I grew up with parrots around the house, they were never my responsibility. I’m finding it very difficult to adjust to looking after her, not because I can’t, but because there’s an overwhelming amount of different advice around the internet, and very little dedicated to Pinonus’. I’ve only had her 2 weeks now, and she’s very happy to be pet on her head but will only come out of the cage if she’s bribed with treats. She’s very demanding when it comes to being pet which is cute, but she won’t eat anything that isn’t her seed mix which is frustrating. I just have to keep trying her with new foods, but she basically throws it to the floor and ignores anything but seeds. Fussy little madam. I love her dearly though so will just have to keep trying.

Ryan Paul Somerville Leeke
Rikki L Snider

1 no ago I came across a 12 yo (they think) Pionus, severely neglected and starved. The Pionus weighed at 170 gram and could not lift 1 wing. His eyes were very tired and they had him in a box prepared to kill him with gas. I have him now and he has gained 10.5 gram this month. 185.5 sharp bones and a long way to go. We found he had an old injury in the side his wing was hanging, never addressed and he has 50% range of motion on that side. He will never fly again, the vet said. I think it’s possible, anything is, right? I have been doing everything I know to do for him but he is still so unsteady. I would love some advice on some of the absolute dealbreaker things that I should be doing. I have had him a month and I just love him so much. I am hoping it’s not too late to give him a full life.

Rikki L Snider
Maria Johnson

How can i teach my pionus to bond with me??

Maria Johnson
Elizabeth Black

We recently adopted a pair of pionus that are thought to be seniors by the rescue. It is interesting having heard what the foster had to say about them and observing with a fresh set of eyes. I have always wanted a blue and gold macaw. Like for 40 years, but I have never felt able to commit due to life situation. I am hoping these two charming parrots will help me learn to be consistent and help me get ready for adding to the family next year. Your macaw videos are a real inspiration. I have noticed that our pionus really have very quirky personalities. We have a smaller blue headed who is sweet and affectionate, but scares easily and is timid, but every single food item is a delightful treat. He (we are saying “he’, but it is not known” was losing his mind with excited chips that i was giving him some big bean sprouts last night. He will put his head down for scritches, but is too shy yet to step up. The bigger bronze wing girl is more adventurous and doesn’t scare, but is much stronger willed and has opinions about who and what she likes and does not like. She is picky about veggies and gets frustrated when not offered preferred pellets and nuts. It is an every day process trying to present veggies in a way that she will accept. But she is the first to adventure, explore and forage. they are not at all difficult birds, but they are showing me how much i need to learn about training to be sure.

Elizabeth Black
Noah

I have recently got a Maximilian Pionus and I have noticed that is is extremely quiet and doesn’t make much noise. He enjoys just relaxing and watching Tv!

Noah
John E Rice

If you were trying to decide which bird would make a more suitable companion for a man who had a full time days desk job but who worked from home without exception, who lived alone and did not leave his house other than to do light yardwork or go to Mass on Sunday and a Bible study on Tuesday evenings and had years of successful prior experience with Senegal Parrots, which would you choose as a better fit- 1. The Quaker Parrot or 2. The Blue Headed Pionus I find myself unable to choose, being unfamiliar with both species. Squalking doesn’t bother me and I do not currently, nor will I have any other animals in the house. So I find myself in the unique position of being able to give the time, the undivided personal attention, the work and the unconditional love to just about any species I end up choosing. I can provide the most comfortable and appropriate living quarters, almost regardless of reasonable cost, and I don’t mind cooking once in awhile for the animal. All I would hope for in return would be the companionship. Which of these two breeds (or a third that you suggest) would be happier with me? There would be regular visits by an avian doctor, of course.

John E Rice
Piper

I have a white capped pionus I’ve had her for 16 years she is very attached to me but I always have troubles getting her out of the cage I either have to get a towel or wait for her to get on top of her cage but when she is out she is a goofball

Piper
Kathryn

The Pionus Parrot seems to be an ideal bird to have as a pet. They are beautiful in appearance, their temperament sounds relaxed yet playful. Ive been doing quite a bit of research on the Pionus Parrot and would love to find a breeder in Australia. There is evidence that they are available here but I am unable to find anyone…

Kathryn
Anne Ahrnell

I am adopting a 6 minsta ord pionus maxilillian this weekend 💐❤ my first parrot and I have been studying for years! I am so excited. I live in the far north of sweden and have emaild you guys for som consultation advice. Please reply. Regards/Anne

Anne Ahrnell

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