There are many types of Pionus parrots in the world and each of them has its own distinctive color. These 7 types of Pionus parrots are most popular for pets.
1. The Pionus Menstruus (Blue-Headed Parrot)
The Pionus Menstruus or the blue-headed parrot is predominantly green. One of the quietest on the spectrum, the blue-headed one, as the name suggests, has a blue head and neck. It has red underflow coverts and is found in tropical areas of South and Central America.
Let’s take a better look at one of the most popular bird species of the Pionus parrots called the Blue-headed Pionus. This highly valued parrot of the Pinus genus is curious, intelligent, and active.
Even though Blue-headed Pionus aren’t good at talking like most parrots in general, they make up for this lack of talk with their funny antics and friendly disposition.
Blue-headed Pionus are naturally gentle birds and could potentially make a very loyal pet, often fiercely bonding with their owner.
For a beginning parrot owner, Blue-headed Pionus are considered excellent birds as they are usually calm and quiet. And because of this, they are also an excellent pet option for those who live in apartments or dorms.
The scientific name for the blue-headed parrot is Pionus Menstruus with subspecies individually named Pionus Menstruus Reichenowi and Pionus Menstruus Rubrigularis.
They are native birds of Central America, specifically in Costa Rica, as well as in South America, northern Bolivia, and central Brazil.
They are also found in Trinidad. They like to inhabit wooded forests as much as they like to be in tropical areas.
A small to relatively medium-sized species, the Blue-headed Pionus has a charming character and is similar in appearance to its other Pionus cousins.
The bird sports green plumage and typically varies from the rest of the Pionus in that it has a bright blue head, elegant black feathers, and a hint of pink feathers on its throat.
The Blue-headed Pionus takes on its full coloration when it reaches maturity, and when it does, its beautiful feathers have a glossy quality.
The blue-headed Pionus parrot grows to a length of 11 “(28 cm). It is a relatively robust bird, but more susceptible to aspergillosis than other species.
The availability of this parrot is rare, but it is becoming more popular and many are known to be kept as pets.
2. The Pionus Sordidus (Red-Billed Parrot)
The Pionus Sordidus or the red-billed parrot is predominantly green. The color and appearance of the red bill’s breast are dull blues and a bright red bill. It has red underflow coverts and is commonly found in the northwestern regions of South America.
A. The sordid Ecuadorian pionus
The Pionus Sordidus Mindorensis or Ecuadorian sordid parrots call the mountains of western Ecuador home. The head of Ecuadorian sordid parrots is a dull slate blue with lores (the areas between the eyes and the beak on the side of the bird’s head are red with black ear-coverts, edged with whitish feathers.
It has feathers on the chin fringed with matte pink and its back and wings are dark browns with pale edges on each feather. The chest and abdomen of the Ecuadorian sordid parrots are brown with a matte pinkish rim, sometimes bluish.
It has a blue-violet color under the wing coverts. It has a dark blue tail with red-based outer feathers. Its bill is blackish and horn-colored on the sides. They have brown irises and gray legs and are 10 inches (26 cm) long. The seedy Ecuadorian hails from the mountains of western Ecuador.
B. The sordid columbian parrot
The Columbian sordid parrot measures an average of 11 inches (28 cm). The Sordid Colombian parrot closely resembles the parrot mentioned, described and featured above, but is generally a darker green color with no olive-brown markings on the back feathers.
Its chest and abdomen are uniform green, without the blue-pink trim. This subspecies of the Pionus parrot is generally found in the Santa Marta mountain regions in northern Colombia.
3. The Pionus Maximiliani (Scaly-headed Parrot)
The Pionus Maximiliani or scaly-headed parrot stands out with a head of green feathers and is trimmed in a royal blue. The scaly-headed parrot’s chest color can range from royal blue to indigo. Their wings and back are mostly green in color and some birds may develop bronze ‘epaulets’ on their shoulders.
The bird’s vent area has a red tail. In this area, the feathers have a light green hue and in other birds, water or violet. Their beak color can range from horn to black, and most birds have two-tone beaks.
The skin color of the Pionus usually varies from gray to pink. The scaly head of the Maximiliani comes from eastern and central South America.
This type of Pionus looks simple enough when viewed from a distance, but like the Dusky Parrot; The Maximiliani has a variety of soft colors that are astonishingly beautiful when viewed in bright sunlight.
It is also called a scaly-headed parrot because the feathers on its head have gray edges that give it a scaly appearance. They are found in the eastern regions of South America from northern Brazil to Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina. They like to inhabit lowland forests and open forests.
The one that calls Suriname and Guyana its native habitat, the Dusky Pionus, has also gained increased recognition and following in large part due to captive breeding. Loved for its subdued hues that appear iridescent in direct sunlight and its ability to capture and retain teachings.
They are very curious, intelligent, and have a very good memory power. When they learn a trait like stepping forward, they are quite obedient and will stick with their training. It has one of the loveliest pet bird personalities and makes an ideal pet for first-time parrot owners.
They are also wonderful family pets because they can be handled by more than one person and still maintain their sweet character. It is a suitable pet for those who live in apartments because you will hardly hear a peep from them causing alarm or fuss.
4. Pionus Senilis (White-Crowned Parrot)
The Pionus Senilis or white-crowned parrot typically looks dark blue and dark green with a white crown, white forehead, and whitish throat. It usually has an olive-colored patch on the shoulder.
The white-crowned parrot has a light green belly with a hint of red undertail. Both males and females can have a pink ring around their eyes. The white-crowned parrot is native to Mexico and Central America.
5. The Pionus Tumultuosus (Speckle-Faced Parrot)
The Pionus Tumultuosus or Speckle-faced parrot is predominantly green with a dull bluish-gray neck with red undercoats. Its head is mottled red or white and it calls the Andes in South America home.
The speckle-faced or plum-crowned Pionus has the same predominantly green and red body under the tail, as do all other Pionus species. They also share the naked eye rings that the other types of Pionus have.
What differentiates each of them is the subdued colors that are unique to each one and that make them easily identifiable to the trained eye.
The appearance of the Speckle-faced parrot is a bit more colorful than usual with its head full of dark red feathers, highlighted at the tips with splashes of purple along with areas of white feathers (giving it the name spotted face).
The Speckle-faced parrot would normally have a yellow or olive-colored bill or brown eyes, the nape, and back with black feathers. They are found to favor high altitude parts as well as densely forested areas.
When they “talk” and make bird noises, the speckle-faced or plum-crowned Pionus makes a sound that resembles or sounds very much like a laugh.
Plum crowned parrots are said to be nervous and scared both in the wild and in captivity. Perhaps due to this trait, it is practically non-existent in poultry farming with the exception of a small private collection in the United States and another in the Loro Parque Fundación.
Most of the Speckle-faced parrots imported into the United States fall victim to aspergillosis caused perhaps by stress during transportation. They begin to breed between November and December and the young fledge in February/March.
During the mating season, Speckle-faced parrots are frequently seen flocking in small groups. They camouflage well in foliage, are calm and approachable when feeding, and at other times alert and evasive.
They sound similar to the Red-billed Pionus (Pionus Seniloides) and the noises they make when calling. Their call sounds are described as distinctive. When scared, they scream loudly as they take flight.
These parrots are particularly vocal during the morning, it is an energetic bird considered of average noise. Initially, they are frivolous and shy and gasp in fear when alarmed.
It is also slow to trust. Rare parrots, such as the plum crowned, are best left alone in the wild or placed in a well-managed conservation or breeding program to ensure long-term survival. The breeding of Speckle-faced parrots rarely accomplished in captivity.
Speckle-faced parrots are often intolerant of the presence of other birds, so it is best to keep pairs on their flights. They are not hard chewers, but it is strongly recommended that you install double wiring to protect the birds in adjoining cages.
Give them opportunities to bathe every day by equipping their enclosure with a bath or shower, as they enjoy this activity very much.
6. The Pionus Chalcopterus (Bronze-winged Parrot)
The Pionus Chalcopterus or the Bronze-winged parrot has a dark blue body with red undercoat-coverts. It has a pinkish throat with dark bronze-green wings and its natural habitat can be found in the northwestern regions of South America.
7. The Pionus Fuscus (Dusky Parrot)
The Pionus Fuscus or dusky parrot has a dark brownish-gray body. their flight feathers are blue and their undertail is red. The dusky parrot is native to the northeastern regions of South America.
Pionus parrots are often mistaken for a smaller version of Amazon parrots because they have so many similar characteristics. Compared to their Amazon parrot appearance, Pionus parrots are more gentle and docile, although they can be aggressive if not properly socialized.