Feeding and Exercising Your Pionus Parrot
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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and exotic animals.
Feeding Your Pionus Parrot
Why are most of you feeding your Pionus parrot food that he does not need?
Most pet shop owners and Pionus parrot fanciers who run websites will tell you that it is vital that your bird is fed a commercial pellet feed. I am no fan of processed food, and a Pionus or any other parrot will do just as well if you feed him naturally.
My Parrot's Daily Diet
After sharing my granola in the morning, my Pionus gets a slice of papaya or other fresh fruit, a banana, and a few tablespoons of passion fruit on top of his Lovebird seed mix. Later in the morning, he will get a tiny slice of cheese, perhaps a piece of chicken, raw vegetables (carrots and squash on a string), and on some days, a tiny chunk of scrambled eggs. After lunch, I will break open a fresh coconut for him and the other birds.
Is so much fresh fruit natural? Yes, it is, and it is the way that Pionus parrots survive in the wild. All of the fruits you provide should be free of pesticides. Your bird is small and will not be able to resist the buildup of toxins over his long life.
Parrots do not need to be fed a commercial diet. The “100% complete” pellets that you buy are cooked to extend shelf life, and many of the vitamins are destroyed by that cooking process. Parrots do, however, need access to all types of fresh food. All of the vitamins he needs can be provided naturally.
What to Feed Your Pionus Parrot
Organic fresh fruit (papaya, passion fruit, coconut, etc.)
Seeds, nuts, and vegetables
Cheese, chicken, and other protein sources
Less than 5%
What About Minerals?
The only advantage of commercial pelleted food is that it can provide the minerals that are missing in your bird's fresh fruit-based diet. I allow my Pionus to sit outside most days. He likes to forage through the dirt or eat the mud and dried clay around an old stump that I had pulled out.
If you cannot take your bird outside often, leave a tray of clay and soil that he can forage through each day.
Exercising Your Pionus
I have provided my parrots with several activities so that they can keep themselves busy when I am not at home. Besides the window swing, they have a rope ladder, a wooden ladder that allows them to get around my house, and a small tray with some balls and other toys (although my Pionus usually leaves these things alone until I am home to interact with him.)
If the weather is nice, however, the best thing for your bird is to get him outside a little. If you are considering a Pionus or other parrot, read my article about exercising your parrot.
If there is any possibility that your parrot will escape and get lost, look into having his wings clipped. Some bird owners provide a large enclosure outdoors, so if you do not want to clip your bird's wings, this is another option.
|Exercise||How It Helps|
Good exercise for the legs, the neck, and often the wings, too.
Almost as good as flying to exercise the pectoral muscles.
Depending on the type of activity, this can be great for the whole body.
Taking a walk
Great for bonding, mental stimulation, and mild climbing exercise.
Why Bathing Is Important for Your Parrot
My bird loves to stand in the window when the rain is coming down, open his wings, and get soaked down to the skin. If you live in a colder area where a daily natural bath is not possible, please buy one of these sink perches and bathe your Pionus often. Remember that your Pionus is a tropical animal, and showers will control his natural dander, diminish any musky smell, and keep him happy and healthy.
Still Haven't Found a Pionus Parrot?
If you have not yet shared your house with a Pionus parrot, I would like to suggest this great little bird. He is not too large nor too small, neither dull nor flashy, not too loud or too quiet, and, although he can be alone when he needs to, he loves company so makes a great companion for any family or a good first bird for a young person with an interest in parrots.
One of the great advantages is that he does not bite often, certainly not like other parrots. The only hard bite I have suffered was when I left my bird alone all day, forgot to leave a light on, and did not return until late at night. I think his bite was out of anger.
Special Characteristics of the Pionus Parrot
Are you still unsure about buying a Pionus?
All parrots are beautiful, but in my opinion, Pionus are some of the best looking birds around, despite what some other parrot owners will claim. The many species of Macaw are definitely more flashy, but the Pionus's colors are impressive. I have the blue-headed variety, which I think is the most attractive, but there are several others available in the pet trade.
Is the color not enough? These birds are not too large, standing only about 25 cm and weighing only about 250 grams. He is much too large for a parakeet cage but small enough to slip between the bars of a cage made for an Amazon or Macaw. If you are still looking, buy the largest enclosure you can afford and check on cages used to house a breeding pair of Cockatiels.
And make sure you always have plenty of space. They live about 40 years, but a lot of Pionus are known to be around even longer. If you do decide to bring a bird home, remember that this is a long-term commitment. If purchased for a young person, they will do okay if another bird is added later, but the new owner needs to give all of his birds some attention and free time away from the cage.
Socialization and Speech
When taking your bird out to socialize, you can teach your Pionus a lot of tricks but may not be able to teach him to talk. Some people find this very important.
In the wild, Pionus breed in dead coconut trees, high and out of the reach of other animals. In the home, they are bred but they are not as easy as some other parrot species, which is probably one of the reasons that they are an expensive pet.
Do Pionus Parrots Make Good Pets?
After owning several vicious parrots, I was amazed at the mellow personality my Pionus displayed as soon as he was introduced to my home. He did not care for my dogs and other exotics much but did not mind them when walking to my home office to socialize.
From the first day, he was willing to sit and watch me work but was always interested in a little socializing when I had time for him. When reclining in my easy chair after lunch, he likes to climb up and sit by me while I read or check the internet. In the evenings, he will abandon the other birds so that he can sit on my shoulder as I am typing.
Their great love of socializing is one of the reasons that Pionus fanciers recommend you let your bird out of the cage for at least 4 hours a day. (If you are not willing to interact that much, do not get a Pionus. I do know of one bird that is caged 24/7. He is angry and does not act like a normal gentle Pionus.)
My sweet bird´s special behavior is apparent every morning. After going to the window and calling out the other animals out on the farm, he comes over and sets on my knee while I am having breakfast. He likes granola—especially the cashew nuts.
If you are considering getting a parrot, take the time to look into this great bird. There are some websites that will help you find a bird close to you. Just type in “Where can I find a Pionus parrot in (the name of your closest town or city)” and several sites will pop up.
I recommend the Blue Headed Pionus, of course, but look around and do not purchase the first Pionus you find. They are not the cheapest bird out there, but several species are available for less and a Pionus will definitely be your best choice.
Questions & Answers
Question: Are walnuts good for parrots?
Answer: The biggest problem with nuts is that they are high in fat. Birds love them and sometimes will eat nothing else. My Pionus will three or four cashew nuts when he is having breakfast with me, but after that, he gets fruit and some seeds. So, the fleshy part of the nut is fine. They are not toxic, but like all rich foods, they should be given in moderation. (Your parrot should still be hungry after eating his walnut snack.)
Question: My Sun Conure and Quaker fly around in the house after work. I am waiting for PIonus eggs to hatch at the breeder. Are there any issues adding a Pionus to the mix?
Answer: No, there should be no aggression issues between your birds, but since it is a mixture do not be surpised if they do not all want to hang out together. One Pionus I know of is always nervous around other birds, and my Pionus will run away from even my Lovebird, who does not have a mean bone in his little body.
Your new bird might just pick a perch in an unoccupied room when the other birds are flying around enjoying themselves. (Mine does, but it is becuase he wants to be in the same room as me.)
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 27, 2017:
I thought he was lost for sure, and could not have been happier than when I saw him at my front door. He has been free ever since! (He has a cage to sleep in but I have not shut the door in years.)
Penny Leigh Sebring from Fort Collins on November 27, 2017:
Whew! Good thing your feathered friend had a good memory or good homing instincts, whichever one was in charge that day. Coming home means that he equates you and your home with love and safety, which is about as big a complement as you can get from a parrot.
femi from Nigeria on November 27, 2017:
I love parrots
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 27, 2017:
Thanks Marie. I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 27, 2017:
Penny, no, they will sometimes imitate a telephone, microwave, or doorbell, but they are not great speakers. I really do not mind, and compared to a bird like a Conure (which I had many years ago while in college in the US) they are awfully quiet.
Also, a note about going for walks, since I like your hiking hub so much. Several years ago I was leaving a neighbors house and when I stepped out of the gate a dune buggy (without mufflers) drove right in front of us. My Pionus was scared, and since I did not have him in a cage like the one you recommend in your article he flew away. Fortunately, he remembered where my house was and when I got home a half hour later he was waiting for me at the front door. It could have been a real tragedy, which is why that hiking cage you recommend is such a good thing.
Penny Leigh Sebring from Fort Collins on November 26, 2017:
In your experience, are Pionus parrots as prone to mimicry or human speech as other birds?
MarieLB from YAMBA NSW on November 26, 2017:
I am blessed to live in an area that has several species of birds, black, white, grey, multicolored. .so many types. I have to admit that I am not a great fan of birds. However, you have a way of pulling the reader in Dr Mark. I enjoy the way you write about different sentient creatures. Great article, as usual.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 26, 2017:
I sometimes see flocks of Amazon parrots with a few Pionus on the creek beds, feasting on that oh-so-tasty and full of vitamins grey clay. It doesnt look appetizing to me, but then again I am not a bird. Go figure.
Keep me updated about your tests/treatment. Glad to hear it is going okay so far.
Bob Bamberg on November 26, 2017:
If I ever visit your jungle abode, don't prepare any special meals for me...just serve whatever you're serving your Pionus. Interesting hub, as usual, Doc. I had never heard of that particular parrot variety, but you're pretty good at coming up with pets I've never heard of.
I've been out of retail for a while and never was much of a bird expert, but I think the vitamins are sprayed onto the various ingredients in the commercial foods.
I wouldn't have thought of access to dirt for a bird. I know ungulates get their trace minerals from dirt but didn't realize birds did also.
I just completed the last test needed to plan my journey going forward. So far, so good.
About Pionus Parrots - Pionus Parrot Care
Scaly-headed Parrot or Maximilian's Pionus Photo © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
The very amicable and gentle Pionus are often considered the most ideal parrot pet!
- Care and feeding:
Bird Food - Bird Baths
Pionus Cages - Aviary
Cleaning Bird Houses - Accessories
- Social Behaviors:
Pionus Trait - Social Behavior
Training a Pionus Parrot
Bird Toys - Playpens
Pionus Breeder - Pionus Babies
- Potential Problems:
Birds for Sale
Pionus parrots are similar in appearance to the smaller Amazon parrots, being short stalky birds. They can also be distinguished from the Amazon parrots by their tails. As a group, the Pionus are also known as the Red-vented Parrots, because they have bright red feathers under their tails while on the Amazons these feathers are green.
Another similarity between Amazon parrots and Pionus parrots is their behavior. Pionus have the playfulness and intelligence of the larger Amazon parrots, and the capability of learning a few words. However, Pionus are noted for being much quieter than the Amazons.
There are a number of characteristics and traits that make the Pionus very special pet birds. Pionus parrots adapt well to captivity, adjusting to their cage or aviary in just a couple weeks. They are active and inquisitive, and they enjoy attention. They also appreciate toys to keep them busy.
Pionus babies will tame quickly and a special Pionus trait is that they do not tend to bite. Another welcome Pionus trait is that they like lots of people and can become a great all-around family pet. Like all parrots though, as they mature they can bond to one person or to the people they have been raised with. A mature Pionus parrot may aggressively protect those persons from other people. This trait is suggested to be especially true of the male pionus.
See different types of Pionus in the Pionus Parrot Family
Distribution: The Pionus parrots are from South and Central America. Different species range in many different areas. They are primarily tree top dwellers, generally found in tropical and sub-tropical forested areas.
Description: The genus Pionus contains 8 species of birds.
- Pionus Parrot Size and Shape:
The Pionus species are stocky medium sized parrots with short square tails and a bare eye ring . Their size ranges from 9 - 12 inches in length. They are similar in appearance and behavior to the Amazon parrots, but they are smaller than most of the Amazons with the exception of the small Spectacled Amazon.
- Pionus Parrot Identification:
One way to distinguish a Pionus parrot from an Amazon parrot is by the tail. All Pionus parrots have red feathers under their tails while on the Amazons these feathers are green. This bright red under tail is a Pionus trait, a hallmark of the Pionus parrots, and as a group they have been referred to as the Red-vented Parrots.
- Pionus Parrot Colors:
Pionus Parrots acquire their lovely colorations as they mature, and by adulthood have a beautiful appearance. Though not brightly colored the Pionus parrots have many beautiful hues in their plumage. They can be likened to a painter's palate, pulling many colors from a rainbow.
Each single bird will often be varied from another of its species in the amount and intensity of its color. This is especially true in those species without green as the main body color such as the Dusky Pionus, the Bronze-winged Pionus, and the White-crowned Pionus. However this variation is individual to each bird, and not an indication of its sex.
- Pionus Parrot Sexing :
There is no visual distinction between the sexes but the young differ from their parents. The plumage on the juveniles is usually duller, with the subtle ornate coloration developing over 2 to 3 years as they mature.The sex of these birds must be determined by either a surgical probe, endoscopy, which can be done by many veterinarians or by a DNA testing, usually a blood sample or a few plucked feathers sent to be diagnosed in a lab or a chromosonal analysis.
- Life Span of the Pionus Parrot :
The average life span for a pionus is about 22-25 years. However, there are many that live longer, some as old as 40. They are fully mature at 3 years of age.
The types of Pionus species, including some that are commonly available in the pet industry are:
- Blue-headed Parrot or Blue-headed Pionus Pionus menstruu s - 2 subspecies
- Red-billed Parrot or Red-billed Pionus and Coral-billed Pionus Pionus sordidus - 5 subspecies
- Scaly-headed Parrot or Maximilian's Pionus and Scaly-headed Pionus Pionus maximiliani - 3 subspecies
- Plum-crowned Parrot or Plum-crowned Pionus Pionus tumultuosus
- White-headed Parrot or White-headed Pionus Pionus seniloides
- White-capped Parrot / White-crowned Parrot Pionus senilis
- Bronze-winged Parrot or Bronze-winged Pionus Pionus chalcopterus - 1 subspecies
- Dusky Parrots or Dusky Pionus Pionus fuscus
Learn more about
by: Mattie Sue Athan
Care and feeding: In the wild the Pionus parrots eat fruits, berries, seeds, possibly blossoms, and have developed a great liking for corn from cultivated fields. A Pionus diet consisting of a good parrot mix which includes formulated foods, a variety of seeds, and dried fruits is generally regarded as a suitable base to provide nutrition and variety. Along with this, provide a daily supplement of fresh fruits and vegetables.
They are active by nature and can become overweight if confined. Like the Amazon Parrots they require a low fat diet. Good Pionus bird care starts with providing a good diet.
- Bird Food:
Foods available for Pionus parrots include formulated diets, either pelleted or extruded, seed only diets, and parrot mixes which offer a mixture of both. There are pros and cons to feeding only a formulated diet as well as feeding only a seed diet.
- Formulated Diet:
A formulated diet provides a good nutritional base so does not require the addition of vitamins, however it does not contain the phytonutrients (antioxidant pigments) that are found in vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds. Phytonutrients are believed to boost the immune system, help a body to heal itself, and to prevent some diseases. Also parrots can become bored with a formulated diet due to the lack of variety.
- Seed Diet:
A seed only diet offers much more variety but requires additional vitamin and calcium supplements. Variety is important in the diet for psychological enrichment.
- Formulated Diet:
Supplements can include sprouted seeds, all types of fruits such as apples, pears, plums, cherries, grapes, oranges, bananas, mangos, papayas, and berries such as strawberries and blueberries. Vegetables are also good supplements such as carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, many garden vegetables, and even dandelions and chickweed. Do not feed avocado as it may be toxic to birds!
Give your Pionus fresh drinking water every day.
- Bird Baths:
The personal hygiene of your Pionus parrot includes a regular shower for good plumage and skin condition. Pionus dearly love the rain and will even turn upside down, spreading and flapping their wings in grand enjoyment of this natural shower. One way to accomplish a shower indoors or in an aviary is with either a hand held shower sprayer or a hose with a fine spray head and lukewarm water.
- Bird Grooming :
The wings should be kept trim if you want to discourage flight and to prevent the loss of your pet through an open window or door.
The beak needs to be trimmed if it becomes overgrown or deformed, however it is typical for the upper beak of the pionus to be quite long compared to that of other parrots. There are many mineral blocks, lava blocks, and other beak grooming items available at your pet store to help your bird keep its beak in shape.
A variety of concrete type perches are also available to help keep the nails trim, but they should be trimmed if they become overgrown. Bird nail trimmers and styptic powder to stop the bleeding are also available at pet shops and online.
Bird food, Pionus cages, bird toys, playpens. Find everything you need for your pet bird: Bird Supplies
Housing: Pionus quickly adapt to their cage and environment. The majority of Pionus are kept in a cage in the home, in a bird room, or in an aviary. Bird cages must not be too confining, so get one that your pet will be able to feel comfortable in. You will need dishes for food, water, and treats.
- Bird Cages:
A cage best suited to house a Pionus parrot would be similar to that required by an Amazon parrot. It can be between 39"- 59" (100-150 cm) high and have a floor space of 23"x 39" (60 x 100 cm), though it has been suggested that a minimum size cage could be 24"x 24"x 32" (62 x 62 x 83 cm). 3/4" bar spacing is recommended, though 1" bar spacing is okay for the larger pionus.
The cage needs to provide room for lots of movement as well as space for perches, food dishes and a variety of playthings. Playthings can include climbing ropes, chains, bells, parrot swings and wooden or other bird toys. A playpen is ideal for playtime outside of the cage.
Pionus, once acclimated, can do very well in an outdoor or breeding aviary. However they do not all tolerate colder temperatures. For example the Bronze-winged Pionus should not be kept where temperatures fall below 41° F(5° C), and the Dusky Pionus which should not be kept below 50 ° F (10° C).
An outdoor aviary needs to have a protected shelter that can be heated and cooled where necessary and have an attached flight cage. It is recommended that it be 6 - 8 feet 12' (180 - 240 cm) long with a perch at each end. The width is not as important for just a pair of birds so 3' - 4' (90 - 120 cm) would be fine. A climbing branch and a bird bath are nice additions too.
Maintenance: The basic cage care includes daily cleaning of the water and food dishes. Weekly you should wash all the perches and dirty toys, and the floor should be washed about every other week. A total hosing down and disinfecting of an aviary should be done yearly, replacing anything that needs to be freshened, such as old dishes, toys and perches.
Social Behaviors: In the wild Pionus parrots are seen in small or medium sized flocks when not breeding, about 10 to 60 birds. During breeding season they are generally seen singly or in pairs.
In captivity Pionus parrots are generally peaceful and not particularly loud. A nice Pionus trait is that they are usually a calm bird though some can be a bit more nervous. Usually this is only when first introduced to a new environment and passes as they become more confident. There is some thought that the females are more gentle than the males.
They are very social birds and are often considered the most ideal parrot to have as a pet, particularly when children are involved. They have good steady personalities and are loyal. A favorite Pionus trait is that they rarely bite. They can also do well with other pets if they get used to and accept each other. However be very careful to monitor all groupings with animals and with children to prevent any unexpected accidents.
Handling/Training: A hand raised Pionus makes a delightful pet, but like all parrots it needs a bit of time to become accustom to its new environment. Your Pionus may seem a bit standoffish when you first bring it home, but it is just being quiet and reserved until it has checked out its new surroundings and feels secure.
- Taming Basics:
Though a Pionus parrot is quick to adapt to its new home, you should give a new arrival a few days to get use to you, your voice and its cage before trying to handle it. A hand fed baby will not need much taming and can often be handled right away, as it is use to human attention.
To be able to handle and train your parrot depends first on trust, so go slowly and be consistent. Many parrots are most receptive to bird training in the evening and each session is best if limited to under 20 minutes with about an hour rest in between.
Remember that bird taming and bird training takes patience, never 'punish' you parrot! This only serves to destroy the trust you've spent so much time building.
- Initial Training:
Your first goal is to get the parrot to accept a treat from you, which will lead to it allowing you to gently scratch its head. Then you can begin to work on getting your parrot to step up on your hand. Depending on the tameness of the bird, these two steps can be instantaneous as in a hand fed baby or take several weeks or longer for an untamed bird.
Pionus are not extremely cuddly birds but they do love having their head, ears, and neck scratched.
- Advanced Training:
Once your Pionus parrot has gotten over its shyness, you can work on speech training. Repetition and frequency are the keys here to get your Pionus parrot talking. Almost every parrot can learn at least a few words, although unlike the African Grey, their mimicry sounds rather 'parrot-like'.
For an extensive parrot training system that potentially turns your bird into a fun, loving companion as well as learning lots of cool tricks, try Chet Womach's Parrot Training Course .
Activities: Exercise and play are important activities for the physical well being and psychological health of your Pionus. They are active by nature and may become overweight they become too sedentary. Activities also help deter stress and prevent problems such as screaming. Provide your parrot with lots of activities in the form of large link chains, bird ladders, parrot swings, ropes, fresh branches for gnawing and chewing, and rotate new bird toys on a regular basis.
Breeding/Reproduction: Successful breeding is helping to preserve the species and reduce the number of wild caught birds. There are no breeding regulations in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, though other countries might have restrictions and you should consult with the authorities in your country before undertaking breeding.
- Sexing Amazon Parrots:
Pionus parrots are not dimorphic and you will have to have them sexed by either a surgical probe, endoscopy, a DNA test, or a chromosonal analysis. The sexes must be confirmed and the pair must be harmonious, bonded with each other. Some species of Pionus have been successfully bred in captivity while others are quite nervous and difficult to breed.
- Breeding Environment:
Pionus parrots should be bred in flight cages. They will need a nest box that is about 10" x 10" x 20" (25 x 25 x 50 cm) and have some soft bedding material inside on the bottom of the box. The opening needs to be approximately the width of the broadest part of the parrots back. Because some pionus are rather nervous, it is generally recommended that the nest box be mounted in covered darkened areas as high as you can, to encourage breeding.
- Egg Laying and Hatchlings:
A Pionus female may lay up to 5 eggs and she will brood for about 26 days. The young will leave the nest at about 8 - 14 weeks of age, depending on the species.
Potential Problems: As with all parrots, provide good bird health care. Parrot problem will be averted if you offer them a good environment and get familiar with your pet so you can spot any signs of illness. An ailing parrot should be taken to a avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
As with all parrots, signs of illness to be aware of are ruffled plumage, resting often with their head turned back, having no appetite, sneezing, discharge from the nostrils, cloudy eyes, and any change in the feces.
Pionus parrots will make a wheezing sound when they are scared or excited. This is totally normal and does not indicate a sick bird. However, Pionus parrots are also known to be more prone to aspergillosis than other parrots. Aspergillosis can have the same symptoms as those exhibited by a scared or excited Pionus. As you get to know your bird, you will be able to distinguish between the two .
Some of the common illnesses your Pionus could contract are internal parasites, bacterial and fungal infections, intestinal influenza, coccidiosis, respiratory ailments, aspergillosis, feather picking, poor eating habits, vitamin A deficiency, toxicity, ingestion of metals, parrot fever also known as psittacosis, and p0x virus infections (generally only found in imported birds). An ailing parrot should be taken to a avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Behavior problems usually stem from something missing in the bird's environment. Boredom, lack of trust, lack of interaction with other birds or people can lead to problems like biting, feather plucking, and screaming. Try to develop a bond of trust and spend time with your bird to help avoid these problems.
We have also had good success with Chet Womach's Parrot Training Course . He offers a free 3-day introductory course so you can try it out before you buy anything.
Availability: Of the eight species of Pionus parrots, five species are frequently available as captive raised pets in the United States. The regular Pionus for sale include the Blue-headed Pionus, the Bronze-winged Pionus, the Maximilian's Pionus or Scaly-headed Parrot, the Dusky Pionus, and the White-capped Parrot or White-crowned Pionus. As breeding becomes more successful, the Pionus species are becoming more available
The remaining three species of Pionus are very rare and not readily available at this time. The unavailable or rare Pionus for sale are the Plum-crowned Parrot (Plum-crowned Pionus or Restless Parrot) Pionus tumultuosus , the Red-billed Parrot (Coral-billed Pionus or Sordid Pionus) Pionus sordidus , and the White-headed Parrot (White-headed Pionus or Massena's Parrot) Pionus seniloides .
Author: Clarice Brough, CAS
Copyright © [Animal-World] 1998-2020. All rights reserved.
Toys are a must for a Senegal parrot. Senegals love to chew blocks of soft wood-don’t be afraid to buy them macaw-sized toys — a Senegal will make fast work of it! They love rope toys as well, but be sure to watch out for long strands that can catch on a foot or around the neck regular trimming of rope toys is a must. Acrylic toys with bells attached are also good, and will last longer than destructible materials.
Senegals are not generally picky eaters, and will relish all kinds of good, nourishing food, including healthy table foods. Begin offering new foods early so that your bird will take to them right away. Senegals have a tendency to become a bit overweight, but are active birds by nature, and will avoid becoming fat if given enough exercise and a good diet. A pelleted base diet is a good way to start try Lafeber’s Daily Diet Premium Pellets or Nutri-Berries, supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Alexandrine Parakeet origin
To understand more about this loving creature, we should touch on where they come from. Alexandrine parrots natively live in the dense forest lands of Sri Lanka and India. They got named after Alexander the Great, who was a passionate bird keeper and transported Alexandrine parakeets to Europe and some Mediterranean countries.
Ever since then, these birds have adapted to living in different climates and different flora, but feral populations still mostly inhabit forestland of warmer areas in Europe and Asia.
Photo Credit Dr.Raju-Kasambe
Because they have managed to adapt to living in different areas around the world, these little parrots have a very diverse diet. They are omnivorous by nature, so they feast on basically anything they can find on the ground, including insects, larvae, fruit, flowers, seeds, nectar, but also corn, which is why many rural areas hosting wild Alexandrine Parakeets even deem them as a pest.
For pet owners, this information is encouraging, as you have a large variety of food options to choose from when thinking of what to feed your Alexandrine parakeet – no matter where in the world you’re located. You can follow our guide to the diet of an Alexandrine parakeet to learn more regarding this segment.
Alexandrine Parakeets in the wild
In the wild, alexandrine parrots usually live in the form of small flocks. They are omnivores in nature and typically feed on various foods in the wild. The variety of food includes seeds, blossoms, and fruits.
These parrots known as sentinel birds because they make loud calls, especially when they are in danger, but are more comfortable on the trees. These parrots are difficult to find when perched on the trees. But the calls from these birds can be heard.Photo Credit: Ishan Sandamal / CC BY-SA
In the wild, these birds will branch off in pairs, during the breeding season, to raise the off-springs. The female parrot will look out for a nest cavity within a large tree to incubate the eggs, while male parrot will look after for the feed and danger.
Alexandrine Parrot in Captivity
These parrots are less compare common in captivity as compared to the other birds like the Indian Ring-necks, or the other Asiatic cousins. These birds can breed easily and are wonderful pet birds. These parrots are famous due to their mimicry expertise but still, the destruction of the habitat has diminished the presence of these birds in the wild.
- Size: 11 inches
- Lifespan: up to 30 years
- Bird Species: Pionus Parrot
- Colors: Purplish Blue various details
- Sounds: Quiet, Mimic
- Interaction: Social, Energetic, Intelligent, Curious, Playful
- Comparable Breeds: Blue Headed Parrot, Dusky Parrot
This peculiar and striking member of the Pionus family of parrots is a popular sight in aviculture. With its unique and attractive colors and a curious an intelligent personality, the Bronze Winged parrot makes a wonderful pet. Although docile and calm, they have a passion for playing and social interaction. And with the added bonus of minimal noise, these combined traits will give you a wonderful pet parrot that will be a perfect calming presence after a busy day. To boot, these pets are not high maintenance: with a bit of attention and care, your feathered companion will thrive in your home.
The Bronze Winged parrot charms both with its looks and its wonderful personality.