Bird lovers have always considered parrots great companions thanks to their brightly colored appearance and affectionate and loving characteristics. On top of that, their cognitive abilities make them exceptional pets that can amaze everyone around them. Unfortunately, some less widespread species, like the Blue-headed Pionus, are usually overlooked as pets, especially when looking for a perfect companion.
The blue-headed pionus does make a great pet, even for first-time parrot owners. Here is why:
- They’re intelligent, so with a bit of patience, you can teach them how to speak.
- They’re needier than most pets, including dogs and some parrots.
- They can live for over 25 years, which guarantees you lifelong companionship.
- They’re effortless to please
- They are not known as bitters
- They don’t make too much noise like the other parrots.
- They come in a wide range of color combinations
- They are straightforward to maintain
- Plus, you can teach them how to talk
So if you’re looking for your first parrot, you should invest in a pionus. I’m right; the initial investment may be pretty high, but worth it. After all, these feathered characters can improve your life by bringing you joy every moment. Plus, there is nothing more encouraging than being welcomed or seen off by your parrot when you leave the house in the morning.
The Blue-headed Pionus make great pets because of their talking ability, intelligence, and friendly personality. They’re fun-loving and easy-going birds that can bring joy to your home.
Generally, Pionus parrots are considered excellent pets; unfortunately, some of these species are rare, especially in captivity. So in this article, we’ll try and answer the question, “are Blue-headed pionus good pets? We’ll also show you why you should pick the Blue-headed parrot as your next pet and how to take care of it.
What Are Pionus Parrots?
Parrots make excellent pets, and if you love the Amazon parrots, you will fall in love with the Pionus parrots. After all, they’re beautiful creatures resembling the Amazon parrots but small in size and have far deeper wing strokes when in flight. (source)
The genus Pionus features seven species, with the Blue-headed Pionus being one of the most popular. Pionus parrots are considered excellent pets; unfortunately, they’re very rare in captivity. Other common pionus parrots that make great pets include white-capped and Maximillian Pionus. (source)
These parrots are quieter than most Amazon parrots. Unfortunately, they’re not as energetic as the other common companion parrots.
Even though they can be exceptional pets, they’re not generally known for enjoying the hands-on play. This fact has left many folks wondering, “Are Blue-headed Pionus good pets?”. Before we answer this question, we need to find out what Blue Headed Pionus are.
Are Blue-Headed Parrots Good Pets?
Commonly known as a Blue-headed parrot, the Blue-headed Pionus is a popular medium-sized bird with a maximum length of about 12 cm (4.7 inches). Like other pionus parrots, they’re primarily green with red under-tail coverts and a blue neck and head. They’re noisy creatures known for making high-pitched, light squeaking calls. (source)
In the wild, they’re known for roosting communally on palm trees at dusk and dawn. Fortunately, they’re popular as pets and compared to amazon parrots. They’re quiet and affectionate but not famous for their talking abilities, so why are Blue-headed Pionus good pets?
Why Are Blue-Headed Pionus Good Pets?
- They Have a Long Lifespan
Generally, parrots do make great companions. And that’s because they can be there for you for a better part of your life. And when well-trained and taken care of, they can live for between 35 to 45 years. In fact, some Pionus parrot lovers have stayed with their pets for over 25 years with little to no regret. (source)
Compared to cats and dogs, parrots can outlive most pets. For instance, cats have a maximum lifespan of about 18 years, while dogs can live for up to 13 years. (source) Therefore, when well-taken care of, a pionus parrot can be your perfect companion for the better part of your adulthood. Depending on when you adopted it, your parrot may even outlive you.
So if you have attachment issues and prefer bonding with one pet for the better part of your life, you should consider getting a blue-headed Pionus. And with it being a long-term companionship, people are advised to do more research before adopting one. Remember, it’s a lifetime companionship, so you should be ready for any occurrence before committing yourself to take care of a pionus parrot.
Generally, Pionus parrots are not known for being cuddly creatures; they are considered reserved. But once bonded, they’re known for being independent creatures while remaining connected and devoted to their human families. Despite being reserved and not playful, they prefer non-invasive companionships.
So if you’re looking for a parrot that you can flip to its back or wrestle with, you should avoid the Blue-headed Pionus. They’re intelligent creatures that can be a bit shy; in fact, the mature ones can become bonded to a single person. And when they become bonded to one person in the family, they can become very protective and even defend that individual from other family members.
Unfortunately, they’re very active, so you must get them as many toys as possible. After all, they tend to become overweight, which is not suitable for them.
An exercise gym can also be handy when dealing with a blue-headed pionus. Remember, obesity in pets can result in some severe health complications. Therefore, you should do everything possible to keep them active.
These birds are susceptible to obesity, aspergillosis, and vitamin A deficiency. Therefore, make sure you take great care of these less demanding creatures.
- They’re the Best Pets for Apartment Dwellers and First-Time Owners
The fact that they’re easy to maintain and have a calm personality makes them the best option for first-time pet owners and apartment dwellers. Remember, they’re pretty independent and provided you give them their basic needs, you will never get a complaint from them.
Many Pionus owners have described them as friendly and curious creatures that can be easy to train and even tame.
- They’re Quieter Than Most Pets, Including the Amazon Parrots
As aforementioned, the Pionus parrots are some of the most silent bird pets on the planet, and the Blue-headed parrots are no exception. But don’t let their silence fool you; they can get vocal when annoyed or frightened. In fact, they are known for producing high-pitched screeches. (source)
They can snort or wheeze when annoyed, scared, or excited. You can easily mistake this sound for a symptom of an ailment or distress, but you shouldn’t let it worry you too much because it’s normal. Even during breeding, the males can become aggressive and protective of their female counterparts.
They may not be known for making a lot of noises or talking capabilities, but with proper training, they can mimic your voice. And to keep their plumage in excellent condition, they don’t mind frequent baths.
- They’re Not Known, Biters
Like the other Pionus parrots, the Blue-headed parrots are not known as biters. But they have been known to break their owner’s skin when startled or scared. They can bite and hurt your skin when they don’t want handling. Therefore, before handling any parrot, ensure it’s well-bonded, especially if it’s a new pet.
But with experience, you’ll learn how to read its body language and know when it doesn’t want handling. Plus, even when these parrots bite, their bites are not as fierce as the bites from other bird species.
That said, the blue-headed pionus are not the best option for folks intimidated by a parrot’s beak. And that is because you can frighten it in the process, and you may get bitten. Plus, it will make it hard for you to bond with your new pet.
- They’re Easy to Please
The Blue-headed pionus are intelligent and independent creatures that love getting a little attention from their owners. But unlike their cousins, they do require less time, especially when it comes to training. As long as they get enough attention from their owners in the evening and morning, you can leave them alone for an entire day.
But when you get home, make sure you open the cage and let it play around. Suppose the bird spends a considerable percentage of the day in their cages. In that case, you need a giant cage able to accommodate most of their toys. Remember, an exercise gym is mandatory for all active parrots, which include the blue-headed pionus.
You can also leave your television and radio on for entertainment purposes. The radio or television can serve as a great distraction and reduce boredom while they’re alone. Besides being entertaining, they can also play a key role in teaching them how to mimic certain voices.
- Can Be Taught How to Speak
Like the Amazon parrots, you can teach the Pionus parrots how to speak. The training process can be great bonding time with your pet. Plus, there is nothing more relaxing than your pet welcoming you back with a “hello” every time you get back from work.
Before you train your parrot to speak, you should take it to a silent room where it can only focus on your voice and the task at hand. Make sure you talk to your parrot daily while looking it in the eyes. After it has gotten used to your voice, you can start with some simple words like “hi,” “hello,” and “bye.”
Most importantly, it would be best to associate every word with an action. For instance, when giving it grapes, you should say “grape.” It would be best if you said the words clearly and with some enthusiasm in your voice for faster results. Always keep your voice calm and steady when teaching your pet how to speak.
But most importantly, consistency is critical, so you can train it and use the exact words before proceeding to more complicated ones. And within no time, it will greet you whenever you enter the room. (source)
- They’re Easy to Maintain
Being an independent creature that only craves your attention sometimes, taking care of one can be less tedious. You must ensure it has everything it needs to play when you’re not around. But most importantly, it should be well-fed to remain healthy. To take care of a pionus as a pet, you should do the following:
Generally, there is no fixed dimension for any bird cage since it will depend on the number of birds and the size of the birds themselves. But you can always go right with a vast cage; the more significant the cage, the more room it has to play around.
On the other hand, their safety is more important than the size of the cage. And since they love climbing, getting a short parrot cage may not be a good idea. Plus, the right cage should have vertical and horizontal bars. The horizontal bars will provide an exceptional place for your pet to climb. (source)
In terms of shape, rectangular cages shaped horizontally make great cages instead of vertical ones. A square pen can also do, but it has to be spacious. So it would be best if you avoided circular or any other shaped enclosure; plus, it should consist of safe and sturdy materials.
Most professionals claim dimensions must be about 24 X 24 X 36 inches. But more significant is always better; you want your new pet to feel safe in its small cage.
Generally, this parrot species love the wild rain; therefore, they can enjoy a hand-held shower once in a while.
Therefore, as much as they’re in captivity, you should do everything possible to make them feel comfortable. Like other parrots, they also have long beaks; therefore, you should provide them with mineral blocks that can help with beak grooming.
Their nails also tend to overgrow, so you should be ready to clip them regularly. Another crucial factor you have to consider is their molting season. Generally, they start molting after a year and can shed their feathers all year round.
So it would be best to keep the place warm where you have the aviary during the molting season. But general cleanliness is also very essential for your new pet’s health.
In the wild, they survive by consuming flowers, grains, seeds, and fruit. Therefore, in captivity, you should try as much as possible to replicate that diet. You should give them bird-friendly veggies and fruits. They can also consume a wide range of homemade treats like bird bread recipes and sprouts.
Like most parrots, they can eat blueberries, grapes, blackberries, mango, and apples. They also consume strawberries and papaya. So you can mix pellets with natural food to ensure it gets everything it needs to remain healthy.
Parrots require a vast space to play around and even exercise, thanks to their high activity level. So if you want to adopt one, you should be ready to give it at least 3 hours of workout outside its cage. You can even install a workout gym for them to burn extra calories.
Plus, they’re curious creatures that can get into an accident when left on their own. Therefore, when outside the cage, they must be supervised and placed in a bird-proof space.
Generally, all pionus parrots are loving and friendly creatures that are easy to bond with without much effort. But establishing a lasting and robust bond can take time. Therefore, if you’re a first-time parrot owner and want to create a lasting bond with your pet, you should try the following unique tips:
1. Hand rear them while young
Like all pets, even parrots can bond with you more if you hand-rear them from a hatchling. You can get one from a local breeder and start taking care of it. Remember, they tend to live for over 25 years, so the bond you’re trying to create will last for over a quarter of a century.
But to be safe, you should get your pet from a reputable breeder; otherwise, you may end up with a parrot with several health problems.
2. Separate your new pet from other birds
You should keep the young ones away from your other older birds until they mature and molt. Separating them from adults will play a vital role in bonding. Plus, it can help prevent the spread of any illnesses that may have come with the breeder.
Therefore, a 30-day quarantine is mandatory for new blue-headed pionus, but make sure you take them to your vet as soon as possible.
3. Physical contact is mandatory
As a new pet owner, you should try and pet your pionus at least six times per day. You can spend more time together, either petting or playing with it. Remember, giving it treats directly from your hand can go a long way when it comes to creating a relationship.
4. Imitate the parrot’s sound
Generally, birds feel comfortable when they hear a familiar sound; producing some whistling and cooing sounds can help your new pet feel at home. So you should try and imitate the sounds made by birds in the wild.
But if you notice that it’s frightened of your pet, you should switch back to your voice and continue talking to it.
5. Feed your blue-headed pionus by hand
Feeding your pet directly from your hands for the first few weeks of its life can help you two bond. It will teach your pet to trust you within the shortest time possible. Sure, you can leave some snacks in its cage to consume when you’re away. But its treats and meals should come from your hands.
The above simple but effective tips can help you bond with your parrot and make sure you spend more time together. But most importantly, you should never yell at your pet, even if it bites you. Instead, you should be gentle and move your hand slowly.
Yelling can undo all your great work while creating a bond with your parrot.
Is Pionus a Good Pet?
Yes, Pionus parrots are very gentle and can be affectionate without being too clingy. Plus, when well taken care of, they can be very loving and loyal to their human family member. Some have even shown protectiveness over their owners.
Therefore, if you are looking for a quiet pet that can be affectionate, gentle, and live for a very long time, you should try a pionus. Remember, they have been known to live for over three decades.
After all, they make great pets; even when noisy, they are never too loud and can’t be overbearing. Pionus is also an excellent option for first-time parrot owners looking for an affectionate pet. On top of that, they’re gorgeous creatures available in a wide range of colors. So they can help bring your home to life by just being in their aviary. Therefore, you can get a pionus with your favorite color that will always have you smiling whenever you see it.
Are blue-headed pionus good pets? The simple answer to this question is that pionus make great pets. They are not too noisy; even when they produce some noise, it’s always manageable. But an essential part is that they can be affectionate without being too needy. So, you can leave them for an entire day with everything they need and never worry about receiving a call you’re your landlord or neighbors.
Therefore if you want to start rearing parrots and are looking for your first bird, you should try a pionus. A blue-headed pionus is one of the few parrots that form a lifetime bond and can bring your home to life every time you step in from work. But make sure you train them first.
- Wikipedia contributors, Pionus, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pionus#Species/, accessed December 20, 2022.
- Wikipedia contributors, Blue-headed parrot, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-headed_parrot/ accessed December 20, 2022.
- YouTube contributors, Do pionus parrot make good pets, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqGeo9E9pBM/ accessed December 20, 2022
- Wikipedia contributors, Dog, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog/, accessed December 20, 2022.
- Pionus menstruus, (Blue-headed Parrot), https://sta.uwi.edu/fst/lifesciences/sites/default/files/lifesciences/documents/ogatt/Pionus_menstruus%20-%20Blue-headed%20Parrot.pdf/ accessed December 20, 2022.
- Pippa Elliot, How to teach a pionus parrot to speak, https://www.wikihow.pet/Teach-a-Pionus-Parrot-to-Speak/ accessed December 20, 2022.
- Nikki Moustaki, Parrots for Dummies, https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=W09jAVP4AasC&pg=PT93&dq=the+size+of+a+parrot%27s+cage&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwic3OLQ3IX8AhVvUqQEHXGhAN4Q6AF6BAgDEAI#v=onepage&q=the%20size%20of%20a%20parrot’s%20cage&f=false/ accessed December, 20 2022