4 Facts To Know About Pionus Parrots

blue-headed pionus

1. Pionus parrots are quieter than other pet birds.

Relatively speaking, Pionus tend to vocalize less frequently than other parrot species. There are always exceptions to the rule, especially if you have a gabby Pionus. And a Pionus might yell if something scares or upsets it (is there a spider on the ceiling or are you eating something it wants?). Some owners have said their Pionus sometimes have squawk sessions, where they yell seemingly without cause.

2. Pionus give off a unique scent. 

You might not notice it at first, but wait … that new scent is definitely coming from your Pionus. You may love it (or hate it), but Pionus have a unique scent about them. Why Pionus have this scent is still unknown, but you can catch whiffs of it from time to time. Some bird owners say the scent only appears when the bird is agitated, so it might not be a good idea to bury your nose in your bird’s feathers to take a sniff.

3. Pionus sometimes wheeze.

While it might be frightening when you first hear it, Pionus sometimes wheeze when they’re stressed. If you hear this sound often, look around your house to see what might be stressing out your Pionus. Sometimes wheezing can be tied to a medical condition, so look for signs of fluid around the nares, and then get your Pionus to your avian veterinarian for a checkup.

4. Pionus love to eat.

You might find your Pionus eyeing your food every time you sit down for a meal. Resist offering unhealthy snacks and treats to your Pionus or you might soon find yourself with a bird that ignores its healthy pellets and seeds in favor of a bit of pizza. Avoid feeding your Pionus potentially toxic foods like avocado, caffeine, alcohol and chocolate, which shouldn’t be offered to any parrot species.

Photo credit: Blue-headed Pionus by RLHambley/Shutterstock

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  • My white capped pionus doesn’t talk but definitely can scream when he’s upset … but prefers to “bite” when breakfast or dinner is late. Loves grapes, banana and green beans to supplement his pellets. Seeds only as a super special treat.

    angeline dewald
  • Nobody ever told my blue headed points Fletcher that, he had a large vocabulary and talked as well as an African Grey.

    Michelle Balogh
  • Pionus talk, but not like other parrots. It seems they have a different sort of larynx, so when they imitate human speech, it’s quiet, whispery and gravelly. In fact, it’s so quiet some owners miss it altogether and think that their parrot doesn’t talk.

    I have two bronze-winged pionus brothers, Jeeves & Wooster. they can say their names, ’Who’s a sweetie pie?‘, ’I love you’, ‘Step up!’ and ‘Time for bo-boze’.


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