Countries of Origin: Central America from the South West of Mexico Western Panama
Size: Small Parrot – Average 24cm high
Scientific Name: Pionus Senilis
Common Names: White Capped Pionus, White crowned Pionus ,White capped Parrot.
LifeSpan: Up to 40 years, typical of small parrots.
Speaking Ability: Small
Noise Level: Low
The White crowned Pionus parrot is one of the smaller members of the popular Pionus parrot species. At an average of 24 cm in height are a small to medium-sized parrot. They are calm and fun loving parrots and make wonderful pets.
The white capped Pionus is most often dull green colour in the main the feathers on the underside having a yellowish tinge and being slightly paler. True to their name the have a white marking on their forehead and similarly white patch under their chin on the throat. The rest of the head is a dull metallic blue, across the breast they have olive brown feathers highlighted with a darker purplish blue tips with the feathers gradually blending in colour down the back of the Pionus into the dull green feathers.
The tops of the wings show mix of colours including golden brown violet blue is even brighter blues and deep greens. Feathers under the wings are a blueish green. They have a green car with blue chips feathers underneath the tail being bright red and apart from their white crown this is perhaps their most distinguishable colouring.
They have a fawn coloured beak eyes Orange to dark brown with a white or white pinkish eye ring.
Juveniles whitecaps Pionus parrots have duller and paler feathers with a less pronounced in smaller white. Juveniles also don’t develop the blue feathers on the head until close to adulthood.
Care and Feeding
as with all parrots ensure you get the largest cage that can afford whether you intend to keep your whitecapped Pionus indoors or out. If kept indoors, a large indoor parrot cage is suitable however they will need to be let out to fly around in order to ensure that sufficient exercise. They have a tendency to become overweight and unhealthy or they are allowed to regularly exercise their wings.
Coming from a warm tropical environment they need and enjoy showering, you can do this outside by allowing a sprinkler to wet part of their cage. Don’t with the entire cage to they can escape the shower when they choose. Indoors you’ll need to miss them and let them dry in a warm room.
In the wild the diet consists of seeds fruits and berries in the green shoots of plants. You should attempt to mimic this diet in captivity and speak to your local pet shop owner about getting a small parrot formulated parrot food.
Personality and Behavior
in the wild their most often seen in small flocks containing up to 15 individual birds. Unlike parrots do tend to stay in pairs down gregarious pets and will happily interact with different people without bonding with any particular one.
Hand reared whitecapped Pionus parrots are very tame and friendly. They are not big biters of hands nor are they noisy like the larger parrots, conures, cockatoos and Amazons. They are not great talkers that can be trained to speak up to 12 words.
Breeding White Caps Pionus Parrots
White capped Pionus parrots are monomorphic – the sex cannot be determined by their colour or behavior so you may need to do DNA testing of the birds to determine which a male to female. If you are wishing to buy birds the breeding ensure that this testing has been done on the sex of your bird is known. You don’t wish to find a self awaiting the eggs to be laid by two males or two females residing in the same cage.
One sexing has been determined, nature will take care of the rest as they are easy birds to successfully breed in captivity. Place the nesting box in the upper regions of your a very in a dark corner out of direct sunlight. Your free marble lay a small clutch of up to 5 eggs which will hatch in around 26 days. Baby parrots require a high protein diet and the parents will often at this time be more interested in mealworms and green vegetable matter for their chicks. The chicks will fledge early in around eight weeks of age.
Typically they are very healthy breed the two main issues you may encounter are
Overeating / excessive weight gain which you can address by removing the food from the cage the southern part of the day, ensuring they have lots of toys to entertain themselves a letter to fly on a regular basis (if kept indoors) or that they have cage large enough to fly around in.
Aspergillosis – a lung condition brought on by exposure to the aspergillosis fungi which develops into cane vegetable matter. A symptom of this condition is heavy belaboured breeding of the lungs become congested and scarred. The easiest way to avoid your bird is getting this condition is to ensure that the floor of their cage is kept clean and dry with no rotting vegetable matter or faeces.
Availability in Australia
Whilst they are available in Australia they are a fairly rare breed here thus you can expect to pay a premium to obtain one if you can find one at all