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What is the best Pionus?

WillowQ

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Either way they are beautiful birds. I’m sad that they are so rare now.
 

DaBirdMan

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So sad but so true My dream Pionus is a Bronze winged and i cant find him in our country let alone in my state
 

Fuzzy

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Thanks @Fuzzy i will read your artical and watch the video aswell. Where did you get your pionus?
I’m in the UK so probably can’t help with a breeder. I travelled from London to Yorkshire to pick Kobe up.
 

tka

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As far as I'm aware, there are more differences between individuals than between species.

I have two Bronze Wings. They are full sisters, although they're from different clutches. Leia is six and a half years old and Kira is 18 months old. They engage in some parallel activities - they eat at the same time but from different bowls, they like to make noise at the same time - but Leia is not keen on making friends.

I got Leia at nine months old from her breeder: she had spent her entire life with her parents and clutchmates until then, and as a result seems to have a better understanding of how parrots should act. She makes the very loud BWEEEP sound that @Dartman mentioned as well as a variety of clucks, warbles, mumbles and the ACK ACK ACK yell. Kira also came to us at nine months old, but this was because we offered her a home when her original human found out that he was badly allergic to her. She hasn't had as much exposure to other parrots as a result, and when she came to us she made some bizarre sounds! She's learnt how to sound more like a parrot from Leia but still makes some strange noises. There's one that sounds like an old man being throttled and I have no idea where she learnt it, no do I want to know. There's another one that sounds like an accordion being slowly sat on. Like I said, absolutely bizarre. She's also less adept at reading social cues - a year on and she still tries to land right next to Leia, despite Leia snarking at her every single time.

Leia is quite assertive and determined - she knows what she wants and by god she will figure out how to get it. Kira is just about hitting puberty so while she's been fairly easy going and sweet so far, that will likely change as she gets older. She's generally clingier than Leia and doesn't figure things out as fast. I have always let Leia know that I recognise and respect her boundaries, so she and I communicate in sometimes very subtle ways. For example, I'll ask her if she wants a headscratch by wriggling my fingers at her, and if she doesn't want one she just needs to look at me. It took a while to establish this kind of communication with Kira, and when we first got her she would sometimes be unpredictable around hands. Babies are generally malleable and sweet, and as a result, people take liberties with them that maturing birds won't tolerate.

You will often hear descriptions of Pionus as being quiet, sweet and gentle. This is only true in relation to other, fiestier parrots! Pionus can absolutely be loud, spirited and aggressive. Mine especially like to sound off when I'm on the phone to the extent that I have to hang up and call people back when the birds are in bed. I think the only reason I haven't had noise complaints is that a) there are feral ringnecks in the area happily shouting away and most people can't tell the difference and b) if they complain about my parrots, I'll complain about their late night parties and no one wants to end up in that particular war :laughing2:

Mine appreciate having a variety of perching spots so they can be in the same room as us, and mine like following me around as I move from room to room. They even supervise my wife's baths, and they especially enjoy coming into the shower with us. We have four perches in the living room (a tree, a window perch and a couple of stands) and they use them all. They have toys on top of their cages so usually hang out there when we're in the study/bird room.

Pionus are generally curious birds with tons of personality. They can be reserved at first, but that's because they are deciding whether or not they can trust you.They do not like to be rushed or pushed into things. It took Leia a month before she would step up: she really wanted time to make up her mind but once she did, that was it. I get the distinct impression that she thinks it's funny to intimidate my wife - there's a distinct look of glee on her face when she succeeds. We're still working on that relationship.

As @Fuzzy says, they can be very hormonal. Leia is pretty spicy and hormonal at the moment and is on a mission to murder my feet. Leia would very much like to have a pair-bond with me: in her eyes, she and I could be having a beautiful relationship and it's very aggravating that I have a human wife to whom I insist on showing affection. However, I can't fulfil a parrot's expectations of their mate: 24/7 close companionship and no affection shown to anyone else. This leads to a lot of frustration, and in Leia's case this led to her destroying her feathers. I had to seek professional advice from Pamela Clark, a parrot behaviourist, to help. I had to completely change my interactions with her: no time spent on my shoulder or knee, no long intense head rubs, only brief headscratches, a lot more target training and hands-off interaction. We have not made these mistakes with Kira, so hopefully she won't have the same problem.

Because Leia likes me so very much, she's alright with having my hands in her cage. Kira is pretty cage territorial and does not like her cage being messed with. If I want to swap around her toys, I have to shut her in Leia's cage otherwise she will fly over to bite.

Basically, pionus aren't magical quiet gentle angels. They can be complicated and hormonal and capable of pressing every one of your buttons :) it's worth thinking about what attracted you to the species: there is an awful lot of bad information about them online that does make them sound like the easiest parrots ever and one step up from a cuddly toy. Hopefully this has given a more accurate insight.
 

April

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As far as I'm aware, there are more differences between individuals than between species.

I have two Bronze Wings. They are full sisters, although they're from different clutches. Leia is six and a half years old and Kira is 18 months old. They engage in some parallel activities - they eat at the same time but from different bowls, they like to make noise at the same time - but Leia is not keen on making friends.

I got Leia at nine months old from her breeder: she had spent her entire life with her parents and clutchmates until then, and as a result seems to have a better understanding of how parrots should act. She makes the very loud BWEEEP sound that @Dartman mentioned as well as a variety of clucks, warbles, mumbles and the ACK ACK ACK yell. Kira also came to us at nine months old, but this was because we offered her a home when her original human found out that he was badly allergic to her. She hasn't had as much exposure to other parrots as a result, and when she came to us she made some bizarre sounds! She's learnt how to sound more like a parrot from Leia but still makes some strange noises. There's one that sounds like an old man being throttled and I have no idea where she learnt it, no do I want to know. There's another one that sounds like an accordion being slowly sat on. Like I said, absolutely bizarre. She's also less adept at reading social cues - a year on and she still tries to land right next to Leia, despite Leia snarking at her every single time.

Leia is quite assertive and determined - she knows what she wants and by god she will figure out how to get it. Kira is just about hitting puberty so while she's been fairly easy going and sweet so far, that will likely change as she gets older. She's generally clingier than Leia and doesn't figure things out as fast. I have always let Leia know that I recognise and respect her boundaries, so she and I communicate in sometimes very subtle ways. For example, I'll ask her if she wants a headscratch by wriggling my fingers at her, and if she doesn't want one she just needs to look at me. It took a while to establish this kind of communication with Kira, and when we first got her she would sometimes be unpredictable around hands. Babies are generally malleable and sweet, and as a result, people take liberties with them that maturing birds won't tolerate.

You will often hear descriptions of Pionus as being quiet, sweet and gentle. This is only true in relation to other, fiestier parrots! Pionus can absolutely be loud, spirited and aggressive. Mine especially like to sound off when I'm on the phone to the extent that I have to hang up and call people back when the birds are in bed. I think the only reason I haven't had noise complaints is that a) there are feral ringnecks in the area happily shouting away and most people can't tell the difference and b) if they complain about my parrots, I'll complain about their late night parties and no one wants to end up in that particular war :laughing2:

Mine appreciate having a variety of perching spots so they can be in the same room as us, and mine like following me around as I move from room to room. They even supervise my wife's baths, and they especially enjoy coming into the shower with us. We have four perches in the living room (a tree, a window perch and a couple of stands) and they use them all. They have toys on top of their cages so usually hang out there when we're in the study/bird room.

Pionus are generally curious birds with tons of personality. They can be reserved at first, but that's because they are deciding whether or not they can trust you.They do not like to be rushed or pushed into things. It took Leia a month before she would step up: she really wanted time to make up her mind but once she did, that was it. I get the distinct impression that she thinks it's funny to intimidate my wife - there's a distinct look of glee on her face when she succeeds. We're still working on that relationship.

As @Fuzzy says, they can be very hormonal. Leia is pretty spicy and hormonal at the moment and is on a mission to murder my feet. Leia would very much like to have a pair-bond with me: in her eyes, she and I could be having a beautiful relationship and it's very aggravating that I have a human wife to whom I insist on showing affection. However, I can't fulfil a parrot's expectations of their mate: 24/7 close companionship and no affection shown to anyone else. This leads to a lot of frustration, and in Leia's case this led to her destroying her feathers. I had to seek professional advice from Pamela Clark, a parrot behaviourist, to help. I had to completely change my interactions with her: no time spent on my shoulder or knee, no long intense head rubs, only brief headscratches, a lot more target training and hands-off interaction. We have not made these mistakes with Kira, so hopefully she won't have the same problem.

Because Leia likes me so very much, she's alright with having my hands in her cage. Kira is pretty cage territorial and does not like her cage being messed with. If I want to swap around her toys, I have to shut her in Leia's cage otherwise she will fly over to bite.

Basically, pionus aren't magical quiet gentle angels. They can be complicated and hormonal and capable of pressing every one of your buttons :) it's worth thinking about what attracted you to the species: there is an awful lot of bad information about them online that does make them sound like the easiest parrots ever and one step up from a cuddly toy. Hopefully this has given a more accurate insight.
Absolutely brilliant post!
 

FiatLux

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Absolutely brilliant post!
Agreed. @tka I would like the same analysis of every species I’m interested please lol!Do you have other birds per chance?
 

Dartman

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I have 4 parrots now and I always tried to stick with the one Pionus. It's a lot of work and three of them aren't completely tame and ok with being handled. The only one that is is Dobby.
I now have Pippen wbo is a yellow sided Green Cheek Conure that a man called me about because she flew into the warehouse he worked at and landed on his shoulder and refused to let go. He saw my lost Lurch add and thought she was him because she's green and called me so we went and got her.
My best friends mom got dementia and had a Jenday Conure and a Blue Crowned Conure so I took them in last spring, now I have 4.
I couldn't let any of them just end up grabbed by a critter to eat or with a flipper.
The Conures are quite different but fun and Pippen is staying, the other two if a good family comes along they are available. The Blue Crowned is probably going to be a good bird for the right person and will probably come around to a sweet heart with some work. The Jenday is psychotic and hides in his happy hut but will come out and wiggle at us trying to get attention till we walk over then he scampers back into his happy hut and bops in and out trying to look scary.
That's what having extra birds is like plus the noise and mess.
 

DaBirdMan

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As far as I'm aware, there are more differences between individuals than between species.

I have two Bronze Wings. They are full sisters, although they're from different clutches. Leia is six and a half years old and Kira is 18 months old. They engage in some parallel activities - they eat at the same time but from different bowls, they like to make noise at the same time - but Leia is not keen on making friends.

I got Leia at nine months old from her breeder: she had spent her entire life with her parents and clutchmates until then, and as a result seems to have a better understanding of how parrots should act. She makes the very loud BWEEEP sound that @Dartman mentioned as well as a variety of clucks, warbles, mumbles and the ACK ACK ACK yell. Kira also came to us at nine months old, but this was because we offered her a home when her original human found out that he was badly allergic to her. She hasn't had as much exposure to other parrots as a result, and when she came to us she made some bizarre sounds! She's learnt how to sound more like a parrot from Leia but still makes some strange noises. There's one that sounds like an old man being throttled and I have no idea where she learnt it, no do I want to know. There's another one that sounds like an accordion being slowly sat on. Like I said, absolutely bizarre. She's also less adept at reading social cues - a year on and she still tries to land right next to Leia, despite Leia snarking at her every single time.

Leia is quite assertive and determined - she knows what she wants and by god she will figure out how to get it. Kira is just about hitting puberty so while she's been fairly easy going and sweet so far, that will likely change as she gets older. She's generally clingier than Leia and doesn't figure things out as fast. I have always let Leia know that I recognise and respect her boundaries, so she and I communicate in sometimes very subtle ways. For example, I'll ask her if she wants a headscratch by wriggling my fingers at her, and if she doesn't want one she just needs to look at me. It took a while to establish this kind of communication with Kira, and when we first got her she would sometimes be unpredictable around hands. Babies are generally malleable and sweet, and as a result, people take liberties with them that maturing birds won't tolerate.

You will often hear descriptions of Pionus as being quiet, sweet and gentle. This is only true in relation to other, fiestier parrots! Pionus can absolutely be loud, spirited and aggressive. Mine especially like to sound off when I'm on the phone to the extent that I have to hang up and call people back when the birds are in bed. I think the only reason I haven't had noise complaints is that a) there are feral ringnecks in the area happily shouting away and most people can't tell the difference and b) if they complain about my parrots, I'll complain about their late night parties and no one wants to end up in that particular war :laughing2:

Mine appreciate having a variety of perching spots so they can be in the same room as us, and mine like following me around as I move from room to room. They even supervise my wife's baths, and they especially enjoy coming into the shower with us. We have four perches in the living room (a tree, a window perch and a couple of stands) and they use them all. They have toys on top of their cages so usually hang out there when we're in the study/bird room.

Pionus are generally curious birds with tons of personality. They can be reserved at first, but that's because they are deciding whether or not they can trust you.They do not like to be rushed or pushed into things. It took Leia a month before she would step up: she really wanted time to make up her mind but once she did, that was it. I get the distinct impression that she thinks it's funny to intimidate my wife - there's a distinct look of glee on her face when she succeeds. We're still working on that relationship.

As @Fuzzy says, they can be very hormonal. Leia is pretty spicy and hormonal at the moment and is on a mission to murder my feet. Leia would very much like to have a pair-bond with me: in her eyes, she and I could be having a beautiful relationship and it's very aggravating that I have a human wife to whom I insist on showing affection. However, I can't fulfil a parrot's expectations of their mate: 24/7 close companionship and no affection shown to anyone else. This leads to a lot of frustration, and in Leia's case this led to her destroying her feathers. I had to seek professional advice from Pamela Clark, a parrot behaviourist, to help. I had to completely change my interactions with her: no time spent on my shoulder or knee, no long intense head rubs, only brief headscratches, a lot more target training and hands-off interaction. We have not made these mistakes with Kira, so hopefully she won't have the same problem.

Because Leia likes me so very much, she's alright with having my hands in her cage. Kira is pretty cage territorial and does not like her cage being messed with. If I want to swap around her toys, I have to shut her in Leia's cage otherwise she will fly over to bite.

Basically, pionus aren't magical quiet gentle angels. They can be complicated and hormonal and capable of pressing every one of your buttons :) it's worth thinking about what attracted you to the species: there is an awful lot of bad information about them online that does make them sound like the easiest parrots ever and one step up from a cuddly toy. Hopefully this has given a more accurate insight.
@tka Should that stop me from getting a pionus Because my neignbor doen not appreciate loud noises and i cant blame any late night parties on him XD. Are they loud at night though? BTW im only getting one so will that help with the noise???
 

tka

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Mine are quiet at night. I get mine up at 8:30am and they go to bed at 8:30pm, and don't hear a peep from them all night. I do cover them and they have very effective blinds in the room - if they were aware that it was getting light, I imagine that they'd be more insistent about getting up and out of their cages.

Leia was more consistently noisy as a single bird as she was calling for me a lot, but this is balanced by the way they like to shout together. They still sound off a few times a day - sometimes it's because they've seen something outside and are raising the alarm, or because they can hear me in another room but not see me, or because I'm talking on the phone and they want to join in. The two of them have hit mid-80s dB.

Honestly, noise is part of the deal with parrots. There is not a single species of parrot that won't make a noise, and their contact and alarm calls are intended to be heard over distance. If noise is a deal breaker, then most parrot species are out. You might be okay with budgies but some people find their constant chatter grating.
 
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DaBirdMan

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i dont have a problem with the noise just i dont want it being loud during morning/night Sweet that they are quiet at night but do they ever wake you up?
 

tka

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I've edited my post to clarify how I reduce morning noise: effective blinds in the room and I cover their cages overnight. I have to be strict about hours of darkness because increased hours of daylight are a hormonal trigger, and Leia is hormonal enough as it is.

Most birds will call in the morning if they are aware that it's getting light.
 

Fuzzy

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Kobe is as quiet as a mouse most of the day. He just gets excited and loud when I'm uncovering the Amazons in the morning, as you can see from the video. The birds all set each other off then. The Amazons are so much louder, but it's only now and again through the day. If Kobe's upset he'll do a repetitive microwave beep which drives me mad, even though it's low in volume. Oh and when the postman comes to the door he'll do a shrill shriek and fly at me if I try to answer the door - I have to tell the postman to leave whatever it is on the doormat and I'll collect it later.
 

DaBirdMan

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Ok thats good to know im only going to own one parrot for the time being so the noise i guess wont be as much of a problem for me but i respect you because i have heard that amazons are hard birds to take care of so thats pretty cool.
 

DaBirdMan

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wow i did not expect that almost everything i have read recoomends ponus as begginner birds and not amazons
 

Mizzely

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Beginner birds is a lie.

A budgie requires just as much care and attention as a macaw. All birds have their unique things that make them a challenge. While a budgie may not have as big of a beak as a macaw, they can get themselves into just as much trouble. It's all just different trouble based on their size.
 

tka

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I've said elsewhere, there is a LOT of really poor quality, misleading "information" about pionus on the internet. Outside specialist bird forums like this and specialist publications, most of the information about them is total fantasy. If you've been getting your information from sites like The Spruce, you're best off trying to forget everything you've got from them. These are the kind of articles that present a picture of pionus as being low-maintenance, quiet and super gentle when the reality is that they are complex characters who can absolutely challenge you:


You've already met @Fuzzy. She's absolutely brilliant at understanding parrot behaviour and working on encouraging desired behaviours. The trigger for her journey into learning about parrot behaviour was that Kobe was literally flying to attack her: she realised that she had to understand him better so that they could enjoy a more rewarding life together. Kobe's clear warning signs that he's feeling spicy are used to illustrate this post:

Aggression In Parrots | ThinkParrot

The nice thing about pionus is that if you respect what they're trying to tell you, they will give you abundant signals about how they're feeling. I find Leia especially easy to read. She's nearly seven and has lived with me since she was nine months old, and she is incredibly honest, clear and consistent in her body language. If she's feeling curious and playful, I know. If she wants a headscratch, she's clear about it. If she doesn't want to be touched or is feeling spicy, I can tell with a glance. She doesn't bait and switch. She will give me plenty of escalating warnings. We've worked hard to establish this kind of communication but it's do-able. That in my opinion is something that makes her comparatively easy to live with.

They're not innately beginner-friendly and articles which say they are are doing the species a disservice. All parrots have complex needs: for example, while it's often easier to provide a suitably large space for smaller species like budgies and cockatiels, they're not innately more suitable for beginners. There are people on this forum whose first birds were macaws and amazons, but they did a LOT of work to understand what they were getting into. If you're willing to do a lot of research from reputable sources and do a lot of work to understand your parrot, any parrot can be a first bird.

Ultimately, a pionus is still a parrot: an animal not far removed from their wild ancestors and without a long history of domestication, with wild instincts, and with specialist needs in terms of enrichment, space, diet and healthcare. They're still capable of noise, biting, hormonal behaviour and so on like any other medium sized parrot. If you want to get a pionus because they're a species that appeals to you - good, bad and ugly - then do your research and make sure that you're ready. However, if what appeals to you is this concept of a reliably sweet, gentle, quiet, low-maintenance bird, then I hateto break it to you but that bird doesn't exist.
 
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DaBirdMan

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So true, you would need a bird that didnt have vocal chords or a brain dead one to "have a quiet, low maintenance bird" and i dont want that i want the bird personality so i guess the real chalenge wont be finding a quiet sweet gentle bird but to bond with my bird so that i can understand and respect it and it will understand and respect me. And By the way you guys @tka @Fuzzy @Mizzely have been such a huge help. I do understand that i wont find the quiet, gentle, sweet, low mantenance bird but that wont stop me. I am expremely passonate about them and im sure i will find one that no matter what will be a wonderfull companion.
 
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