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What Pionus parrot should I choose?

Hirro8

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Hello everyone!

I’ve been reading a lot of posts from this webpage and finally now registered an account to join the conversation and get more specific help, if needed.

I now need help. I’m going to try to write this as clear and clean as possible.

I’ve done some research on the Internett on pet birds, because I’m looking to get myself a parrot or two. I then have some criteria to what type of parrot I want.

-Playful
-Social (but also independent, NOT needy)
-Calm
-Fairly quiet (In parrot terms)
-Family bird (not jealous/one person bird)

My research have narrowed it down to a Pionus parrot, but to me there isn’t that much difference between the most common species (Blue Headed, White Capped, Maximilian and Bronze Winged)

NB! I'll probably buy two birds from the same clutch, then they have company if they’re alone.

I have read some “negative” things about each of the spices, but I have no clue if this is true at all:

The WhiteCapped are maybe the most aggressive of them?
The Maximilian is the best talker and the one which makes the most noise during the day?
The BronzeWinged is the most shy and the most difficult to get really tame?
The BlueHeaded is the one who has a chance to become the screamer?

Despite these “negative” things I've read a lot of good things about them and I think Pionus is the parrot for me, but I’m not sure which one to go for. Today I’m leaning more towards the BlueHeaded.

Is any of my research true?
What parrot will suit my criteria?
Is Meyer’s Parrot, Caique or a BrownHeaded Parrot better choices?

-EJ
 

sunnysmom

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Welcome to the forum. I have very limited Pi experience. You might actually want to start though with do you know where you can find one? I don't believe there are a lot of pi breeders out there. I have never seen a Maximilian or bronze-winged breeder listed at all. I mean there must be some somewhere- but are they anywhere near you?Based on your criteria, I would say not a caique, although they are super cute.
 

tka

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The differences between individuals are more significant than the differences between species. Any Pionus can be aggressive, loud and/or disinclined to interact with humans. It very much depends on individual personality and upbringing.

Playful - most parrots are playful if you give them toys and enrichment that they enjoy playing will. Their play may take different forms - Pionus tend to enjoy shredding softer materials like balsa, cork, cardboard, and similar.
Social but not needy - sorry to say this, but the two are in direct conflict. A parrot who likes being around you and who wants to interact with you will be lonely when you're not there. A parrot who is independent will probably be less social. You can mitigate this by getting two, but remember that they will have each other. You will have to form your own relationship with each.
Calm - in comparison to what? A Pionus is still a parrot. They are still going to be inquisitive, active, and sometimes hormonal and aggressive. There is no such thing as a perfectly calm parrot.
Quiet - Leia's shout makes my ears ring. It's above 85 decibels, the threshold for harm. She likes unleashing this if I'm in another room and she can hear me but not get to me, if she sees something outside or if I'm on the phone.
Family bird - again, depends on the individual. Leia doesn't mind other people but she's not interested in interacting with them unless they have almonds. She steps up reliably for me, occasionally steps up for my parents, and doesn't step up for my partner. Other Pionus are more happy to go to other people. Other Pionus are more aggressive to other people.

I have a bond built up over several years with Leia, and I think we understand each other well. I think she is wonderful, but she is not an easy parrot - she is very hormonal, she can be protective over her cage, and she has firm boundaries and insists on those being respected. She gives plenty of warnings to back off, and if you don't listen to these, you will get a beaking. She won't draw blood unless absolutely forced, but she's totally capable of doing so. I love her very much but she is NOT the gentle, calm, quiet, easy-going family bird that you seem to be looking for.

I think you would do better looking at cockatiels.
 

Feather

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I have an adult male maxi and would echo much of what tka said.

If you're really set on wanting a pionus, I would strongly recommend finding an adult rehome whose personality is already known. There's a very high chance you won't get what you're looking for otherwise.

I also expected a calm and quiet bird when I purchased Rowan as a freshly weaned baby. What I ended up with is a headstrong, energetic, and temperamental devotee of chaos. I love him to pieces, he's fantastic, but he is not an easy character to live with and it took us both a while to figure out a harmony.
 

Hirro8

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Interesting.
What type of Pionus do you have?

Every time I have been searching for gentle, calm and family-friendly parrots the Pionus have been suggested. The personality probably is a huge decider to that.

I know that parrot isn’t like buying a dog or a cat who is easier pets. I’m dedicated to take care, make a good home and try to learn them to be “birds with good behaviors”

I didn’t think that I actually was so wrong about these parrots as I was. Thanks a lot for the information though!
-EJ
 

Feather

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Interesting.
What type of Pionus do you have?

Every time I have been searching for gentle, calm and family-friendly parrots the Pionus have been suggested. The personality probably is a huge decider to that.

I know that parrot isn’t like buying a dog or a cat who is easier pets. I’m dedicated to take care, make a good home and try to learn them to be “birds with good behaviors”

I didn’t think that I actually was so wrong about these parrots as I was. Thanks a lot for the information though!
-EJ
Maximilian
 

tka

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I have a Bronze Winged. She also likes a bit of chaos in her life :laughing2:

Parrots as a rule are not good pets. Parrots make horrible family pets - they're messy, loud, unpredictable, demanding and like a consistent routine. They would be my very last choice of pet to have around children. My niece is two and I already see many years of stress ahead of me because she wants nothing more than to pat the pretty birdie. Leia is upset by my niece's quick movements and shrieking, which makes Leia scream in response.

If you want a gentle, calm, family friendly pet, get a dog. Many dog breeds have been bred specifically to be docile companions.
 

Hirro8

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You might actually want to start though with do you know where you can find one? I don't believe there are a lot of pi breeders out there.
Yea, I actually talked to a couple of breeders in Sweden. I’m from Norway so that’s pretty close.
All this information made me think twice about getting a Pionus..
 

sunnysmom

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Yea, I actually talked to a couple of breeders in Sweden. I’m from Norway so that’s pretty close.
All this information made me think twice about getting a Pionus..
I should have asked first where you were from. :) I don't see them often here.

Have you ever interacted with any pis? I think that's the best place to start with deciding what kind of bird you want. You can read and read but until you've met one you never really know. And each bird is an individual. I always said I would never have a cockatoo. What do I have? A cockatoo. LOL. I think the suggestion of getting an adult is also good. That way, you do have a better idea of their personality. If you want a bird that's more of a family bird, have you thought about cockatiels? Again, there's no guaranties but they're pretty laid back birds in general.
 

Hirro8

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I haven’t interacted with any Pionus birds before so that would probably be a smart thing to do. The breeder in Sweden lives close in terms of going and buy the birds, but to just visit them is going to a bit far away.

I owned a budgie 10 years ago so I know what it’s like to own a parrot, but the smaller once is much easier to handle and take care of? I enjoyed having my own little friend, but sadly he passed away way to early.

Now the last couple of months I was thinking about getting a parrot again, but I wanted to scale things up, but at the same time have a pretty easy going bird.

I see that scaling up in parrot size has a lot of drawbacks and that personality has a bigger role. At the same time do I read that a bird with just the right amount of playtime, exercise, toys and sleep, naturally makes a calmer bird. And that there’s ways to sort of “scape” the the birds the way you want them to be, despite an “negative” personality on the first place?
I’ve also talked to people who owns BlueHeaded and all of them have good experience with that type of bird. Their also telling me that theres of course some hormonal days, but in general a good bird.

Getting all this mixed information so it’s hard to decide hehe.. Yesterday I got the feeling that pionus is no where near a easy going bird. But again, the personality decides everything?

NB! The breeder I have talked to doesn’t handfeed the chicks so already there there’s lesser chance that the bird become really attached to a human and instead of its bird companion?
 
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tka

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At the same time do I read that a bird with just the right amount of playtime, exercise, toys and sleep, naturally makes a calmer bird. And that there’s ways to sort of “scape” the the birds the way you want them to be, despite an “negative” personality on the first place?
It's like having a kid. You can do all the right things to create a stimulating and nurturing environment, but you're still dealing with individual personalities. All we can do is try to create conditions in which they'll thrive, but parrots are still complex, smart, creative personalities. You can do all the right things and the bird may still barber their feathers, decide that someone else is their favourite and want nothing to do with you, or be aggressive towards people. You have to consider both nature and nurture.

You have to remember that Pionus are only considered quiet and easy going in comparison to, for example, cockatoos. If you've had your ears blasted by a cockatoo's scream, then of course Pis are quiet in comparison. They're still loud in comparison to a budgie or cockatiel, or dog, cat, rabbit etc.

I would say that I've had a good experience with Leia, but my expectation was that I was bringing a loud, messy, intelligent, demanding wild animal into my home who would have her own opinions about things and who might not even like me. Leia is loud, messy, intelligent, demanding and opinionated but we adore each other :)
 

Mizzely

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The more you try to put a species into a box, the more you will find yourself frustrated or disappointed.

We like those little boxes because it makes things easier. So we take species and morph them into what works for our needs. We took a wolf and over the course of 10,000 years we carefully created breeds that help put Dogs into nice little boxes.

Parrots are only a few generations removed from the wild in most cases, and there isn't any concentrated effort yet, especially with the larger birds, to breed for personality. They are bred for colors and numbers because people will buy them regardless.

To try to narrow down the personality and quirks of an entire species is really like trying to pick a random wolf who is going to be most like a golden retriever.
 

Hirro8

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Good points you got there both of you. I will think things over about buying a medium sized parrot.

What are the pro’s and good things about buying a Pionus then?

-EJ
 

Mizzely

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zoo mom

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I have a male BH PIONUS. Andre does not like my husband. BUT he does not go out of his way to attack him. If my husband does not try to physically interact, Andre will just ignore him. Andre's body language is very easy to read. If I watch him, I can tell exactly what mood he is in, and if I should or shouldn't approach him. He is not cuddly. He likes to be near me, sometimes sitting on me. He tells me with words (says scratch your head) and bows if he wants scratches. He says a few words and phrases clearly but is not a great talker. His alarm call is deafening but he only uses it when scared or annoyed. He does have hormonal days but they don't usually last long. I try to keep my birds on a regular 12 hours light, 12 hours dark. They still go through hormonal periods but not as severe as others I have heard about and not for as long a period of time.
 

Hirro8

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Okay, so what I understand is that, to get a good bird you got to have pure luck? A parrot is a parrot and there’s little diffidence between Amazon’s, Macaws, Cockatoo’s, Pionus, etc? The difference people are talking about on the internet between species are when the birds already have good behavior?

Sorry for asking these dumb question, I’m just trying to understand haha!
 

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No, there are differences between parrot families and species, but between closely related species like Pionus you are going to see less differences.
 

tka

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The things I like about Leia that seem to be Pionus traits is that she's observant, she likes to watch and make up her own mind about something, and she gives very very clear signals about what she's feeling at any moment. She isn't into bait-and-switch games - if she wants a headscratch, she'll ask. If she doesn't want a headscratch, she'll let you know. She does things on her terms and I like that very much about her.
 

sunnysmom

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Okay, so what I understand is that, to get a good bird you got to have pure luck? A parrot is a parrot and there’s little diffidence between Amazon’s, Macaws, Cockatoo’s, Pionus, etc? The difference people are talking about on the internet between species are when the birds already have good behavior?

Sorry for asking these dumb question, I’m just trying to understand haha!
I think there are generalities for a given species, but not all parrots will fit that. For example, female cockatiels are known to be cuddly. But that doesn't mean every female cockatiel will be cuddly. That's why it's often suggested to get an adult bird. That way, you have an idea of what their personality is. With baby birds, you don't really know. And with certain species like cockatoos, a baby not brought up correctly can lead to a problem adult.
 

Hirro8

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Hmm okay. So the rumor that Pionus parrots generally is a quiet, easy-going and not that demanding birds is not actually true?

For now I’m getting the feeling that people warning me or recommending me not to buy these parrots and that its not that easy as the rumor has it.
 
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