While they may look like a small Amazon they are entirely different in personality. While there are 8 species of Pionus, only 5 are normally seen in the United States. While normally not moody during the breeding season the males may become a little more aggressive than the females.

In the wild they are strong flyers and have been known to fly great distances in search for food.

They display similarly to Amazons by spreading their tail feathers, ruffling the feathers on the back of their napes, dilate their eyes and have their wings moved away from their bodies. The other trait similar to an Amazon is that they have a musty smell to them.

They make a particular sound that is similar to a wheezing sound. This sound is usually made when they feel threatened or are afraid of something. It doesn't mean that they are sick.

Blue headed Pionus
Have excellent personalities and will make good family pets as long as all members of the family handle them. Around strangers they could be shy. Easy going with sweet dispositions they are also gentle by nature.

White Capped Pionus
Curious and spunky they could be difficult if not properly handled. Females tend to be a little more easy-going than the males. They are the smallest of the Pionus, being only 9-10 inches in length. Summing up the White-capped in one word is easy-feisty! Once they make up their minds to do something it is very hard to change it.

Bronze-Winged Pionus
These beautiful gems are very gentle, even around children. They possess sweet personalities and they are very quiet birds. As they mature their coloring becomes even more beautiful. There is some very slightly sexual dimorphism with them. The females tend to get a pinkish coloring around the skins of their eyes during the breeding season or when they are hormonal.

Maximillian Pionus or Maxies
Have the second largest range of all the Pionus. They are the largest of the Pionus as well being around 12 inches in length. They are very outgoing and curious and love to go exploring. They possess a calm and gentle nature. They are considered to be the best talker of the Pionus as well. They love to cuddle like a cockatoo. Another cockatoo trait is they are a great escape artist.

Dusky Pionus
Are very outgoing and rather mischievous. They are the most active of all the Pionus. Like the White-capped they are also very small. Their coloring is iridescent making it difficult to name all the colors they possess. They are the nosiest of the Pionus as well.

Other species of Pionus include: Red-billed, Plum-crowned or Speckled-faced and White-headed.

Bird Facts

Country of Origin: Central America, South America

Average Lifespan: 30 years

Size: 7 to 11 inches

Diet: natural diet includes tropical fruits, pine nuts, wild berries and corn


Sleep: 12-14 hours daily

Care: Regular wing and nail clipping are required to maintain these birds

Cages: Daily cage cleaning is a must

Foods to Avoid: Chocolate, Caffeine, Alcohol, Avocado and Apple Seeds