QUIET IF WEANED PROPERLY ...  


While Pionus have a reputation of being quiet birds, I have found that Pionus babies who are gavage (tube)-fed and/or force-weaned (especially before their time) often become insecure and end up making a "machine-gun" like begging sound that can turn into a very irritating repetitive call even as they mature. I have been told by several quality breeders that Pionus take longer to wean than other parrots their size. If a baby Pionus in a new home makes repetitive calls such as these, I recommend Regression Weaning to help them become more secure even if the bird is eating on his own. This involves finger feeding soft warm foods like globs of baked garnet yams mixed with cooked quinoa or oatmeal to the youngster. This will encourage a better sense of security and may help prevent the bird from making noises based on insecurity as he or she matures.

Some Pionus can be quite sedate while others are quite energetic. It can be the way they have been socialized or their individual personality. I think it is important to encourge their curiosity when they are young by getting them involved in interactive instruction and getting involved in the activity in the household. Playing a game I call "Real Estate Agent" can be very helpful. This involves taking the Pionus around the house to the different rooms and describing the room and its objects to your bird. Put her down on a safe surface while talking to her about the nearby objects and even picking one object up at a time and describing it to her or him in a reassuring voice. This not only helps to introduce new items without alarming her, it can also establish trust in your guidance.  

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Pionus Basics

by Sally Blanchard

I only worked with a dozen of so wild-caught Pionus. Some people told me tha they were just like smaller Amazon parrots. I found them much harder to win their trust and therefore, most difficult to tame. With time they did The ones I worked with were sure not as outgoing as Amazons and much more reserved or shy. That all changed when I started meeting and working with Pionus raised by breeders who believed in feeding them until they were ready to wean, socializing and loving on them. I was staying with a Pionus breeder, Rita Shimniok, and she had a clutch of Blue-headed Pionus toddlers who wanted to explore and had insatiable curiousity. I fell in love with everyone of them as they wandered all over me.

While Pionus have a reputation of being quiet birds, I have found that Pionus babies who are gavage (tube)-fed and/or force-weaned (especially before their time) often become insecure and end up making a "machine-gun" like begging sound that can turn into a very irritating repetitive call as the get older. I have been told by several quality breeders that Pionus take longer to wean than other parrots their size. If a baby Pionus in a new home makes repetitive calls such as these, I recommend Regression Weaning to help them become more secure even if the bird is eating on his own. This involves finger feeding soft warm foods like globs of baked garnet yams or cooked oatmeal to the youngster. It is an example of parenting that they missed if they were production-raised. This will encourage a better sense of security and may help the bird from making noises based on insecurity. A lot of excessive tood begging is actually based on a lack of a sense of security rather than hunger. 

I think one of my all time favorite parrots, not just Pionus, was a Bronze-wing who had received a wonderful fresh-food diet since he was a baby and was bathed frequently. In the light this parrot's beautiful feathers shined showing off all of his beautiful colors. I think the beauty Pionus feathers is under appreciated. Pionus are all gorgeous on a quality fresh food diet with natural sunlight reflecting off them.


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