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Old 08-22-2016, 02:10 PM
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Smile What is it like having one?

I saw my first Pionus a month ago. It was a bronze wing and I was in aww over it. I had never seen a parrot like that before. I just loved it. I have no clue what these birds are like. I have never met one. I have been reading about them and I want to know more.

I found one on craigslist that needs a home it's not a bronze wing. I am not jumping at getting another bird at this time. Later I will have 2 parrots right now I don't think so.

That Bronze wing pionus I saw just really got me thinking. I was in love.

So could you guys tell me a little about what these birds are like as pets?

Noise level?
Can they be good family parrots and don't tend to pick one person?
Health?
Active level?
Personality?
How are they with other birds like a small conure?
Could they be good parrots for a family with kids?

I just would love to hear about your Pionus and feel free to post some photos. Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:02 PM
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Re: What is it like having one?

We have a BHP, Talli, and a WCP, Pisces. They are fantastic birds!
Talli is a talker and the character of the two. He does scream, thankfully not for extended periods.
Pisces is quiet, I have never heard her scream even once. She also doesn't talk at all.
They are both loving, and are not one person birds. With these two, you can see a bite coming from a mile away as they both puff up like a puffer fish.
I would have a room full of Pionus if I could!

This is Talli after his bath:


Pisces after her bath:

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Old 08-22-2016, 10:28 PM
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Re: What is it like having one?

So, my 1st 'big' parrot was a White Capped Pionus. He loved me beyond measure & hated pretty much everyone else, especially men. But in his prior home, his 2 best friends were a woman and her young son, so it might have been I was the main person to relate to him here. He was relatively quiet, spoke some words [and when it was time to go to sleep, he would climb onto his sleeping perch, turn his back to the world [i.e., face the wall] and "practice his words" I loved to hear his sleepy voice mumbling himself to sleep.

Out of the blue, a friend who has a private rescue texted me the picture of a half-naked Blue Headed Pionus hen, who was losing her home. Turns out the plucking was a fixable medical issue. A month-plus of antibiotics & some anti-fungals brought a long-term infection under control. She is fully feathered. She likes everyone in the home; not as keen on visitors. She is pretty quiet, quietly affectionate.

They are like amazons in that they telegraph their intentions. You can see a bite coming from a mile away.

If you are thinking about a Pionus, when you find a bird, smell it. "Pionus people" love their smell - I think they smell like the old Love's Baby Soft perfume. Some other people hate it. [I always say that everyone in the house needs to (1) hear a parrot's scream, and (2) smell them before deciding whether this is a good addition to the household.]

Good luck.
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:14 PM
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Re: What is it like having one?

I have a Bronze Winged ! You can see my male BWP Raven in my avatar and beautiful sig that Allee made for me.

Pionus are said to be closely related to Amazons. They have the 'strut' like a zon, they (usually) show clear body language warnings, they 'puff' out a musty smell from the face area the way zons do when they're excited. Pi's are also South American. There are 6 species available. They range in size depending on species, but are about the size of the smaller Amazons.

Raven is funny, I swear he has a sense of humor. As far as noise, he would rather talk, mimic, and make funny sounds than scream. The only times I've ever heard him scream is when he's having a spat with Griffin, or if I'm on the phone with some sort of high emotion. Otherwise, he will NEVER scream. When he does scream it sounds like it would be from a smaller bird. Raven is not super loud IMO.

Of course whether they get along or not depends on the individual and your conure. They're not necessarily known to 'not' get along with others. Raven is a bonded 'couple' with my Ruppell's parrot Griffin who is half Raven's weight. Griffin is definitely way more feisty.

I think they'd be fine with supervision for kids if they're old enough to observe the bird's body language. Raven likes both of us, but he is less tolerant of me (his real owner) so I have to be very respectful to not get bit. I let my guard down about 3 weeks ago and was sort of teasing him (nicely in fun), and I got nailed hard. It is still not 100% healed.

Terry, that video of Talli was hilarious . Evidently he thought something was hilarious too!

Kim, I have had 2 Pionuses (and a zon) before, who all puffed out the most stinky, musty, almost sour smell. I still have no idea what people talk about when they say a sweet smell. Maybe when people say they like the smell they are talking about the feathers, not the 'puff' they emit? I don't usually risk putting my face close enough to Raven .
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:42 AM
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Re: What is it like having one?

I have been told they smell different to everyone - especially amazons & pionus. Some perceive a pleasant smell like I do, others get a whiff of something they don't like. And I do smell it more, when they are excited. I don't notice it most of the time [unless I have my nose buried in feathers, which I don't recommend because, as you know, it could all go really wrong, really fast!]
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:16 AM
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Re: What is it like having one?

I also love the smell, but I can see how it could be an acquired taste..lol
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:07 PM
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Re: What is it like having one?

I just adopted my eight year old WCP in May and she's a very sweet bird. She fit in surprisingly easily and fast considering how loud and angry she gets with strangers! She's a very quiet bird, just kind of burbling, making laser sounds, and punctuating her activities with the occasional "Pretty Bird" (her only words). She mimics some basic sounds (like clicking or laughing) when she's a bit excited/riled up. She is happy to be in the room with us either watching or playing and is very happy to sit on our shoulder or play in our laps/on the couch. She really loves head scratches and will roll her head around so that we get at the right spots. She loves our company and to be on us but she's not particularly cuddly. She likes exploring but can be startled easily (she lived in her own room/basement for quite a few years before we got her so she's not super used to lots of activity). The only time she's loud is when strangers show up and then she makes us glad she's such a quiet bird! Full on smoke detector and screaming. She will settle after awhile with only level 1 or 2 noises (chirps and duck sounds) so long as they are sitting and can make new friends although it takes a little while and they have to be willing to spend some time with her (and give almonds). She favours me but likes my husband too as long as he doesn't try and keep her from me. She's a great eater and will happily chow down on almost any veggie that we give her plus her pellets. Definitely not a biter - her main form of protest is to drop her head for a scratch knowing that her cuteness will buy her a few more seconds at least. She will occasionally clomp us with her beak (to signal a bite but without biting) although its rare and she has bitten us a few times, mostly out of fear and feeling cornered. Her body language is easy to read usually. Overall a great bird and very easy to live with!
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Old 08-23-2016, 01:07 PM
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Re: What is it like having one?

Thanks everyone I love hearing about your birds. They sound like fun parrots.

As for the smell. I love the smell of birds my conure and parakeets smell good to me. But Pionus have a different kind of bird smell? That's very interesting.
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Living with birds on and off since 1982.
Parakeets - Sweetpae and Olaf
Black capper conure- Sprinkles
Other Pets; 2 Dog, 7 chinchillas, and 2 big Aquariums. I love animals.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:29 PM
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Re: What is it like having one?

I love my white cap pi. SOOOO much! Can only echo what others said. She is also very tolerant with children and very loving with her friends.

Yeah the smell... I think Jimmy's smell smells like a gym sock. Literally. I've asked someone who thinks they smell good what she smelled - she said it is like flowers (!).

I do notice her smell isn't as potent when she gets a lot of outside time. I think diet also affects their smell to a point. Her stinky smell comes from her head. Her body feathers smell good, like normal parrot scent.

Health-wise, they are prone to heart and respiratory issues. They also need a better diet than most parrots (need more sprouts and veg and less grain/pellets) for heart health.
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:59 AM
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Re: What is it like having one?

Yes - I agree completely on the need for a good diet. My WCP was my first 'big bird' and while his prior human fed good quality seed, fruits, veggies & nuts, like Amazons, Pionus are prone to heart disease & as my vet says, once they start down the path to heart disease, there's nothing she can do.

I lost Beaker to a heart attack. [And a Panama Amazon who was rehomed to me from here the same way]. So I am bigger on feeding them salad & pellets & a limit on the nuts than most people.
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