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Blue-headed Parrot

 (Pionus menstruus)

Also known as: Blue-hooded Parrot, Red-vented Parrot, Blue-headed Pionus

Click photo to visit gallery

Blue-headed Parrots at clay lick
© Manfred Kusch

Did You Know?

The Blue-headed Parrot, along with many other South American species of parrot, regularly visits clay banks along rivers to ingest the mineral to neutralize toxins the birds take in with the seeds they eat.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pionus menstruus

Species Profile

Genus: Pionus | Species: menstruus

Size:

28cm (10.9 in)

Weight:

234-295g (8.2-11.5 oz)

Races including nominate:

three: P.m. menstruus, P.m. reichenowi, P.m. rubrigularis

Colourization Adult:

P.m. menstruus: Both adults in general green; blue head and neck, with faint red band on throat; dull black ear coverts; red undertail coverts tipped with blue/green; olive/brown lesser wing coverts; green median wing coverts, with wide olive/brown edging; green tail with red at base. Bill dark grey with red at base. Eye ring pale grey, eye dark brown.
P.m. reichenowi: Both adults blue of head, neck and throat darker; green lower underparts washed with blue; red undertail coverts tipped with blue.
P.m. rubrigularis: Both adults as in menstruus, but blue of head and neck duller; more red on throat; darker green upperparts.

Colourization Juvenile:

P.m. menstruus: Pale green head, throat and breast; yellow/green undertail coverts, with varying red markings. Bill pale grey with orange/yellow at base.

Call:

Calls are high-pitched screeches and screaming notes; also some notes harsh and shrill.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3

More Information:

Pet Education.com
AvianWeb

Content Sources:

BirdLife International
CITES
Internet Bird Collection
ML Media Collection Catalogue 138720, Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus, Seeholzer, Glenn, Ucayali, Peru, Sep. 9 2008, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Site
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998.
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1977. 2010 issue
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011.

Click photo to visit gallery

Blue-headed Parrots at clay lick
© Manfred Kusch

Did You Know?

The Blue-headed Parrot, along with many other South American species of parrot, regularly visits clay banks along rivers to ingest the mineral to neutralize toxins the birds take in with the seeds they eat.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pionus menstruus

Species Care

Captive Status:

Fairly common.

Longevity:

30-45yrs

Housing:

Aviary or suspended enclosure, minimum length 2-3m (6.5-9.8 ft).

Diet:

Fruits such as: apple, pear, orange, banana, pomegranate, cactus fruits, kiwi, forming about 30 percent of the diet; vegetables such as: carrot, celery, green beans and peas in the pod; fresh corn; green leaves such as: Swiss chard, lettuce, kale, dandelion, sowthistle, chickweed; spray millet; small seed mix such as: millet, canary, and smaller amounts of buckwheat, oats, safflower and a little hemp; soaked and sprouted sunflower; cooked beans and pulses and boiled maize; limited cubed hard cheese; complete pellet.

Enrichment:

Are avid chewers so provide bird-safe, unsprayed flowering, fir, pine, willow or elder branches, wooden block or vegetable tanned leather toys, puzzle/foraging toys, ladders, swings and ropes. Also provide overhead misters or shallow water bowls for bathing.

Nest Box Size:

Vertical box 10" x 10" x 24" (25.4cm x 25.4cm x 61cm)

Clutch Size:

3-4

Incubation Time:

26 days

Fledging Age:

10 weeks

Hatch Weight:

Probably 9-11g (0.3-0.4 oz).

Peak Weight:

Not available

Weaning Weight:

Not available

Click photo to visit gallery

Blue-headed Parrots at clay lick
© Manfred Kusch

Did You Know?

The Blue-headed Parrot, along with many other South American species of parrot, regularly visits clay banks along rivers to ingest the mineral to neutralize toxins the birds take in with the seeds they eat.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pionus menstruus

Species Wild Status

World Population:

Not recorded

IUCN Red List Status:

Least Concern

CITES Listing:

Appendix II

Threat Summary:

Declining in some areas (E Brazil) due to deforestation and some illegal trade. The Blue-headed Parrot will most likely lose up to 23% of suitable habitat within its range over 20 years based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. Its population will be expected to decline by <25% over three generations.

Range:

P.m. menstruus: Trinidad, Guianas, and Venezuela to E Colombia, E Ecuador, and E Peru south to C Bolivia, and Amazonian Brazil.
P.m. reichenowi: E Brazil.
P.m. rubrigularis: S Costa Rica and Panama to W Colombia and W Ecuador.

Habitat:

Found up to 1100m (3608 ft) in lowland tropical forest, including rainforest, deciduous and savanna; subtropical formations, cultivated areas, plantations, clearings with trees, secondary growth forest and seasonally in dry caatinga forest in Brazil.

Wild Diet:

Feeds on various seeds, fruits and flowers.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Forages in the upper canopy. Social and boisterous while not breeding, gathering in large groups where food abundant or when roosting. Nests in old tree cavities previously used by other species.

Clutch and Egg Size:

3-4 pointed oval eggs, 31.5 x 25.0mm (1.2 x 1.0 in)

Breeding Season:

February-April, Panama; February-March, Colombia; February, Venezuela; March and October, Trinidad; February-May, Ecuador.

Related Links:

Infonatura
Wikipedia
Cornell Neotropical Unit

Click photo to visit gallery

Blue-headed Parrots at clay lick
© Manfred Kusch

Did You Know?

The Blue-headed Parrot, along with many other South American species of parrot, regularly visits clay banks along rivers to ingest the mineral to neutralize toxins the birds take in with the seeds they eat.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pionus menstruus

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