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Scaly-headed Parrot

 (Pionus maximiliani)

Also known as: Maximilian's Parrot or Pionus, Tucuman Parrot (P.m. lacerus)

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Wild Scaly-headed Parrot
© Nick Athanas [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Did You Know?

The Scaly-headed Parrot or Pionus gets its name from the grey scalloped feathers on its head, which give it at scaly appearance.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pionus maximiliani

Species Profile

Genus: Pionus | Species: maximiliani

Size:

29cm (11.3 in)

Weight:

233-293g (8.1-10.2 oz)

Races including nominate:

four: P.m. maximiliani, P.m. melanoblepharus, P.m. siy, P.m. lacerus

Colour Adult:

P.m. maximiliani: Both adults in general dull green; underparts paler and more bronze/brown, with feathers margined dusty brown; green/black forehead and lores; dull blue chin and band across throat; red undertail coverts tipped with blue and yellow/green; green tail with red at base. Bill dull yellow with dark grey at base. Eye ring bare and white with grey spot in front of and behind eye. Eye dark brown.
P.m. melanoblepharus: Both adults band on chin and throat darker blue; darker green back and underparts. Larger in size.
P.m. siy: Both adults as in melanoblepharus, but with blue/purple chin and throat band; some upper breast feathers with red bases; bronze/green of back and underparts paler.
P.m. lacerus: Both adults as in siy, but deeper blue and more extensive throat band.

Colour Juvenile:

P.m. maximiliani: Paler green head with less pronounced scalloping to feathers; reddish forehead; minimal blue on throat.

Call:

Calls made in flight are resonant choik-choik usually heard from far off; while at rest emits a series of rapid notes and harsh squawks, interspersed with low clucks.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2

More Information:

Avibase

Content Sources:

CITES
BirdLife International
Cornell Lab of Ornithology/Birds of the World
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998
ML Media Collection Catalogue 115444, Scaly-headed Parrot Pionus maximiliani, Marantz, Curtis, Espirito Santo, Brazil, Dec. 16 1999, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Site
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1977. 2010 edition
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Lexicon of Parrots, Thomas Arndt.
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.
Parrots: Their Care and Breeding, Low, 1986.
Psittacine Aviculture, Schubot, Clubb and Clubb, 1992.

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Scaly-headed Parrot
© Nick Athanas [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Did You Know?

The Scaly-headed Parrot or Pionus gets its name from the grey scalloped feathers on its head, which give it at scaly appearance.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pionus maximiliani

Species Care

Captive Status:

Fairly common

Longevity:

20 yrs

Housing:

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

Diet:

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

Enrichment:

Not a hard chewer; needs regular exercise so provide as large an aviary as possible. Provide shallow water bowls or overhead misters for bathing. Also provide ladders, swings, ropes, different sized perches and foraging/puzzle toys.

Nest Box Size:

Vertical box, 12" x 12' x 18" or 12" x 12" x 24" (30.5cm x 30.5cm x 46cm or 30.5cm x 30.5cm x 61cm).

Clutch Size:

4-5

Incubation Time:

26 days

Fledging Age:

9-10 weeks

Hatch Weight:

9g (0.3 oz)

Peak Weight:

Not recorded.

Weaning Weight:

197g (7 oz)

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Scaly-headed Parrot
© Nick Athanas [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Did You Know?

The Scaly-headed Parrot or Pionus gets its name from the grey scalloped feathers on its head, which give it at scaly appearance.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pionus maximiliani

Species Wild Status

World Population:

Unknown, decreasing.

IUCN Red List Status:

Least Concern

CITES Listing:

Appendix II

Threat Summary:

Decline in some parts of range (N Argentina) due to wild bird trade. Elsewhere less numerous because of habitat loss. Since 1981 there have been 93,234 individuals traded on the international market.

Range:

P.m. maximiliani: NE Brazil, from Ceara, Piaui and S Maranhao south to Espirito Santo, C Minas Gerais, and S Goias.
P.m. melanoblepharus: C Brazil, from S Goias and southern Minas Gerais, south to E Paraguay and NE Argentina, in Misiones and Corrientes.
P.m. siy: Mato Grosso, Brazil, to C Bolivia, Paraguay and N Argentina, in Formosa and Chaco.
P.m. lacerus: NW Argentina, in Catamarca and Tucuman to S Salta and W Chaco.

Habitat:

Found up to 2000m (6560 ft) in various habitats from lowland dry forest to dry caatinga and seasonal cerrado savannas. Also found in more humid forest such as gallery woodland and Araucaria sp. forest and subtropical forests on east Andean slopes.

Wild Diet:

Feeds on Erythina, Inga, Piptadenia, Copaifera, Croton, Pachystroma, Plathymenia reticulata, Ficus and Araucaria sp. plants.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Tolerant of human disturbance of forest habitats and sometimes cultivated sites. Social; forming large flocks where food abundant. Roosts communally in tall tree-tops.

Clutch and Egg Size:

4-5 broadly elliptical to short ovate eggs, 32.5 x 24.5mm (1.3 x 0.9 in).

Breeding Season:

October

Related Links:

Wikipedia
 

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Scaly-headed Parrot
© Nick Athanas [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Did You Know?

The Scaly-headed Parrot or Pionus gets its name from the grey scalloped feathers on its head, which give it at scaly appearance.

Academic Research

Related publications: Pionus maximiliani

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