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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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More pionus questions

Hello! I haven't posted much on this forum but I've read most of it! I have a parrotlet and have recently been considering another parrot. After all of my research I have decided that it will most like be... a pionus!

I searched for breeders/sellers in the area and visited a young white capped yesterday, and I was shocked at how small it was! I'm not sure where I got the idea that they were much larger than they are, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that pionus parrots are a very manageable medium sized bird. And he/she was ADORABLE So slow moving and gentle (especially compared to a parrotlet!)

I originally fell in love with the appearance of the bronze-winged pionus, but it seems that white capped and blue headed are much easier to find in Ontario. They are both nice looking and I'm more concerned with the temperament anyway I think the blue headed is slightly larger than the WC...?

I have read a lot about their personalities but there are a few things I'm pondering that I wonder if anyone has any input. Parrotlets aren't usually very friendly to other birds, yet my parrotlet hates being alone. She calls nonstop when she's left alone, but is content if there's someone in the room (it doesn't have to be me). Do you think another bird would be considered company or competition? Also, I'm guessing a pionus would not enjoy interacting with a parrotlet (and someone would get hurt) but would he enjoy watching her play? or listening to her chirp? Basically I'm wondering if it would be a peaceful coexistence or a stressful one, and whether it would help fill the time that I'm gone to work during the day.

I would love another bird (especially a pionus) but I don't want/need one badly enough to create mayhem in my house! If anyone has any comments, information, opinions or advice, I would really appreciate it! Thanks!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 12:22 PM


 
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Julia,
I personally think Pionus are EXCELLENT choices for companion parrots. They are said to have some of the very best companion qualities of parrot species available. All of the pi's I know of are very much loved by their owners. They tend to be quieter and mild mannered, and are exceptionally intelligent. I am partial to the blue headed pi's...but they are all SO beautiful. They are much more companion-like that the majority of parrotlets (my two included). Also, I actually think that your parrotlet will enjoy having another birdie in the same vicinity to "talk bird" with. Did you know that in Germany, they have a law that requires you to not own ONE, but at least TWO pet birds so that the bird is not lonely? Birds are flock animals. It's doubtful you'll be able to allow the two out together (though you never know until you watch their behavior), but no doubt, your p'let will enjoy having the company of a feathered friend. Also, Pionus tend to be very peaceful with other birds, so they could indeed become friends one day. (Just take it very slowly).

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 08:00 PM


 
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I believe it is very good to have at least two birds in a home. They do not need to be caged together to enjoy one another's company. They love to interact from inside separate cages. Our first two birds were our bourkes and our senegal, and they used to engage in parallel play and eating. The senegal imitated the bourkes, and both loved to chatter back and forth. Now I have a lot of birds, and they all seem to enjoy chattering together and eating at the same time and playing at the same time.

I happen to have both a maximilian pionus and a parrotlet. Although my first two birds were from separate continents, I do find that all of my South American birds seem to communicate a bit better with one another than with my African birds, who seem to communicate the best with one another. This doesn't mean they don't like the birds from the other continents, but they really, really, really enjoy someone from their own continent. (I also now have two Australian birds, but one of them is very new to our home, so I don't know if the two birds from Australia will form a special bond or not.)

I do not allow my parrotlet and my pionus to have physical contact with one another. The pionus could easilly kill the parrotlet, but the parrotlet, I am told, could also do quite a bit of damage to the feet of the pionus.

I do, however, let them out of their cages together as long as I am in the same room. The parrotlet is flighted, but the pionus doesn't fly. She just stays on her play stand. So far, the parrotlet doesn't fly too close to the pionus, but I suppose it could happen. My pionus is very gentle with my other two little birds, so I don't worry that she would be aggressive toward the parrotlet, but if the parrotlet ever tries to get too close to her, I won't let them out at the same time any longer. I know the pionus would never be the instigator of aggression toward the parrotlet, but I also know that if the parrotlet started to attack her, she would kill it in self defense. She is very good at reading the other birds, and she will move herself away if she can.

If you have found a white cap that is already gentle, go for it. White caps do have the reputation of being the least reliable as a species of all pionus, but individual white caps, if they are sweet, are as sweet as any sweet individuals of the other species. I do not know if they are as tolerant of other birds as are the maxis, but, you always have the option of only letting one bird out of its cage at a time if you need to do that. By the way, white caps are quite a bit smaller than maximilians and bronze wings.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)

Last edited by nanay; 10-17-2011 at 08:03 PM.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 06:51 AM



 
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I would love a bronze winged pionus.

I think having another bird in the home will definitely improve the life of your parrotlet. Birds really do love to interact and as nanay said, they don't have to be with each other. They interact just fine from across the room etc.

I was shocked when I saw a Maxi pi in person. I knew the blue headed were quite small but not the Maxi's haha! They're really puny.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 07:18 AM


 
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Why do they call them "Maxi's" if they are actually "Mini's"?.... lol
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanay View Post
I happen to have both a maximilian pionus and a parrotlet. Although my first two birds were from separate continents, I do find that all of my South American birds seem to communicate a bit better with one another than with my African birds, who seem to communicate the best with one another. This doesn't mean they don't like the birds from the other continents, but they really, really, really enjoy someone from their own continent. (I also now have two Australian birds, but one of them is very new to our home, so I don't know if the two birds from Australia will form a special bond or not.)
Wow, I hadn't even considered this but it obviously makes sense! Perhaps my p'let would love the company of an amazon... but I sure wouldn't!!

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Originally Posted by nanay View Post
If you have found a white cap that is already gentle, go for it. White caps do have the reputation of being the least reliable as a species of all pionus, but individual white caps, if they are sweet, are as sweet as any sweet individuals of the other species. I do not know if they are as tolerant of other birds as are the maxis, but, you always have the option of only letting one bird out of its cage at a time if you need to do that. By the way, white caps are quite a bit smaller than maximilians and bronze wings.
As sweet as this individual was, I am continuing to search for maxis (haven't found any at all) and look into blue heads. I have heard that most babies are sweet and it doesn't necessarily reflect their personality as they mature, so I'm not sure I'm willing to take the chance on a WC! (No offence - I'm sure most WCs are lovely). I just don't want another aggressive parrot in my house and I REALLY don't want to have to rehome anyone. Also, there were aspects of this bird's upbringing that I would need to look into further. It was raised from an egg by people, and I'm not sure if there's anything wrong with that but it strikes me as odd.

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Originally Posted by PersnicketyParrot View Post
Julia,
Did you know that in Germany, they have a law that requires you to not own ONE, but at least TWO pet birds so that the bird is not lonely?
Yes - I think that may be the case in a few European countries. Its easy to have more than one budgie or cockatiel because you can use one cage... but parrotlets are a little harder to work with! I do agree that she'd probably be more mentally stimulated in the company of another bird.

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Originally Posted by catalinadee View Post
I would love a bronze winged pionus.

I think having another bird in the home will definitely improve the life of your parrotlet. Birds really do love to interact and as nanay said, they don't have to be with each other. They interact just fine from across the room etc.

I was shocked when I saw a Maxi pi in person. I knew the blue headed were quite small but not the Maxi's haha! They're really puny.
Oh the blue headed are small as well? I have such a hard time visualizing the size of them from pictures. I should see if I can find one nearby to visit.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 07:49 PM


 
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I think blue heads, Maximilians, and bronze wings look about the same size, really. I know they have some weight differences, but they are basically the same. White caps are much smaller, though.

Oh, and I certainly understanding holding out for that maximilian. Daisy is the best just plain all around bird I've ever seen.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 08:01 PM


 
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Julia,
You're right about that! My Parrotlets are my most challenging birds!


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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Nanay, or anyone who knows... Can you compare the Pionus sizes to your senegal?

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 10:51 PM
 
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I'm looking into getting a Pi and a Maxi is my first choice. I have only seen a Maxi and a few BH and the Maxi is bigger than the BH. I think the Maxi is the biggest Pi. I also saw a Senegal and the Maxi is bigger. I would say the BH's were as well.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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A blue head pionus is the size of a smaller Amazon, say a Lilac Crown. Also very similar in size to an African Grey or Severe Macaw (if you just measure head to feet, not including the longer tail on a macaw). White Capped are smaller, by about half a head, I would say? I've worked primarily with those two species. Hope that gives a better indication of size? Those are all sizes based on the visual, primarily height and wing span, not weight.

OK, did some research:

African grey (congo)- 12-14" from beak to tail, 400-650 grams
Blue head pionus - 11in average, 182-252g (which is strange, from look and feel, I would have said pionus are more stocky than greys?

And according to http://www.parrotalert.org/Pionus.html :

Pionus c. chalcopterus: Bronze-winged Parrot (Avg 11.5”)

Pionus f. fuscus: Dusky Parrot (Avg Length 10”)

Pionus m. maximiliani: Maximilian’s Parrot or Scaly-headed or Tucuman Parrot (Avg Length 10.5”)

Pionus m. menstruus: Blue-Headed Pionus or Blue-Hooded, Red-vented Pionus (Avg Length 9.5”)

Pionus s. senilis: White-crowned Parrot or White-capped Parrot (Avg Length 9.5”)

Pionus s. sordidus: Red-Billed Parrot or Coral-billed Parrot (Avg Length 11”)



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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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Thanks Jenny! The only time I have seen Pi in person they have been behind glass. It is so hard to judge something for it's size with so little to visually compare it to. Hopefully I'll run into more while getting Zucchini groomed etc. It sure made my day a month or so ago when I got to hold and really meet the male ekkie.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:22 PM


 
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Daisy, maxi, is quite a bit bigger than Roni, senegal. Daisy weighed 220 grams when we weighed her last weekend and Roni weighed 139. However, to me, when I hold them and when I look at them, it seems their weights should be farther apart.

It's funny, because I've always been told that the maxis are the largest pis, but to me the bronze wings are larger, and Jenny's post confirms that.

We were told that Daisy didn't have very good muscle tone when she first came home, but that this has improved. I hope that is correct. She has gained about 30 grams, so I'm hoping it was muscle that got larger.

White caps are a lot smaller than maxis. They are still larger than sennies, but not much. They look to me like they are about the size of large caiques, but I can't say that for certain.

I'm trying to think of other birds you may have seen that would be the same size as Daisy. Spectacled amazons, jardines, smaller timneh's, smaller lesser sulphur crested cockatoos, smaller goffins, and Illiger's and yellow collared macaws (if you could imagine the tail short), come to mind. I think those birds are supposed to weigh more, but they still look like they would be about the same. The store recently had a yellow lored amazon, and it looked smaller than Daisy, but you've probalby never seen one of those.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 09:18 PM
 
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That is VERY helpful, Nanay! I will keep all of that in mind as I go back into my favorite bird stores.

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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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That is interesting- looks like blue headed and white capped are the same size. It's funny that I used to be much more intimidated by larger birds, and now that I have a parrotlet, I am almost more intimidated by small birds! The larger birds that I have handled have been MUCH gentler and more predictable than my parrotlet! I am going to the national bird show in Toronto this weekend so I am hoping to see some less common species there.

I am certain that I would love to share my home with a pionus. But, I live in a building right now with a somewhat strict "no pets" policy. I do respect the reasoning behind this rule: dogs can be messy, loud, dangerous, destructive, and these apartments are just not big enough for most dogs anyway. Cats can also be destructive, birds can be loud & messy, and fish tanks can leak & be very heavy. It really does seem easier to simply say no to any pets. In Ontario, however, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for having a pet. They can evict you for disrupting the "reasonable enjoyment" of other tenants, and they can charge you for damages, but they can't evict you because you have a pet. Anyway, I have a parrotlet here, no one can hear her and she won't cause a speck of damage to the unit, so I don't feel bad about it. I think others have discovered this hole in the legislation because cats sit in many of the windows

Would I be able to pull this off with a pionus? I'm not sure. It was not crazy to move here. The kitchen is completely open to the living room, and I am able to put my parrotlet's cage in a spot that allows her to see every part of the apartment. This almost completely eliminates contact calling. It is also a 2 minute walk to work which allows me to be home for longer as well as come home at lunch time. Transporting her in and out of the building is mildly stressful but I don't really do it very often. I will probably live here for 1 year at the most so waiting until I am somewhere else is fine. I am slow with decisions anyway. So the ultimate test of how quiet/loud a pionus is... would I be able to get away with living in a pet-free building with one?
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 07:15 PM


 
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It is doubtful that you could have a pionus in a building without anyone else realizing the bird is there. They do make some loud calls daily, even when they are not upset.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
X2
Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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I don't know if I would want to risk that. What would happen if you got the bird and then the landlord freaked out at the noise? What would happen to the bird?

I think the best sized bird to compare a pi to would be a Jardine's. I still can't get over how tiny caiques are!

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catalinadee View Post
I don't know if I would want to risk that. What would happen if you got the bird and then the landlord freaked out at the noise? What would happen to the bird?

I think the best sized bird to compare a pi to would be a Jardine's. I still can't get over how tiny caiques are!
I would pay the fee to end my lease and move to a pet friendly building. I wouldn't make my pets suffer the consequences of my poor decisions I agree that it probably isn't worth the risk right now with anything louder than a parrotlet. In the meantime I'm going to try to track down some breeders and visit these guys in person!
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 06:18 AM


 
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Julia,
If you are looking for gentle and predictable, you are certainly on the right track looking into pionus! If you find one with the most common pionus characteristics, that is exactly what you will have. Individuals of ANY species can differ from the norm for that species, so the individual choice is always the most important factor.

To illustrate my point about individual differences, our parrotlet has never bitten a human.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
X2
Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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