The Blue Headed Pionus is also known as the Blue Headed Parrot. It is easily recognizable by its striking blue head plumage. Unfortunately young Blue Heads do not display their plumage until maturity, and they may be passed over for parrots that are more striking when they are young.
The Blue Headed Pionus is known for its good-natured personality. Though, there are always exceptions, and like all parrots individuals can have their moods. Personality may also change when they reach sexual maturity, and males and females may show different personality traits. Males may generally be more aggressive than females, especially after puberty. Like most parrots, they may get cranky during breeding season, and moods may change periodically throughout the day. As one hobbyist put it, "When they're gentle they're gentle, but when they're aggressive, they're down right viscous". This is of course true, for many parrot breeds. They are quite popular as pets because of their friendly
personalities and intelligence. Compared to Amazons and Conures, these are quiet parrots, though as with most parrots they are capable of making large amounts of noise if they desire. Also, individuals may vary greatly. This fact should be considered before purchase if you live in an apartment. The Blue Headed Pionus is a highly intelligent bird and is reported to learn commands such as "step up" and "step down" with ease. Like most Pionus, they are not known to be good talkers. If you would like a talking parrot, you might do better with an African Grey. Some Blue Heads
do talk, but this is usually the exception and
not the rule. Also those that do speak tend to
have small vocabularies and do not usually
have clear speech. They are reported to be
easy to tame and generally have very pleasant
dispositions. The average lifespan of this
parrot may be as long as 40 years, sadly the average is closer to 25 years. This may be due to poor nutrition and preventable accidents.
This Pionus is not sexual dimorphic and therefore will need either DNA or surgical sexing to distinguish males from females. They have a uniformly colored green plumage on their bodies and
a bright blue plumage that cover their necks and heads. They also have some pink feather bases on the plumage that covers their neck, but this is more pronounced in the subspecies P. m. rubrigularis (Paler Blue-headed Parrot). P. m. rubrigularis also has a duller head color, making them easier to distinguish. They can be distinguished by the third subspecies P. m. reichenowi, because P. m. reichenowi (Reichenow's Blue-headed Parrot) lacks pink throat feathers entirely, and they also have darker blue plumage. Like other Pionus species they have red feathers underneath their tails. They have dark grey legs and feet, and red markings on their mandibles. Immature
birds may be distinguished by the fact that they have very little blue plumage on their heads. They will reach full coloring by 2 years, though after the first molt they usually have a significant increase in blue color. Blue Headed Parrots are medium sized, averaging 11 inches (27.5 centimeters) in length.
are native to Central and South America and is most commonly found from Costa Rica to Brazil.