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Hello all! So glad to see that there is a dedicated pionus forum amongst the various parrot interwebs!

I have recently adopted Rookie, a 6 year old blue-headed pionus. Though I have owned 3 birds prior (cockatiel, budgie, and black-cheeked lovebird), Rookie is my first adopted bird, my first run in with pionus parrots, and my first "big" bird (as my tiel, budgie, and lovebird were all on the smaller side). I have read and am reading whatever I can get my hands on regarding the pionus species but there are still some behavioral things that I think could be best answered by other pi owners!

Rookie is a very timid bird, though he seems quite curious. He hasn't been in my apartment very long, so I am trying to take that into consideration regarding his behavior. He doesn't seem too scared of me but he does back away/acts wary of my boyfriend.

So far he doesn't seem to want to come out of the cage and occasionally does the famous "pionus wheeze" when my hand gets too close. I cannot tell if it is because he is scared of my hand or if he is excited because it means scritches. Other times he won't make a sound and I will give him head pets and he seems fine. Are there any other behavioral signs I could look for to determine whether the wheezing is "please go away I'm scared" or "please come pet me I'm excited"? For now, when he wheezes, I back off since I can't determine whether he wants pets or not.

On another note he does an odd behavior that reminds me of my female lovebird's mating behavior. However, Rookie has been DNA-sexed as male and is in a completely new environment so I find it hard to consider he is displaying "mating" behavior. For the past 3 evenings, he will go over to one side of the cage, dip his head down and flutter his wings to the side while making clucking/beeping noises. I'm thinking it's either baby behavior (begging) or mating behavior but am not familiar enough with pi's or Rookie to determine which it could be or if it is something else entirely.

On the plus side, Rookie has not lunged or attempted to bite me once. He seems like a very timid/sweet bird who I would love to bond with. I think he'll make a great companion and I'm sure time is what we need more than anything, but if anyone can offer suggestions/treat ideas/ways to coax him out of the cage/insight into pi behavior, I (and Rookie, too, I'm sure) would be most appreciative!

Hi and welcome! Do you have any new images to show us?  As you probably know, it just takes time for the adjustment period and with time and patience, you'll get there with Rookie. Do you know what are his favorite things to eat or treats?  Maybe put a favorite food item in his view on the outside of his cage, then walk away and see if that entices him to come out.

So I guess you don't know his age, so hard to say if his behavior is sexual or not but the bending head downward and wing fluttering can be anxious for something or nervous about something.  He probably wants to do things more freely but might be afraid being new to his new surroundings.

Thanks for your reply Jan and its nice to meet you!

I will upload images when I get home this evening (hopefully) if I can figure it all out!  :) I'm not certain on his favorite things to eat which makes bribery a little difficult. He seems to have a liking for apples, however, not enough to be enticed to come out or to step on to my hand. I tried almond pieces yesterday and he didn't seem enticed by that either so I'll just keep going with trial and error!

I was fortunate enough to have his Hatch Certificate and DNA-sex results when I adopted him so I do have his age. His hatch date was April 20, 2011 so he is almost 6 and a half years old, which of course means sexual maturity. He does seem like a very active little guy and is quite the talker and chatterer. I'm thinking that if I can coax him out he will love his time out of the cage. I am worried, though, that if he doesn't come out we might lose our progress and bonding together since he does need to go to the vet next week... which will involve a trip out of the cage whether he is ready or not unfortunately. :-\

Thank you, it's nice to meet you too and have you here! Yep, definitely a mature adult bird. I think it will be just a matter of time for adjustment.  Did you ever get any background on him as far as his habits and such?

Here is (hopefully) a picture you can see of him looking adorable.

I did not get much background on him. The previous owners who surrendered him to the adoption place said he was too noisy and nippy (about once every two weeks so they said). So far he hasn't bitten or shown any indication of biting me once and the person who ran the adoption agency said he hadn't bitten anyone the entire time he was there. He IS a bit noisy but I personally don't think it's anything that can't be dealt with or worked on with patience and positive reinforcement. We are in an apartment, but often he isn't loud enough that I think it would bother neighbors. He's quiet in the morning and during the day when we're at work. Evenings, around when I come home, are when he starts to be REAL talkative and that's the only time he's "loud."


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