Pionus of Maximilian as Pet Birds

Pionus maximiliani

Aviculturists frequently refer to these birds as Maximilian's Pionus, Scaly Headed Parrots, or the Scaly Headed Pionus. Any of these names will suffice, however Maximilian's Pionus appears to be the most popular.

Scientific Name

Pionus maximiliani


Maximilian's Pionus are native to South America's woodlands and forested places, notably from Brazil to Argentina. However, due to its recent success in the pet trade, the Maximilian's Pionus is now maintained in captivity in houses all over the world.


At maturity, the normal Maximilian's Pionus can reach lengths of up to 12 inches from head to tail, however these birds are most commonly in the 10 to 11 inch range. An adult bird of this species should weigh between 8 and 9 ounces to be healthy.

Average Lifespan

The Maximilian's Pionus, like other parrots, may expect to live for a long period. In reality, these birds may survive up to 40 years in captivity as pets, with some living even longer. This is why it is critical for anybody considering adopting one of these birds to conduct extensive information on the species before doing so. Caring for an animal for 40 years or more is a significant commitment that should not be underestimated.


Maximilian's Pionus owners describe their characteristics as playful, humorous, friendly, and a touch naughty. These characteristics can be found in all hookbills, however the Maximilian's Pionus appears to stand out from even other Pionus species. They are renowned to be the Pionus' finest talkers, with large vocabulary and an aptitude for trick training. This might be due to the fact that the Maximilian's Pionus adores spending time with his owners. Anyone considering adopting one of these birds should make sure they have lots of time to spend with them playing, socializing, and interacting.


The Maximilian's Pionus is sometimes disregarded in favor of more colorfully feathered parrots when it comes to plumage. These birds may appear dull or even drab at first view, yet closer inspection shows true beauty in their colors. The main hue on these birds is a brownish olive green, but their undersides have a golden bronze shine. Their heads are coated in darker colored feathers with lighter gray edges, earning them the nickname "scaly headed parrots" from some. The tails of these parrots are by far the most colorful. A Maximilian's Pionus' tailfeathers are a rainbow of green, blue, and red, and they lend the ideal finishing touch to these neat-looking birds.


Most Maximilian's Pionus thrive well in captivity when fed a high-quality seed and pellet mix supplemented daily with fresh fruits and vegetables, much like other parrots. Maximilian's Pionus, like certain other birds, are prone to obesity, therefore it's important to keep an eye on their diet of high-fat foods like sunflower seeds and almonds. They also require a larger amount of some vitamins, notably vitamin A, than other birds. To meet this need, many Maximilian's Pionus owners make sure to eat enough of fresh, leafy greens like spinach, romaine lettuce, and kale.


Maximilian's Pionus need a lot of activity in order to stay in top physical shape. It is advised that birds be let at least 3 to 4 hours outside of their cage each day in a supervised, bird-proof setting for better health. This allows kids to play, stretch, and ensure that all of their muscle groups receive a good exercise.

Maximilian's Pionus as Pets

Maximilian's Pionus is one of the quieter parrot species, making it a suitable choice for individuals who want a larger parrot but don't want to deal with the added screaming and commotion that comes with a Macaw or Cockatoo. While their high intelligence makes them often bored, properly entertained Maximilian's Pionus are renowned to be lovely and affectionate pets that thrive on the relationship they create with their owners. Contact a local breeder or a bird club or aviculture association in your region if you want to learn more about maintaining a Maximilian's Pionus. These sorts of materials will provide you a lot of information about what it's like to live with these birds and will help you decide whether or not to adopt one if you think a Maximilian's Pionus would be a suitable fit for your family.