The Complete Profile, History, and Care of the White-Capped Pionus

White-crowned Parrot or Plum-crowned Pionus (Pionus senilis) at Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve, Copan, Honduras.

For the proper individuals, white-capped pionus parrots may make wonderful pets since they are attractive, inquisitive, and clever birds. However, given that they might live for 30 years or longer, not everyone is well-suited to care for one of these birds. The smallest of the eight pionus species, it is aggressive for a pionus but remains passive in comparison to other parrots like Amazons, macaws, or cockatoos.

Species Overview

Common Names: White-capped pionus, white-cap pionus, white-crowned pionus, white-crowned parrot

Scientific Name: Pionus seniors

Adult Size: 9 to 10 inches, head to tail; weighing between 7 and 8 ounces

Life Expectancy: 30 years

Origin and History

The woods and woodlands of Central America and Mexico are home to the white-capped pionus. They often nest in hollow tree trunks and palms and inhabit areas of thick vegetation and woods. These largely quiet and gentle birds are found in groups of approximately a dozen.


White-capped pionus are renowned for being both gentle, friendly, and fierce tiny birds. When their owners are patient and consistent, they are intelligent and learn quickly. Giving these parrots social connection and mental stimulation through games and trick-teaching stimulates their development.

These birds often get timid around unfamiliar people. They enjoy hanging out about their owners, dancing, playing, and waiting for an opportunity to make a game out of snatching objects like pencils or buttons. They frequently develop attachments to just one person, the one they trust the most.

You will have to keep a close eye on this bird when it is out of the cage. It has a notoriously curious nature and can get into trouble if not closely supervised.

Speech and Vocalizations

The white-capped parrots, like other pionus parrots, are known for being a little calmer than other parrots and are excellent apartment birds. However, the quiet pionus may be readily trained to be noisy by a noisy household filled with yelling kids, barking dogs, and blaring televisions.

They can converse, but they tend to be reticent about people they don't know well. Although Pionus don't speak well, some of them have a large vocabulary. Although their speaking voice is sometimes a touch raspy and not always perfectly clear, an owner can usually understand what their bird is saying. Typically, infants pick up a few basic phrases like their name and the names of other individuals in the family, as well as more typical noises like beeps, whistles, and animal noises.

White-Capped Pionus Colors and Markings

Compared to adults, juvenile white-capped pionus are dull and dingy looking. As young birds, this feature helps keep them camouflaged from predators in the wild.

The top of their head is completely white, as the name would imply, and there is also a little white spot under their chin. White-capped pionus adults are mostly green and dark blue in color. The bulk of their head, throat, chest, abdomen, and back are covered in these hues. As with all pionus, it has red feathers on the underside of its tails and yellow-green spots on its shoulders.

Since the white-capped pionus is a monomorphic species, it is hard to distinguish between males and females based just on appearance. To ascertain the sex of this bird, a genetic test or surgical sexing operation is necessary.

Caring for the White-Capped Pionus

Cages used to house Amazons are suitable for white-capped pionus parrots. Consider a cage that is at least 4 feet tall and 4 feet long by 2 feet wide. Bar spacing should be no larger than 3/4-inch.

When scared or aroused, Pionus parrots may wheeze, which an owner can mistake for a medical ailment. Additionally, pionus emit a musky or sweet odor that some keepers dislike while others enjoy.

Ensure they get a bath regularly, and don’t hesitate to take them with you in the shower.

Common Health Problems

Pionus parrots are prone to aspergillosis, which manifests as heavy, labored breathing, visceral gout (a kidney infection), and fungal infections. They can also be more susceptible to vitamin A deficiencies.

Diet and Nutrition

Prionus parrots consume fruits, berries, seeds, blooms, and grain in the wild. A high-quality seed and pellet mixture, as well as a range of including bird-safe fruits and vegetables, should be offered to white-capped pionus while they are kept in captivity. Make corn a frequent snack for white-capped pionus since they enjoy it so much, especially corn on the cob.

It is not only healthy for your bird to consume different meals, but it also provides necessary cerebral stimulation for your feathery buddy. Pellet food may be given to them indefinitely; they will only consume what they require. Offer around 1/8 to 1/4 cup of fresh fruits and vegetables both in the morning and at night.


The majority of pionus parrots are energetic creatures who require 3 to 4 hours of daily activity outside of their cages to keep in good condition. This bird will require a large cage or aviary to obtain enough exercise if you are unable to spend time outside of the cage.

This activity should be performed in a secure room that has been bird-proofed, with the windows shut, the ceiling fans off, and all other indoor animals gone. When your bird is playing, keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get into anything dangerous or poisonous. For play outside of the cage, a playpen is excellent. Climbing ropes, chains, bells, parrot swings, and other wooden or animal-themed toys are examples of playthings.

  • Social and friendly

  • Intelligent, can say a few words and can learn tricks

  • Quieter species of parrot

  • Not a fan of strangers; tends to be a one-person bird

  • Requires at least 3 to 4 hours of outside-of-cage exercise

Where to Adopt or Buy a White-capped Pionus

Consult with nearby bird breeders or an aviculture group before taking this bird home. Consult those who have raised these birds before. Learn personally about what it's like to live with a white-capped pionus on a daily basis by watching the birds. Breeders of birds and some avian specialty shops frequently sell white-capped pionus. They are periodically offered by avian rescue groups. Costs for these birds range from $400 to $900. The following adoptions or rescues may have white-capped pionus:

  • Birds Now
  • Adopt a Pet
  • Hoobly

If you decide to purchase a white-capped pionus parrot from a breeder, be sure that the breeder is respectable by finding out how long they have been doing so. Before bringing a bird home, carefully check it. An energetic, alert bird with bright eyes, clean feathers, and full crops is considered healthy.

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