Coral-Billed Pionus

Coral-Billed Pionus

Scientific Name:  Pionus sordidus corallines
Origin:  Northern South America
Average Lifespan:  25 to 40 years
Size: 11 to 11.4 inches
Color:  Dullish Brown or Dark Green with Bright Red Bill
Sounds:  Quiet
Interaction:  Very social

Coral-Billed Pionus

Photo: TJ Lin | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Coral-Billed Pionus

The Coral-Billed Pionus is a gentle, relatively quiet medium-sized parrot and has an ability to learn to be friendly to anyone.  It is not chewy or beaky, a characteristic that is somewhat unique to its species, so it can be handled even by small children.  Most of its species have bright red vents, but distinctively, the Coral-Billed parrot is quickly identified with its bright red bill, the reason why it is also called Red Billed Pionus.  Its color ranges from dullish brown to dark green depending on its subspecies.  It also has some blue specks or streaked coloration on its head.  It has bright red under-tail coverts as well as red panels on the underside of the tail feathers.  It has a pale greyish eye ring.

Personality and Temperament

The Coral-Billed Pionus is a sociable parrot which can be fearless and thus, can be handled by anyone.  It usually displays a confident personality and an extremely easy going character.  It can easily adjust to anyone and is somehow not afraid to even meeting strangers.  It encourages owners to play and spend time with it.

However, there is a warning for those who are handling young ones.  When the young ones are introduced to someone new to its sight, it can start wheezing, which resembles an asthma attack.  If it is just wheezing to express its emotions, the best thing to do is to give it time to calm down.  It is best to have it checked by a veterinarian before you bring it home.

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In the wild, the Coral Billed Pionus forages high in tall trees. It tends to create an illusion from the ground that a certain tree is a colorful one with red and green flowers, rather than that it is just really a tree full of colorful parrots.  It can be noisy when flying in a flock but is oftentimes silent and seem to fade out of sight, which is its impressive way to disguise or camouflage.

Health and Care

When in captivity, the Coral-Billed Pionus needs a powder coated metal cage of minimum size.  It is not particularly a breed which likes to chew but it also needs some toys to get some entertainment.  When it is in the wild, it searches heavily for fruits and green vegetables which include green sprouts.  It is not good to provide it solely with dry fatty seeds.

For pet owners who have the tendency to overfeed their pets, be cautious because the Coral-Billed Pionus has the tendency to gain weight in a quicker manner compared to other bird species.  Monitor your bird’s food intake as overeating may cause pickiness, selective intake of food and wastefulness. An ideal diet for this breed is supply of half sprouting beans and seeds as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.  It is also best to provide vitamin laced pellets or seed mix that are available in any local pet shop.  It is very important to never offer avocado or chocolate.

In terms of grooming, regular bathing and showering are crucial to maintain good health and proper hygiene of your pet as dirt can be easily seen in their plumage or skin.  After bathing, the bird may be gently dried with a clean fresh towel and a blow drier.  Although brushing is optional, remember to give gentle brushing stokes to avoid falling feathers.

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History and Background

The Coral-Billed Pionus is a high altitude parrot that is often seen about 350 to 2,000 meters above the ground in several areas on the eastern and westerns slopes of Andes Mountains.  It usually dwells in humid and wet high mountain rainforests.  The female nests in tree cavities and feed in the forest canopy.  It can also survive in some clearance as long as there are some tall trees.  However, it cannot survive if the land is completely deforested.

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