White-Capped Pionus

Don’t overlook the white-capped Pionus parrot as an companion. While it might not demand your attention as other parrots do, a well-socialized white-capped Pionus can certainly be an outgoing and social family pet.

Other Birds in this family
Quick Facts
  • White-capped Pionus parrots are the second most popular Pionus species, behind the blue-headed Pionus
  • White-capped Pionus are sometimes mistaken for white-fronted Amazon parrots because of their similar size and coloration
  • Diet & Nutrition: Parrot food

White capped PionusWhite-capped Pionus parrots are known for the easy-going ways and their relatively quiet nature, which might do them a disservice because potential bird owners might overlook them. A well-socialized white-capped Pionus, however, can be an outgoing and social family pet. Some describe the white-cap as the feistiest of the Pionus species, although that is feisty on a Pionus behavioral scale — they are still laid back compared to other parrots, like Amazons, macaws or cockatoos. It is the smallest of the eight Pionus species.

Native Region / Natural Habitat

White-capped Pionus parrots are native to Mexico and Central America.

Care & Feeding

A Pionus housed in too small a cage might become sedentary and overweight. House your Pionus in a spacious cage and setup toys to encourage your Pionus to move about. Pionus are typically good eaters. They should be offered a formulated main diet, such as Lafeber’s Premium Daily Pellets or Nutri-Berries, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Lafeber food for White-Capped Pionus

Personality & Behavior

Compared to other parrots commonly kept as pets, Pionus parrots are quiet, easy-going and they can be slightly standoffish. As with all parrots, the way a white-capped Pionus is raised by its human guardians makes the difference between a shy bird and a great companion. A Pionus guardian should be ready to spend a great deal of time with their bird. In a home with other louder, more demanding birds, the Pionus might not get the attention it requires.

Pionus parrots, including white-capped Pionus, might make a wheezing sound when frightened or excited, which an owner might mistake for a medical condition. Pionus also give off a musky or sweet odor that some caretakers find unpleasant, but others enjoy.

Speech & Sound

Pionus aren’t known as the best talkers, but some individuals can garner quite an impressive vocabulary. Their “speaking voice” isn’t always crystal clear and is often a little raspy, but a guardian can generally make out what his or her bird is saying.

Because the Pionus parrot is quiet in comparison to many other parrot species, it makes a great apartment bird. One caveat, however: the louder the household, the louder the bird. This goes for all species of parrots, Pionus included. A houseful of screaming children, barking dogs and blaring televisions can easily teach the sedate Pionus to be noisy.

Health & Common Conditions

Pionus parrots are susceptible to fungal infections and aspergillosis, as well as visceral gout. Pionus parrots can be prone to Vitamin-A deficiency, so consult with your avian veterinarian for ways to ensure that your Pionus parrot’s dietary needs are met.

Get a White-Capped Pionus

The white-capped Pionus is the second most popular Pionus species, behind the blue-headed Pionus. It is most often confused with the white-fronted Amazon, because they are similarly colored and similar in size. White-capped Pionus are typically available from bird breeders and from some avian-specialty stores. They are occasionally available from avian-rescue organizations.