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Dear Parrots magazine,

Pionus and Amazons

I enjoyed reading Roz Patterson’s article on Pionus Parrots in January’s issue. There are two things my parrot, Sunny, does which nobody seems to have heard of before, both of which are mentioned in her article, the only trouble is, he’s a Yellow-fronted Amazon! Perhaps there’s a common ancestor somewhere, as she mentions they are similar to Amazons in many respects.

One thing Sunny performs magnificently is ‘The Strut’. The parallel body, flared tail, stiff wings and puffy feathers are all there, combined with psychedelic orange pinned eyeballs. Not only does he do this in his cage if he feels affronted, but he’s quite fond of strutting round the dining room table, and this is combined with him scraping his beak along the table top making a rasping noise – not the time to wave a hand in front of him saying “Step up”!

Having said all that, despite being an adult male Amazon - they don’t always have the best reputations - he’s a lovely friendly bird who likes nothing more than a good cuddle, and a shower. I just keep an eye on his body language.

The other Pionus type trait he has is the ‘wheeze’ – this seems to be at its best when I uncover him in the morning and give him a good head scratch. My husband has been quite alarmed by this, but I’ve always instinctively known that it’s a sign of pleasure, not a reason to rush him off to the vet! It’s reassuring to know he’s not alone in this.

I also have two Green-cheeked Conures, now living in an aviary in the garden, who used to jump in their water bowl for a bath every time I turned the Hoover on when they lived in the house. They are both rescue birds and Oscar, the male, came to us with very scruffy feathers, which he still has 11 yrs later, despite getting the best of everything possible in his life. One thing he has always done is to take a bath in the water whenever I put Calcivet in it. At first, I thought it was just coincidence, but it definitely isn’t - have any other readers ever come across this?

Thank you for an enjoyable, informative magazine.

Jill Phillips, Cornwall




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