September 7, 2018 PetGuide
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Maximilian’s Parrot

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 40 years
  • Bird Species: Pionus Parrots
  • Colors: Green with various details
  • Sounds: Quiet, Natural calls, Talkative
  • Interaction: Social, Energetic, Affectionate, Fun, Cuddly
  • Comparable Breeds: African Grey Parrot, White Capped Pionus

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Considered to be one of South America’s most unique birds, Maximilian’s parrot is a beautiful and intelligent pet with a whole arsenal of interesting traits. From the mesmerizing looks all the way to their friendly personality, these parrots have something for every owner. They might be a step up from other more common pet parrots, so there’s always something new to learn with them. But with a little bit of patience and care, you can have a wonderful pet parrot. They say it’s best to come prepared, so if you’re planning to buy Maximilian’s parrot, read on and get to know more about them.

These colorful parrots are the real charmers and will offer a new experience and a fresh look at pet parrots.

They are found naturally in a pretty big region of South America, spanning large parts of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina.Maximilian’s parrots thrive in a few different climates, mostly the humid subtropical forests, regional woodlands, and the arid, desert-like Caatinga ecoregions. They are named after the German Prince Maximilian – a pioneering explorer of Brazilian wilderness. However, locally they have a different nickname – maritacas. This nickname comes from the native Indian Tupi tribe and their word “mbaé’taka”, which means “noisy bird”.

These parrots have all the characteristic details of their family – the Pionus Parrots. The stocky body, distinct beak, and squarish tails are all there. The major difference and their own unique aspect are mostly in their colorful looks. The adults reach an average length of 12 inches (30 centimeters) and can weigh up to 9 ounces (250 grams). As a result, this fairly large build will certainly require a lot of exercise and plenty of room to fly around the house. Make sure that they have a roomy cage or an aviary, and the freedom of your home.

Maximilian’s parrots are quite special when it comes to the levels of noise. They have a tendency to adapt to the rest of the family. If you’re someone who lives in a chaotic home full of loud children and noisy pets, you can expect your pet parrot to chime in as well from time to time. On the other hand, if you’re a single person you can count on a pretty quiet parrot.  But in general, these parrots are considered to be one of the “quiet” breeds. They will learn to repeat a few words as well, which comes as added fun. All things considered, Maximilian’s parrots can be quite quiet and perfect for apartment settings.

The colors of a Maximilian’s parrot are their first and foremost pride. With a bunch of various details and subtle color combinations, these parrots are very charming and pretty. The body is mostly brownish green, with lighter tones on the lower body. The chest and head have a noticeably darker grayish tone, with the cheeks displaying a unique spotted green pattern – the source of their common nickname – the “scaly headed parrot”.  The tail feathers have light green and blue endings, and the underside is bright red – a trademark of Pionus parrots. This abundance of details and unique colors will make these parrots stand out in the crowd – and become a guaranteed eye-catcher.

The unique spotted pattern on their cheeks has earned them a popular nickname – the Scaly Headed parrots.

Seeds, crops, insects, and fruits are the common diet of these parrots in the wild. As a pet, they will thrive quickly with a commercial seed or pellet based mix. This has just the right combination of nutrients they need. However, keep in mind that these parrots can be prone to obesity, so keep the high-fat foods at a minimum. Additionally, you should also supplement their diet with a plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Spinach, lettuce, and kale are the favorites of Pionus parrots and serve as a great source of the much needed Vitamin A.

These robustly built and hardy parrots will have little health problems, provided you take good care of them. With a good diet, optimized conditions and good care, the Maximilian’s parrot can live up to 40 years. This makes them a good companion parrot. One thing you don’t want to neglect is your pet’s hygiene. Bad hygiene leads to all sorts of diseases which can be spotted by dirty vents, closed and crusted eyes, and diarrhea. Also, make sure they get regular baths or showers. They will love this!

Regular showers are the staple of your pet’s health. Treat them with a bath on a regular basis.

Maximilian’s parrots are highly intelligent birds. This can mean that a bit more interaction is needed, to prevent boredom and loneliness. But those who have the patience to play and interact will quickly meet a wonderful and affectionate parrot. These energetic birds have a lot of room for fun and games, but they’re the best when it comes to cuddling and nice words. And with their silly sounding repetition of words, you’re guaranteed a dose of laughter as well. What more can you wish from a pet parrot?

Photo credit: Tracy Starr/Shutterstock; Pablo Rodriguez Merkel/Shutterstock; Glass and Nature/Shutterstock

Comparable Breeds

Go to African Grey Parrot

African Grey Parrot

  • Size: 13 inches
  • Lifespan: 60 years
  • Bird Species: African Grey Parrot
  • Colors: Grey, Red, White
  • Sounds: Vocal, Loud, Mimics, Talkative
  • Interaction: Social, Fun, Friendly, Cuddly, Affectionate, Playful
  • Comparable Breeds: Timneh African Grey, Hyacinth Macaw
Go to White Capped Pionus

White Capped Pionus

  • Size: Medium
  • Lifespan: 25-40 years
  • Bird Species: Pionus Parrots
  • Colors: Green, Yellow, Blue, Gradients
  • Sounds: Whistler, Vocal, Mimics sounds, Whispers
  • Interaction: Highly Social, Playful, Affectionate
  • Comparable Breeds: Sun Conure, Spectacled Parrotlet