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Parrots/Pionus parrot


can you give me an estimated life span for the blue headed pionus?
also, why does it tear up the paper at the bottom of the cage?

If on an ideal diet your pionus should live at least 25 years and some are living close to 40 these days thanks to pelleted diets and informed owners bringing birds in for regular check ups twice a year (typically this amounts to less than .25 cents a day.  GREAT investment for a life like this isn't it?)

It is like most other birds shredding whatever it can get it's beak on with the papers.  That's why they should be placed under the bottom grate, not on top.  A bird can ingest old droppings by shredding dirty paper and end up with a serious, even life threatening infection.  

Both males and females might shred as a nesting instinct, but largely, parrots shred whatever they can 'just because it's there'

For a lot of info and pictures about 'how to' go here  


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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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