Hello everyone,
I am considering getting a parrot and have been told that Pionus Maximilian, Poicephalus Jarddine's and Poicephalus Brown heads are all good natured and relatively quiet. If I understand correctly, Jardine's and Brown heads are less nippy or nervous of the poicephalus. And that the Pionus is very easy going, apparently very innactive, compared to the other two. Based on your own experiences is that accurate? What other differences exist? Out of the three witch would you recomend?
Also started some reading on parrot behavior and education. I have started with Mattie Sue Athan's "Guide to well-behaved parrot". For my next book, I have compiled a list of books and authors that seam to be most popular and well regarded. Can you suggest witch books I should go for next? Wich are redundant or too similar? What are your favotites?
Matie Sue Athan
-Guide to Companion Parrot Behavior
-Guide to a well behaved parrot
Bonnie Munro Doan
-My parrot, my friend
-Parrot Training: A Guide to Taming and Gentling Your Avian Companion

Sally Blanchard
-Companion parrot handbook
-The beak book
Liz Wilson
-HANDBOOK OF AVIAN ARTICLES – Volume I
-HANDBOOK OF AVIAN ARTICLES – Volume 2
Layne David Dicker
-Parrots, parrots, parrots
Any relavent input would be greatly apreciated...
Peter M
Hello everyone, I am considering getting a parrot and have been told that Pionus Maximilian, Poicephalus Jarddine's and Poicephalus Brown ... AVIAN ARTICLES – Volume 2 Layne David Dicker -Parrots, parrots, parrots Any relavent input would be greatly apreciated... Peter M

Regardless of what you here about the characteristics of various species, there is as much variation in the personality of individual birds withing a species as there is in the average behavior of birds between species.
You'll have more luck in having a good companion bird if you take the attitude of adjusting your behavior so the bird likes you rather than trying to change the birds behavior so it likes you. Birds have a very strong desire for companionship which is the only reason they have anything to do with huge mammal predators (humans) but their instinct is to be friendly with creatures which act somewhat like a friendly bird of their own kind.
Your book list is good, just don't get to hung up on trying all the things the books suggest.
Picture two birds of the same species (but not mated) in the wild. What do they do? They sit near each other a lot, particularly at night as it gives them mutual security. Their bodies rarely touch other than with their beaks, and that's very gentle. They share food when one finds some and the other doesn't have any. When they become friends the'll groom each other gently straightening feathers particulary in palaces the bird can't reach with it's own beak. That's all a bird wants from it's companion,(that's you) and it will try to return the same which can be a bit disconcerting if you aren't expecting that behavior. What they don't do is pick each other up, give each other baths, insist the other does tricks, lock each other in cages, or clip each others wings.

Having a bird as a companion can be very pleasant, but their natural habits are not tidy. They will throw food around, drop feathers, chew wood/paper/cloth, and leave dropings. Most species make loud noises at least occasionally. Most birds live a long time. They make strong relationships with their companions and take changes hard. They have long memories and strong emotions.
As to which kind of bird to choose? In my opinion one which seems to like you when you meet is the most important factor. If a bird cowers and hides or attacks it's not the best choice. If the bird accepts an offer of a piece of food it's a good sign. That isn't to say other birds can't become good companions, only that it's more difficult. Most any species of bird can be a fine companion or a vicious beast. What goes on in the bird's brain based on it's instincts and experiences determines it's behavior and that's not easy to understand or to change.
Lou Boyd
So true!
Regards
So true! Regards

Yes, VERY well said!!!
Hello everyone, I am considering getting a parrot and have been told that Pionus Maximilian, Poicephalus Jarddine's and Poicephalus Brown ... Based on your own experiences is that accurate? What other differences exist? Out of the three witch would you recomend?

Depends on the bird. Personally every single Jardines I have ever handled bit the crap out of me, even the ones that were ok with other people. (on the other hand I get along great with most of the other Poicephalus parrots). Most pi's tend to be somewhat reserved, but I have seen a few who were very outgoing and vocal. I personally think that Poicephalus parrots tend to be a bit more nervous then pionus. Since these guys are all about the same size and price range (more or less) I recomend going to various breeders, stores, rescues, etc and start looking at individuals of the species you are interested in. There is no way to garuntee personality by going by the species describtion.
Matie Sue Athan -Guide to Companion Parrot Behavior -Guide to a well behaved parrot

I think she also has a book about the Poicephalus parrots, and I know she has one about Quakers. Note: Barrons, the company that publishes her books, roughly divides into two groups, 'Good' Barrons and 'Bad' Barrons. 'Good' Barrons are published much more recently and as a general rule are much thicker then 'Bad' Barrons. I would recomend anything by Matie Sue Athan, and her books definately count as 'Good' Barrons.
The first book is IMHO the better of the two. The second was published much earlier, and even though she updateded it, it still is not quite as in-depth as the first.
Bonnie Munro Doan -My parrot, my friend -Parrot Training: A Guide to Taming and Gentling Your Avian Companion

Personally I did not find My Parrot, My Friend to be at all helpful. I haven't read the second one.
Sally Blanchard -Companion parrot handbook -The beak book

Both recommended. The first is a good all-around book for parrot owners, the second is geared specifically for problem biters. The first is a bit pricy (the result of private publishing, I assume) but both have a place in my library. You'll notice that Sally and Matie Sue take slightly different approach to keeping parrots. It is very useful to have different opinions and ideas when working with parrots, they are wild animals and there is no one true way when it comes to them.
Liz Wilson -HANDBOOK OF AVIAN ARTICLES - Volume I -HANDBOOK OF AVIAN ARTICLES - Volume 2

These articles are interesting, but not glued together into a coherent whole. If you want to spend the money on them then go ahead, otherwise I just buy the magazines she publishes her articles in.
Layne David Dicker -Parrots, parrots, parrots

Same as above.
Other suggestions:
Clicker Training for Birds by Melinda Johnson, published by Karen Pryor. Clicker Training is used by most proffessional animal trainers, zookeepers, etc as an effective way to train animals. This book is geared toward the pet bird owner.
I also reccomend The Parrots of Telegraph Hill. This book is about the wild conures living in San Fransisco, and it is a facinating read (even if the author is a bit flaky in a burned-out-hippy kinda way). There is also a new book out about the Spix Macaw, one of the world's most endangered birds. (the book claims that they are the most endangered, which isn't exactly true, currently I am interning at a facility that is breeding a species even more endangered, if you go by the numbers that is!) Whenever possible I try to get my hands on any book that is about wild parrots and their behavior (or wild birds in general *g*).
Hope this helps.
Gloria
Hi Gloria,
and thank you for a most usefull posting. You actualy answered my questions! I will deffinately follow up onthe clicker training. I allready used "dont shoot the dog" by Karen Pryor for my dog Sasha. It is un beleivable how willing she was to respond to the training. She used to offer all her learned behaviors in the off chance she might hear that cliker sound... you had to be there to see it. Sasha is a retreiver mix and has a big appetite for treats... I'll let you imagine how eager she is. :-) Could be very interesting to work with a parrot.
Yes I'm beginning to see a patern here with Jardines. They seam to like to test people with theire beeks. I am still researching the subject. Have to find local breeders and start visting to take adecision.
Just out of curiosity, can you share with us what is your background? Your intership is for a degree of some sort, or some professional training? I am currently just lookning into it as a hobby. I studied in computer science, never finished and now work for a bank. Interested in animals in general but started with dogs and now am exploring parrots. Might consider going back to school maybe in a related field. Just hunting for ideas at the moment.

Again thanx for the most relevant post and hope to hear from you soon.

Peter M.
Just out of curiosity, can you share with us what is your background? Your intership is for a degree of ... exploring parrots. Might consider going back to school maybe in a related field. Just hunting for ideas at the moment.

I'm currently interning at a facility that is breeding endangered Hawaiian birds, including the Hawaiian Crow (currently numbering 39 adults and juviniles, not counting this year's babies). It is interesting work, even if it is mostly cleaning. Handraising these guys is a little bit differnent then handraising a pet bird, after all we DON'T want them to imprint on us, as we want them to breed.
After this I plan on getting a B.S. in biology and becoming a zookeeper, probably a bird/reptile keeper even though they are at the bottom of the keeper food chain. (Elephant keeper, 'Marine Biologists', and those goddamned Giant Panda keepers are at the top, if you were curious) Before this I worked for a lady who handraised parrots and made and sold parrot toys, worked at a petbird store for three years, and volunteered in a bird of prey show program at my local zoo for four years, and worked one summer there in the Retail dept selling nectar cups in the Lorikeet exhibit. I've also worked with breeding endangered butterflies.
All in all I've had over eight years working with (not just keeping) a variety of birds, starting from when I was sixteen. I'm not an expert by a long shot, there's lots of people on this ng who've had much more experience then I. But I sure do love these guys.
Again thanx for the most relevant post and hope to hear from you soon.

Eh yeah, topics tend to drift quite quickly here, best thing to do is to simply keep asking the same question in differnent ways until someone answers.
Peter M.

Gloria