Scaly-headed Parrot
Pionus maximiliani

Scaly-headed Parrot

27 a 29 cm.. height and between 233 and 293 g. of weight.

Scaly-headed Parrot

The Scaly-headed Parrot (Pionus maximiliani) It is medium in size and tail very short; has the lores, the forecrown and the eye area opaque dark bronze; the feathers on crown, the cheeks, the chin and the sides of the neck, basal green with wide enough margins bronze that give the appearance of flake; ear-coverts with dark green margins but brighter than other pens head.

The back of the neck and green the mantle become more brown and olive green upper lower parts, where some feathers have quite indistinct darker tips. Coverts smaller and medium-sized green olive brown with indistinct dark tips; alula, primary and greater coverts and flight feathers, brighter green, contrasting with the upperparts brown, duller.

Under the wings, opaque green. The throat and the top chest blue violet off that fade in brownish olive green in the bottom of the chest and most of the belly, but they are become brighter and greener in flanks and the thighs; undertail-coverts Crimson. Upper, the tail green in the center, outer feathers mainly blue and red at the base; undertail, the tail, bluish green duller. Bill black with yellow edges on the upper mandible and the bottom tip; orbital skin pale grey; irises dark brown; legs grey.

Both sexes are similar. Immature It has less intense the blue throat; feathers head more green with less distinct margins.

  • Sound of the Scaly-headed Parrot.
[audio:HTTPS:// Choclero canto.mp3]

Description 4 subspecies:

  • Pionus maximiliani lacerus

    (Heine, 1884) – Similar to the subspecies Pionus maximiliani siy but with a bill stronger, the chest more purple and perhaps larger on average.

  • Pionus maximiliani maximiliani

    (Kuhl, 1820) – Nominal.

  • Pionus maximiliani melanoblepharus

    (Ribeiro, 1920) – Blue darker in throat and darker above. Larger.

  • Pionus maximiliani siy

    (Souance , 1856) – Much like the nominal species but darker below, more purple and less blue in the chest, yellower in back and Blue throat lighter.


It inhabits in a wide range of forested habitats, but mostly in dry forests lowland ranging from caatinga very dry, inside the northeast of Brazil, through the savannas Closed seasonal, to Chaco; also in wetter forests, including forests in galleries and forests of araucarias, especially in southeast Brazil. They can also be seen in subtropical forests in Eastern Andean slopes some 2.000 meters in the Northwest of Argentina and some 1.500 meters in the mountains of the South of Brazil.

Tolerant to human alteration of forest habitats and sometimes cultivated areas. Generally gregarious, arriving to form flocks numerous in places in where the food is abundant probably is hiding in small groups in them cups of them trees.


They nest in tree hollows. Birds in terms of breeding in the month of October in Paraguay; November in São Paulo; laying 3-5 eggs.


The plants food include Erythrina, Inga, Piptadenia, Copaifera, Croton, Pachystroma, Plathymenia reticulata, Ficus and Araucaria.


Size of the area of distribution (reproduction / resident): 6.650.000 km2

The species is found in the Center, South and East of Brazil, from Maranhão and Ceará in the Northeast, to the South by Piauí, Bay, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Brazil and the eastern coastal States up to Rio Grande do Sul and to the South of Mato Grosso (region pantanal), extending to the southeast of Bolivia, from Santa Cruz to the South in the Eastern Andes and to the North of Argentina in Salta, Tucumán and Catamarca in the East and North of Santa Fe in the West.

Mainly resident, Although perhaps not raised in the drier parts of the Argentine Chaco. Apparently more numerous in the center of its area of distribution, where its abundance is only surpassed by the Maroon-bellied Parakeet (Pyrrhura frontalis); progressively more scarce toward the periphery.

Locally quite common or common in Bolivia and locally common in the North of Argentina, where it is most abundant in the South of Salta, Tucumán and areas adjacent in Catamarca. Moderately common in Rio Grande do Sul and common in the pantanal; densities Brazilian more high in São Paulo.

The decrease apparent, in some parts of the range, (for example, North of the Argentina) is attributable to the trade, but in other places (for example, the southeast of Brazil) is undoubtedly its decline due to the loss of forests.

Distribution 4 subspecies:

  • Pionus maximiliani lacerus

    (Heine, 1884) – Northwest of Argentina.

  • Pionus maximiliani maximiliani

    (Kuhl, 1820) – Nominal. Northeast of Brazil.

  • Pionus maximiliani melanoblepharus

    (Ribeiro, 1920) – East of Paraguay, Brazil and northeast of Argentina (Missions)

  • Pionus maximiliani siy

    (Souance , 1856) – Southeast of Bolivia until Paraguay, West of Brazil (Mato Grosso), North of Argentina.


• Current red list category of the UICN: Least concern.

• Population trend: Decreasing.

Justification of the population

The size of the world population It has not been quantified, but this species is described as “quite common” (Stotz et to the., 1996).

Justification of trend

It is suspected that the population is in decline due to the continuous habitat destruction and to levels of exploitation unsustainable.


The species has been object of strong exchanges: from 1981, When is included in the Appendix II of the CITES, they have been 93.234 individuals captured in the wild in the international trade (database CITES from the UNEP-WCMC, January 2005).

Choclero parrot in captivity:

Curious, very intelligent and social. Quiet and relatively little aggressive. Prone to obesity. You can learn to imitate.
Pretty common in captivity. Longevity: 20 years.

Housing: Site suspended at a minimum to 2 metres in height.

Diet: fruit as: Apple, pear, orange, banana, Granada, cactus fruits, they form approximately the 30 percent of the diet; vegetables as: carrot, celery, Green beans, pea in the pod; maize fresh; green leaves such as: Chard, lettuce, Dandelion, Aviary grass; millet; mix of seeds small e.g.: millet, and small amounts of buckwheat, oats, safflower and hemp; soaked and sprouted from seeds of sunflower; beans, cooked vegetables and boiled corn.

It needs regular exercise it is necessary to provide you with an Aviary as large as possible. Provide shallow bowls of water for bathing. Also provide stairs, swings, strings, different sizes of hooks and assorted toys.

Alternative names:

Scaly-headed Parrot, Maximilian’s Parrot, Scaly headed Parrot (English).
Pione de Maximilien, Pionus de Maximilien (French).
Maximilianpapagei (German).
Maitaca, baitaca, maitaca-bronzeada, maitaca-de-Maximiliano, maitaca-suia, maitaca-verde, suia, umaitá (Portuguese).
Loro Bronceado, Loro choclero, Loro maitaca (Spanish).

Kuhl, Heinrich
Heinrich Kuhl

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Pionus
Scientific name: Pionus maximiliani
Citation: (Kuhl, 1820)
Protonimo: Maximilian parrot

Images Scaly-headed Parrot:

Scaly-headed Parrot (Pionus maximiliani)


  • Avibase
  • Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
  • Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr
  • Birdlife
  • Book parrots, Parrots and macaws Neotropical

  • Photos:

(1) –
(2) – A Scaly-headed Parrot (also called a Scaly-headed Pionus, Maximilian’s Pionus, amd Maximilian’s Parrot) in a cage By Alex Knowles [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(3) – A pet male Scaly-headed Parrot (also called Maximilian Pionus, Maximilian Parrot, Maximilian’s Pionus, or Maximilian’s Parrot) By Snowmanradio (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
(4) – Scaly-headed Pionus (also called Maximilian Pionus, Maximilian Parrot, Maximilian’s Pionus, or Maximilian’s Parrot) at Zoológico de Americana, São Paulo, Brazil By Moe Oliveira [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(5) – Loro Choclero By Danbrazil (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(6) – Iconographie des perroquets : non figurés dans les publications de Levaillant et de M. Bourjot Saint-Hilaire By Blanchard, Emile; Bonaparte, Charles Lucian; Bourjot Saint-Hilaire, Alexandre; Le Vaillant, François; Souancé, Charles de. [CC BY 2.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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