|Common Name||Bronze-winged Parrot|
|Scientific Name||Pionus chalcopterus|
|Origin||north-western South America, far western Venezuela, western Ecuador, western and central Colombia, and far north-western Peru; it occurs at an altitude of 1400–2400 m in Colombia, 900–1400 m in Venezuela, 800 m in Peru and 1400 m in Ecuador|
|Habitat||humid and semi-deciduous forest and woodland in the canopy of tall trees; they prefer places where they can find shelter in plant leaves|
|Diet||crops, flower seeds, insects, and fresh fruits|
|Size and Weight||Size: 28 cm (11 in) long Weight: 7-9 ounces|
The bronze-winged parrot is characterized to have a medium and stocky body built that has a body-color that is mainly dark blue-green, especially on its head, and It has a red patch under its tail and has a pinkish-red patch on its throat area. Its primary flight feathers are colored dark blue and green with hints of dark violet-grey while its secondary flight feather color has aqua color. Its distinctive marks are its cobalt blue tail and yellow-colored horn and a red eye-rings.
A way to distinguish an adult bronze-winged parrot form a juvenile is through the eye rings, the adults have a more pinkish eye rings while juveniles have a whitish eye rings with greenish head, brownish underparts, and black back part. As its name implies, it has a bronze patch on the wings that is pronounced. The color combinations of this parrot are stunning, making it loved by bird lovers.
Where it is Seen?
The bronze-winged parrot originated from north-western South America, far western Venezuela, western Ecuador, western and central Colombia, and far north-western Peru. It occurs at an altitude of 1400–2400 m in Colombia, 900–1400 m in Venezuela, 800 m in Peru, and 1400 m in Ecuador.
The bronze-winged parrot thrives in both humid and semi-deciduous forest and woodland in the canopy of tall trees. They prefer places where they can find shelter in plant leaves.
Behavior and Temperament
The bronze-winged parrot is usually seen in a flock about small groups up to ten parrots. They are known to have a calm and gentle disposition with an easy-going personality and intelligence, making them a favorite captive bird. They are known to form very strong bonds with their owners, especially the male bronze-winged parrots. They are easy to train, and with proper training, they can easily utter simple words and mimic sounds that they can hear in the environment. They are known to be biters, especially if they are threatened or scared that may break your skin.
They are active by nature; that is why they should be confined in a large cage. When they are frightened or excited, they emit snorting or wheezing sound that can be mistaken to be an illness, but this is a defense mechanism; that they show off when they feel that a predator is near. They are not that vocal; that is why they are included on the list of quiet parrots, making them a perfect pet for apartment dwellers or for those who want to let it stay indoors.
Breeding and Reproduction
The bronze-winged parrot is easy to breed in the wild but a bit more complicated in captivity. Their breeding season starts from February or March and ends in June or July. Like other parrots, they nest in tree cavities. They have a clutch size of about 3 to 4 eggs, which the females incubate for about 26 days. After the eggs hatch, the juveniles leave the nest after 70 days, and they are expected to fledge about 8-10 weeks. In captivity, for the breeding process to be successful, they should have a breeding cage with dimensions of 10″ x 10″ x 24″ (26 x 26 x 62 cm) that are situated on top of their cage, and it should be dark.
In the wild, the bronze-winged parrots eat a variety of food selection from crops, flower seeds, insects, and fresh fruits. In captivity, there are seed mixes that contain fat and proteins that are a healthy option if that is the only food that you would want to feed your parrot, but a dose of fresh fruits and green vegetables is also advisable to have an added nutrient and minerals.
Size and Weight
The bronze-winged parrot is a medium-sized parrot that has a length of 28 cm (11 in) long from head to tail when they reach maturity. They are known to have a stocky or squat body type with a weight of 7-9 ounces.
The bronze-winged parrot is like other birds in the parrot species that can live for a long time as long as they are staying in an ideal environment. In the wild, they can reach up to 25 years, but in captivity, they can reach up to 40 years as long as they receive proper care. The lifespan of a bronze-winged parrot varies depending on where the bird lives, what it eats, and some other factors.
Malnutrition is a common and serious health problem of captive birds because if your bird lacks certain nutrients, it could be a detrimental factor that may affect their overall health condition. The most common nutrient that they lack in is calcium and Vitamin K. These nutrients can be found on the right pelleted mixes, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. You can easily determine if they lack certain nutrients through the appearance of their feathers, beaks, and nails.
Sometimes, even though you are feeding them with the right kind of food, their bodies take it differently; that is why you may need to consult your veterinary of the food combination that you are giving your bird is suitable for them. You can test out different healthy food combinations that will work for your pet. If you plan to change or add something different to their diet plan, it is advisable to consult it with the experts first and be sure to do it gradually so your bird’s digestive functioning won’t be interrupted.
This is a known disease to young bronze-winged parrots and to those birds with low immunity. It is transmittable to other birds that is why when you see the symptoms such as rapid weight loss due to loss of appetite, diarrhea and frequent vomiting, swollen abdomen, and weakness of its overall bodily functioning, it is advisable to quarantine the bird immediately and make sure that you wash your hands properly after handling a sick bird because you can be a carrier. If the bird’s immunity is too low that it can’t fight the symptoms of this disease, it can die after how many days of battling.
There is no cure for this disease; that is why prevention is a must. Your bird should be equipped with the right nutrition to help I crease their immunity. The parrot species are one of the most prone bird species that are affected with polyomavirus, so you need to consult the veterinary immediately as soon as you see any symptom so that they could find ways on how they could help the bird get relief from its symptoms.
- Pacheco’s disease
When your bronze-winged parrot is infested with a herpesvirus, most likely, your bird is suffering from Pacheco’s disease. It is highly contagious to other bird species, but it is not transmissible to other animals and to humans. This disease is fatal because their immunity is targeted. Once the bird started to have nasal discharge, make sure to transfer them into another cage because the disease is transmitted through their bodily discharge. Humans are a carrier so once you handled a bird that is suspected with this disease or if the bird is sick without any diagnosis, wash your hands properly before handling other birds to avoid further spread of the virus.
The most common manifestation of the disease is sudden death. Some are already lifeless before knowing that they were infected with this disease. Other symptoms are green droppings, anorexia, and tremors. When it is detected at an early stage, it can still be cured through the use of an antiviral drug, but this drug has side effects that can damage the bird’s kidneys in a short span of time. Quarantine is used as the safest preventive measure to avoid the disease from spreading further.
When this disease infects your bird, the targeted area is their intestinal-tract that is the common symptom is diarrhea and vomiting. This is transmittable to humans, so you need to use protective gear in handling them. As soon as you see the symptoms, transfer the bird in another cage to avoid spreading and take it immediately to a veterinarian. If not treated, the bacteria will slowly affect the immunity of the bird that will kill them in just 3 days.
When there are leftover food and drink on their bowl, remove it and clean the bowl immediately to avoid contamination before refilling it. Salmonella is curable if it is detected earlier, but the best way to deal with it is to avoid it by making sure that their environment is always clean and sanitized. Veterinarian uses antibiotics to kill the bacteria on their intestinal tract.
- Egg Binding and Dystocia
The bronze-winged parrot may have difficulties laying its eggs. A serious condition that is egg binding occurs when the egg can’t pass through to the oviduct; thus, the egg is stuck, and it is fatal if the bird won’t be able to release it. Dystocia is a more serious presentation of egg binding where there is an obstruction to the cloacal functioning; that is why the eggs can’t pass through.
A way to solve it is to inject the bird with a Vitamin D to make use and to absorb calcium efficiently so that the oviduct has the ability to contract more strongly. Aside from the difficulty in laying eggs, the eggs produced tend to have a malformed appearance and that it is a soft-shelled egg.
This disease is commonly referred to as respiratory illnesses that come from an unsanitary environment, especially when the bird is frequently exposed to a combination of wet and humid environments. In this kind of environment, molds thrive, that is why when your bird inhales the spores from molds; it causes pneumonia or bronchitis.
The common signs of respiratory illnesses include labored breathing, mucous discharge with traces of blood, diarrhea, and overall bodily weaknesses. You need to seek medical attention since it is fatal. The veterinarian needs to unclog their lungs if there is an accumulated mucous for them to breathe properly, and they need to undergo antibiotic treatment to heal the respiratory infection.
- Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD)
This disease is caused by a viral infection that targets the immune system of birds. The cells that are related to the development of their beaks, nails, and feathers are disrupted that is why birds with this disease have feathers that continuously drop and have fading color that looks dull, their beaks also have a distorted shape that is fragile to hold because it might break totally. This disease is fatal since there is no cure; they will have difficulty eating because of their beak that will further weaken their immune system. A perfect way to avoid this disease is to let your bronze-winged parrot be screened for psittacine beak and feather disease at an early age or before taking care of them in captivity.
- Food poisoning/Ingesting toxins
This is common for wild birds white in they tend to eat anything that they can see as food. Not all healthy types of foods to humans are good and healthy options for them. In captivity, there is more control over the food they eat, but it can’t be avoided if the owners don’t have sufficient knowledge about the diet plan of parrots.
Foods such as avocados, peanuts, chocolate, and grapes are considered toxic to them; even they just ate a little portion, they may suffer from dizziness and digestive problems or worst, it could directly cause liver, kidney and heart failures. Aside from different food options, some household cleaning agents are not good for them; that is why don’t use these chemicals near them or just use organic-based cleaning agents at home so as not to affect them.
- Scratching and Feather plucking
When your bird scratches its skin frequently, there is a tendency that it is infested with a parasite or some internal disorder that brings irritations to them. Feather plucking is a behavioral disorder that a bird manifest, especially if it is stressed or depressed. As soon as you see any of these behaviors that your bird does, it is advisable to take it immediately in your veterinarian to know the cause and to have a concrete action to solve it. There is no way to correct feather plucking, but it is totally unavoidable, so make sure that proper attention is given to them.
- Overweight parrot
In taking care of a bronze-winged parrot, it is important to maintain a specific weight that is just right for their physique, which is about 7-9 ounces. If their weight goes overboard, it means that they are already overweight and high chances of becoming obese. There are misconceptions that overweight is due to excessive eating, it may be partly true, but the most common reason for overweight and obesity to captive birds is due to lack of exercise, irregularities in the feeding session, and incorrect diet.
Being overweight is not healthy because it is linked to some health problems such as diabetes, liver and pancreatic disease, difficulty breathing, and they will also have stressed bones and joints due to lipomas or fatty tumors where fats are deposited in different parts of their body. These deposited fats should be removed through surgery that is risky. There should be a diet plan that will guide you every time you feed your bird and make sure to always give them healthy options only.
Bumblefoot is somehow related to gout and arthritis ,wherein your bird has difficulty standing on its own, but bumblefoot is characterized by having swelling feet with lesions and discharge. Due to the lameness and swelling of their feet, they can’t stand still on a porch or even grasp their food; that is why they will just lie on the floor so that they won’t feel the pain making them idle. There ate high chances that they’ll become bored, frustrated, and stressed out; that is why it is important to take them to the veterinarian. Bumblefoot is commonly due to Vitamin A and calcium deficiency, so a way for the bird to recover is through Vitamin A and calcium supplements.
The most common diseases or illnesses that may infect the Bronze-winged parrot are brought by different factors such as their diet, unhygienic environment, and due to their hormonal changes that affect their health. Each kind of disease has different kinds of symptoms; that is why, as an owner, you must be vigilant in detecting a symptom to avoid it from getting worse. As soon as you see that your bird is sick. Take it immediately to a veterinarian for you to know more about the disease that infected them and to know its cure.
Like other parrot species, the bronze-winged parrot is a good bird for beginners because of its charm and intelligence. Before taking them into captivity, you must ensure to devote your time to take good care of them. Provide them with their basic needs, such as their need for a large cage, healthy foods, and proper care and handling.
Availability-Where to Get One?
Since their population in the wild is stable, it is available in different pet stores from time to time. They are common as captive birds; that is why they are also widespread in different pet trades. If you cannot see them in the nearest pet shops in your place, you may find them in some personal bird breeders that you may find online.
How to Care Parrot as a Pet?
The bronze-winged parrot is an active parrot that loves to play, fly, and hop; that is why they should be placed in a large cage where they can do all the activities that they want. They will spend most of their time in their cage; that is why it is important to make their place conducive and safe for them to thrive. They have the ability to escape from their cage even if it is equipped with lock-cage, so you may need to invest in an escape-proof latch. You can place their cage in an outdoor set-up so that they can breathe in the fresh air and so that they can be exposed to natural sunlight; just make sure that the temperature is just right for them because temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit is crucial for them.
As a basis for good nutrition, their base food should always be formulated pelleted mixes that are supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. You should monitor their food intake because overfeeding may develop eating problems that will make them a picky eater, and they may, later on, throw the food that they see in their basin. If your bird is eating a formulated diet, you may not give them vitamin supplements on a daily basis.
This type of parrot species loves bathing or showering to maintain their skin condition and for them to have a good plumage. After bathing, you need to make sure that they are completely dry before placing them back into their cage. Their beaks, nails, and flight feathers should also be trimmed on a regular basis. If you are not trained to groom your pet, take it to a veterinarian to avoid harming them.
The population of bronze-winged parrot is listed as a least concern wherein even though their population is decreasing due to different factors such as loss and destruction of habitat; it is not yet sufficient to have a threat to their overall population.
Does bronze-winged parrot-like to be petted?
The bronze-winged parrot is very calm and passionate to their owners; they can even form a special bond to them. The way how they seek attention is an indication that they love to be petted.
Can you train your bronze-winged parrot?
It takes great patience for you to be able to train any kind of bird. Repetition is the fastest and efficient way for them to learn, so if you are teaching them how to seek a particular word, always let them hear it a couple of times during your interaction. Not only that, they can be trained on how to speak, but they can also be trained with simple tricks.
How well does your bronze-winged parrot talk?
The bronze-winged parrot may not be the greatest talker among the parrot species, but they can utter simple words with proper training and that they can easily mimic different sounds in their environment.
Why does my bronze-winged parrot bob it’s head?
Head bobbing is just normal for this bird species; it is usually done by males for the mating dance. A sign, if they are actually dancing, is if the head bobbing is faster in an up and down motion. When you notice that your pet does this at the highest part of their cage, them most likely it is a sign that they just want to mate.
Is bronze-winged parrot intelligent?
The bronze-winged parrot is, by nature, intelligent that they can easily be trained to learn different tricks and simple words. Their intelligence can still be further enhanced through the use of different kinds of toys.
Why does bronze-winged parrot hang upside down?
Sleeping or playing in an upside-down position is just normal for them because, in the wild, they often hide and roost from high areas. In captivity, they used to stay in the highest perch and hand down to sleep.
Why does bronze-winged parrot puff up?
When your bronze-winged parrot puffs its feathers, it only means that they are cold and just want to warm their bodies because it is a way for them to conserve the heat. During the cold season, it is a way for them to release the excessive heat in their body to freshen up.
Why does the Bronze-winged parrot rub their beaks on you?
The beaks of these birds grow continuously for their entire lives, there is a way for them to let it stay in shape, and that is to rub it to something whether in tree barks or any hard surface. If the bird’s beak is in shape, they will be able to eat what they eat without any difficulty.