Animal Update: Blue-Headed Pionus Chick

The National Aquarium family is celebrating a new adorable addition—a blue-headed pionus chick!

Published May 29, 2019

We’re excited to announce that the blue-headed pionus chick hatched on April 16 after a 24-day incubation period. The chick is the offspring of two long-term residents of Upland Tropical Rain Forest.

Blue-headed pionus chick

In the coming months, the chick will begin to grow feathers. The blue-headed pionus is known for its striking blue head and bright green body color, but neither will fully develop on the chick for a few years.

For the immediate future, the chick will stay behind the scenes while receiving care from his parents and Aquarium staff. Over the next month, the team expects he’ll learn to perch himself on tree branches. Pionus chicks typically become independent at around three months. Even as he grows and learns new skills, he’ll still be under the watchful eyes of his parents.

In the following months, Aquarium team members hope to see the new addition eventually learn to fly. Ideally, his flight ability will build up to the point where he can join the other birds in Upland Tropical Rain Forest later this year!

The blue-headed pionus hails from Costa Rica to northern South America, including much of the Amazon rain forest. These parrots are often found in groups and are known to feed on a wide range of fruits. In addition to its striking colors, the blue-headed pionus is also known for its distinct high-pitched call—which is often heard when the pionus is in flight.

Stay tuned for more animal updates!

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