The unseen Brown Hooded Parrot

Birds Human Classroom

The Brown Hooded parrot is known for being a bird that cannot be easily seen, is very unnoticed, and flies very fast. This bird lives in tropical environments and does not tolerate cold weather well. It likes to be in small flocks and can be recognized mainly by having a red/orange spot in its ear. They are birds that can be petted but are very delicate in their environment, so it is not recommended to have them in captivity. If you want to know more about this bird I invite you to read on.

Natural Habitat

The hooded parrot belongs to the Psittacidae family of the Pyrilia genus, having as its scientific name Pyrilia haematotis, previously belonging to the Pionopsitta genus, but recent genetic research showed that it does not belong to this genus but to Pyrilia. This bird is found in the American continent and extends from southeastern Mexico to northwestern Colombia, passing through Central American countries such as Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, among others. Its habitat is mainly in lowlands between 3936 ft and 4921 ft, especially in rainforests, canopy forests, low-elevation cloud forests, and cultivated areas. Depending on the area, its popularity may vary, and it is estimated that there are between 20,000 and 50,000 in total, although in some countries it may be considered as a rare bird such as Colombia. They like to be in small flocks of between 6 and 15 birds, being able to socialize with other parrots and other types of birds such as the Toucan.

This parrot has 2 types of species: 

  • Pyrilia haematotis haematotis: are found from Southeastern Mexico to Panama.
  • Pyrilia haematotis coccinicollaris: Found mainly in Panama and north western Colombia.


Picture from Birding media

This exotic bird is a small parrot that measures about 8.5 inches and weighs about 5.30 oz. The Brown Hooded Parrot as a young bird has a pale color on its head, a green chest, no markings around its eyes, and the color of its eyes are brown. When they are adults their head is brown and darker, especially in males, they have a white arc around the eye, have a red spot in their ears, and their beak is pale. The neck is a light brown or dark yellow tone that extends to the chest, and the rest of their body is green, but in the females, it is a more olive tone. Its wings are green on the outside with edges of blue feathers, and on the bottom are red on the inside by the armpits, then comes a blue color and a black or dark brown edge that can be seen when it is in flight. The tail continues with a green color but the tip begins as a black color ending its plumage with a blue color. Its legs are white. People who do not know this bird tend to confuse it with the Rose Faced Parrot which has more reddish sides to its face. Its flight call is kerrek, and when it meets its mate or other birds it has a variety of gurgles and warbles.

Care and Cage

As I said before having a Hooded parrot as a pet is a delicate matter aside it is very rare to find these in captivity. In case you wish to have a Brown Hooded parrot, you should investigate how the laws are in their respective countries to have it, and also take in mind that these birds tend to suffer quickly from strong stress, which can be fatal because of their nature, they like to fly freely and stay active, so having him as a pet will be a challenge, also taking into consideration that they can not be in temperatures below 68 F.

In the care that I can recommend you, first is that this bird likes to move constantly, so you must ensure that it has a large cage enough to they can fly inside it and move freely, the cage size should be at least 8 x 6.5 x 6.5 ft, the bigger it is, better for your pet. Try to fill the cage with many toys (non-toxic) to keep him distracted because they like to stay active, different types of perch, among other types of entertainment for birds. The bars in the cage shouldn’t have too much space between them because they can get their heads between the bars, get stuck, and can suffocate. Also, make sure that the bars are a hard material because it can bite them constantly and damage the bars, but make sure that they are not made of toxic materials. Always remember to keep the cage clean, at least wash the cage completely once a week and make sure that the soap doesn’t have toxic elements that could endanger the life of your pets, and let it dry well. don’t forget to keep his food and water bowl in a place where it won’t fall out with his droppings and contaminate it, including water bowls for bathing. Also, when it is time for breeding, make sure they have their nest box.

Although you get the perfect cage for your parrot doesn’t mean that they have to stay all day locked up in it, it’s an Aviary bird so give them three to more hours of free flight inside the house so they can stretch well, take advantage of a good flight, and exercise satisfactorily and avoid being overweight. You also give him to know the place and he gets familiar with your home. Make sure you don’t have any toxic plants for them and that they are in a calm and safe environment. At the same time, you can interact with your Hooded and enjoy a good time together.

Food and Health

Picture From Wikipedia.

In the wildlife these birds are known to feed in pairs and unnoticed, they forage at canopy levels, mainly fruits and seeds of forest trees, epiphytes, and green leaves of some kind of mistletoe, although occasionally they also feed on cornfields. In captivity you must make sure to give them a very balanced diet that gives them all the necessary nutrients to have a good life, you can give them a great fruit variety like mango, apple, pears, cactus fruits, papaya, also you can give them vegetables like celery, carrot, green beans, among others. Also, don’t forget to give them their doses of seeds like sunflowers, oats, canary, millet, some hemp, and safflower. You can include giving them vitamins recommended by a veterinary avian and minerals or give them bird food that doesn’t have chemicals that can affect their health, recommended by the vet.

If you get to have this bird as a pet you have to make sure you give it all the living conditions it deserves, the attention it needs, and its health care because if you start to neglect your bird can develop diseases or conditions that can risk their life. One of the common diseases that can happen in this kind of parrot is the psittacine beak and feather disease, which comes from a virus called Circoviru and can cause long-term immunosuppression, as well as cause feather and beak abnormalities. It doesn’t have a cure and can be very fatal, it affects wild and domestic birds, and the only way to control this virus is prevention, and infected birds should be kept isolated from non-infected birds as the disease is easily transmitted. Also, they may present a destructive attitude to their plumage that is known as “feather plucking” if a check is made and the veterinarian discards a physical cause, this may be caused by the stress that the bird must have because of boredom or the lifestyle it has, due to the lack of mental stimulation even reaching death. This can be avoided if you give them a good lifestyle that allows them to exercise, move around or climb nets, or simply enjoy playing, and enjoying their toys.


In the wild the Brown Hooded parrot they have their breeding season in Mexico is in February, for the part of central America like Guatemala is from May to July and Panama during the month of August. They build their unlined nest in hollow trees, but due to the fact that it is very difficult to detect this bird in the wildlife, there is no exact information about how long is its incubation period. 

As I said before, to obtain this bird you have to find out if it is legal to own it as a pet in your country, and then go to a reputable bird breeder, who will assure you that it fulfills all the legal requirements to be a breeder, who has given it good care, fed it well since it was a young bird and the main thing is that it is not a bird trader.

There are many birds that are perfect as pets such as cockatiel, lovebirds, or even the finch, but having a Brown-hooded parrot can be something very sensitive and requires a lot of attention from you, it is not simply put in a cage and leave it there, it is not the idea as this will allow it to die soon. If you decide to keep him as a pet you must take responsibility for what this bird requires. If you have any questions or think I missed something please let me know in the comment section down below.

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