Hawk headed Parrot
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. hawk headed parrot
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  • Scientific Name:  Deroptyus accipitrinus
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  2... D. a. accipitrinus and  D. a. fuscifrons - Brazilian Hawk headed Parrot.
  • Origin / Distribution:  South America.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Forests and woodlands.  Natural habitat is subject to deforestation.  They generally avoid open areas.  They spend most of their time in the tree canopy.
  • Status In Wild:  Most populations are currently secure, provided their natural habitat is preserved.  Some populations are declining due to deforestation and loss of suitable habitat.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Rare
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  Similar to Amazons and Conures.  About 24 months.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about ? months  
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  Similar to Amazons and Conures.  About 24 months onwards.
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx. 20 or more years
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations:  No
  • Availability:  Specialist breeders.
  • Temperament:  Generally a noisy bird.  Pet birds are very playful and interact well with their owner.  Hawk headed Parrots can learn to mimic sounds and may learn to repeat words.  Like macaws, these birds when kept as a pet, can form a strong bond with one member of a family and be spiteful to the other people.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $Lots
  • Description Of Adults:  Medium sized parrot.
  1. Length: Approx.  320 - 350 mm (or approx. 13 - 14 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. ? gms (or approx. ? ozs)

Has a ruff of feathers around its neck which it can raise if it is excited or alarmed.  This may be used to deter predators.

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements:  Refer to " Housing Birds " web page for general details on the housing of Non Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Best bred as one pair per aviary.  Require a large aviary at least 3 metres (10 feet) long,  5 metres (16 feet) is better.  As Hawk headed Parrots are heavy chewers of timbers, a metal framed aviary is essential.

Hawk headed parrots are territorial and may resent the keeper entering the aviary.  The ability to feed and water the birds without entering the aviary will minimize the risk of confrontation or injuries to people or the birds.

They will roost in the nest box during the non breeding season.

Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly. The birds will chew any flowers and fruiting bodies on the branches. 

Diet / Feeding:  Refer to " Feeding Birds " web page for general details on the feeding of Non Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Natural diet includes a variety of seeds, fruits, palm fruits are a favourite, plus berries, flower and leaf buds, nuts and flowers.  Will forage for fruits in plantations.

In an aviary they require significant amounts of fruit in their diet.  A quality parrot seed mix is essential along with a variety of fruits, vegetables and green foods.  Examples of suitable fruits include apple, banana, grapes, orange and pears.  Examples of suitable vegetables are corn, corn on the cob, carrot, cucumber, leafy greens such as silver beet, broccoli, and a variety of nuts and berries.

Commercial parrot pellets may form part of a balanced diet.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.  Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.  If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.  Try and keep that one for their exclusive use.  Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.  If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

  • Nesting months:
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 600 mm (or approx. 24 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx.  300 - 400 mm. (or approx. 12 - 16 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 375 - 400 mm square (or approx. 15 - 16 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 70 - 80 mm (or approx. 3 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (or approx  4 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box = in a sheltered part of the aviary and at about 1.5 - 1.8 metres height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months.  They prefer the nest to be in a secluded area, high in the aviary to maximize privacy.
    • Angle of log or nest box =  45 degrees through to near vertical.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100 - 150mm (about 4 -6 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year ?   Eggs per nest 2 - 4.  Incubation approx 26 - 28 days.  Fledge approx  8 - 10 weeks.  Independent approx. another  2 - 3 weeks.  The cock bird feeds the young after they leave the nest box.

They develop a strong pair bond.  Parent birds are usually aggressive during the breeding season and do not tolerate nest inspections.

The nest box should be positioned in a high part of the aviary but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months. In the wild these birds nest in hollows about 10 or metres above the ground.  The high position in the aviary is preferred to maximize the birds need for privacy.  They will roost in the nest box during the non breeding season. 

Adult birds can become aggressive at breeding season and may attack the keeper.  Nest boxes are best positioned so the nest inspection can be carried out from outside the aviary.  Nest inspection is best done when the adult birds are out of the nest.  Many birds are intolerant of nest inspections.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues:  Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture

  • A/A Vol  58  No. 9  Sept  2004 Page 205-208 (Inc photo).
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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