The Hawk-headed parrot, also known as red-fan parrot has a gray-white crown with white streaks on the top and sides of its head. The feathers around its neck and down its chest are mostly red with blue tips. Its back is a beautiful green and the tail is green and blue.
The most notable feature of this bird is that when excited, it raises its neck feathers in a beautiful display resembling an Indian headdress.
A properly socialized, hand-fed Hawk-head will make a great pet. Many owners say that they are intelligent, playful and affectionate. Many companion parrots have good vocabularies.
They are much like the conure parrot in how they play. They love to hang upside down to play with their toys. They will entertain you and their self for hours with their crazy antics
Known Behavior Problems
A hand-fed Hawk-headed parrot that is gently trained and given loving attention by the owner will likely be a well-behaved companion parrot. That said, it is still only recommended for experienced parrot owners.
They need an experienced, patient human companion that knows how to read birdy body language. A Hawk-head can be sweet and calm one minute and upset and aggressive the next.
The Hawk-headed parrot is stubborn and strong willed. You must be sweetly firm while training these characters. They have a tendency to nip those they love and bite hard those they don’t trust or who are not sensitive to their mood. So if you concern yourself with their wants instead of your own, you will avoid developing a negative relationship.
A bird that is not fed properly and does not get enough sleep will have behavior problems. Make sure they get 11 to 14 hours of sleep in a quiet dark room, along with a healthy diet.
Boredom is another reason for a screeching bird. Provide plenty of toys and spend quality time with your bird. Find out what kind of toys your bird prefers. Some like wood they can turn into splinters and others like bells and shredding material. Some like everything.
Make sure they are housed in a large enough cage with plenty of toys. A bored parrot can develop terrible behavioral problems.
They can be extremely loud when they are excited. Some of their vocalizations are piercing and are repeated often. They also have some quiet sounds and many learn a few words as early as two months old.
Another factor to consider is boredom. You need to provide plenty of toys for your parrot to attack and also some to destroy. We have some toys at competitive prices on our Parrot Bird Toy page.
Hawk-headed parrots should have a variety of healthy foods offered to them. You will need to provide at least 20 to 40 percent of diet with top-quality pellets. We like the Totally Organics Pellets because they are 100% organic and they don’t even have artificial vitamins in them. This is important if you have a bird with allergies. We also like Harrison’s Organic Pellets.
I suggest that you pick one that is organic and not artificially dyed. Anything artificial has to be cleansed by the kidneys before it can be used. A lot of pellets are just junk.
The other 60 to 80 percent of their diet should consist of fresh or dehydrated colorful vegetables, a seed blend along with beans, rice and a little fruit, again preferably organic. The Totally Organics All In One Seed Mix is a great choice!
CAUTION: Never give your parrot alcohol, avocado or chocolate – these can kill your parrot! Also avoid asparagus, eggplant, cabbage, caffeine products, junk food, milk and cream, raw potato, and rhubarb (including the leaves).
Remember that the chemicals sprayed and fed to plants have to be cleansed by their tiny kidneys. Who knows what has been fed and sprayed on all that other stuff!
No matter what the pellet manufacturers want you to believe, parrots that have a variety of fresh healthy foods are much happier and healthier.
When fresh fruits and vegetables are not possible, dehydrated fruits and vegetables are great! Many birds love to crunch on dried fruits and veggies.
The best thing about them is that they don’t spoil, so you can leave them in the cage for hours or even days. This is handy when you are trying to get them to accept fruits and veggies.
When you are going to be home with them, you can moisten them with warm water to provide fresh-like fruits and veggies. Boy does this come in handy when you are traveling or on an outing!
We provide bath water in the morning and sometimes in the evening on warm days, but we only leave it in there one to two hours so that they don’t drink nasty water all day.
Do invest in a water bottle. You will avoid lots of potential health problems by insuring they have clean water to drink that hasn’t been bathed and pooped in.
If your parrot has not used a water bottle before, you will need to provide both a water bottle and a dish until you see that they are drinking from the bottle.
Lixit makes a glass water bottle that has a wire instead of a spring that keeps it on the cage if you are worried about safety. (Some birds get their foot or beak stuck in the spring attachment on other bottles.)
The Hawk-headed parrot needs lots and lots of room to climb and play. They also need lots and lots of toys and they need to be rotated out so they don’t get bored.
They need a large Macaw or Cockatoo size cage with an inch or less bar spacing. The cage should be at least 36x24x50. If they are going to be home alone all day, they need enough room for a variety of toys and room to swing and play between them.
Consider getting a cage with a playpen on top for your Hawk-headed Parrot to play on when you are home. The more room they have the happier they will be.
Some will argue with me and say that they should be in a small cage so that they will be happy to get out and play with you. We have not found that to be an issue with our birds.
Cages for Vet Visits and Outings
You need to consider what type of carrier you will use for transporting your Hawk-headed Parrot in. You never know if you might break down or may decide to take your parrot with you on a trip. Purchase a comfortable cage for these occasions.