Hawk-Headed Parrot

The hawk-headed parrot is an extremely unique and unusual parrot. It is the only member of the Genus Deroptyus. There are two subspecies, The Brazilian Deroptyus accipitrinus fuscifrons, from the lower Amazon basin and the Guiana hawk-head, Deroptyus accipitrinus from tropical northern South America. Hawk-heads stand alone in the world of parrots. This genus is unique in both appearance and personality. The hawk-headed parrot possesses a wonderful ability to raise the feathers on it’s head in a fan formation. These feathers are a rich shade of  red tipped in cobalt blue. The displayed hawk-headed fan resembles the beautiful headdress of an Indian warrior. Hawk-headed babies are adorable and sweet. However, once they  reach maturity, hawk-heads can become nervous and unpredictable. Due to their aggressive nature, great thought and care needs to be taken prior to purchasing this species.


Hawk-headed parrots are playful and will hang upside down, roll around and shriek or giggle for attention. The hawk-headed parrots closely bond with their owners, but beware of their high energy and excitable nature. Owners should refrain from over stimulating hawk heads while playing. Hawk-headed parrots like to be held close, but also like to hang, swing and play alone while you watch. They are prone to nervousness, even if hand-raised, so learn to read your hawk head’s mood and you’ll reduce the number of unsolicited nips. The hawk-headed parrot is not recommended for novice bird owners and better for experienced caretakers.

Behavior/Health Concerns:

Hawk-headed parrot are prone to biting and excessive aggressiveness, usually due to being startled or feeling insecure. Move cautiously and let your hawk head learn to trust you through established interaction. Without proper socialization when they are young and hand-fed, the hawk-headed parrot can be difficult to deal with during adulthood. Hawk heads can become very territorial around their cage or aviary. Feed your hawk-headed parrot a diet consisting of both pellets and seeds as well as a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as papaya, grapes, oranges, apples, carrots and beets.


Wild caught birds are very high strung, but domestic hand feds make excellent pets. They are gregarious, outgoing and playful, similar to a Conure. They learn to speak easily, usually saying hello by the time that they are two months old. They are like an Amazon, with the bite and unpredictability of an Amazon’s temperament. They are excellent pets for experienced bird handlers and a joy to observe and live with.

General Information

13.75 in. (35 cm.)
Weight Range:195-235 grams
Life Expectancy:40 years
Talking Ability:Good
Noise Level:Medium noisy
Minimum Cage Size:
Bar Spacing: 
3/4″ to 1″
Natural Diet:Fruits, berries, seeds. flowers, nuts, buds, and vegetable matter.
Captive Diet:Fresh fruits, veggies, pellets, seeds, nuts, legumes, pasta and grains.
Special Dietary Needs:Hawk-heads require a diet rich in vitamin A. Dark greens such as collards and kale as well as deep yellow to orange fruits and veggies including cantaloupe, peaches and sweet potatoes are foods that are rich in vitamin A.
Characteristics:Enchanting, active, mischievous, high strung and excitable.