The Scaly-headed Parrot is known from a very broad range across eastern South America, from northeast Brazil south to southern Bolivia, Paraguay, and northern Argentina. Throughout this large region it is known from a variety of wooded habitats and the species reaches up to 2000 m elevation in northwest Argentina. Its behavior and jizz are typical of the genus Pionus. In terms of plumage, the Scaly-headed Parrot is predominantly dull green, but brightest on the wings, with an obvious red ventral patch, and the head shows a variable number of bluish elements, most pronounced in the southernmost of the four generally recognized subspecies. Although rather rare in the northernmost third of its range, elsewhere the Scaly-headed Parrot is generally common over much of southern Brazil, but huge numbers have been taken for the pet trade in Argentina, with a consequent decline in numbers in the wild.