Amazon parrots are highly intelligent birds, very outgoing and renowned talkers. They adapt well to captivity, adjusting easily to their cage or aviary. Amazons require a great deal of mental stimulation. Without the proper attention, social interaction and toys, an Amazon parrot is prone to behavioral problems. People who are willing to devote a considerable amount of time to their parrots will have a delightful companion pet for many decades.
Amazon parrots are among the more popular medium-sized parrot species, which might have something to do with their gregarious personalities. They are often described as boisterous, playful, and outgoing — some even like to sing. Male Amazons have a reputation for exhibiting “macho” behavior — they might flare their tail feathers, pin their eyes and “strut” across the floor or table top.
- Over 30 Amazona species described
- Those commonly seen in practice include
- Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva)
- Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica)
- Double Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix)
- Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata)
- Red-lored Amazon (Amazona autumnalis)
- White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons)
- Young Amazon parrots have a gray-brown iris. This changes within 2-3 years to a red, red-orange, or chestnut-brown. After that age it is very difficult to determine an Amazon’s age.
- Weight: 350-600 gm
- Sexual maturity: 4-6 years
- Males and females look alike in most cases. A simple blood test can determine the gender of your bird
- Avg. life span: 40-50 years
- Maximum recorded life span: 80+ years
- Origins: Central and South America, Islands of the Caribbean
- Highly intelligent and curious; Amazons love to explore their surroundings
- Considered by many to be the most trainable of all parrots
- Have the capacity to learn a large vocabulary
- Tamed birds readily adapt to new surroundings and activities; expose early to daily activities in your household as well as to other pets
- Need environmental enrichment, interesting toys, and foraging exercises to reduce the chance of behavioral problems.
- Can be very noisy and destructive
- Amazons in the wild feed on a variety of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
- Seed-based diets are not recommended as they permit pet birds to select an imbalanced diet from what is offered.
- Formulated diets (“pellets” or “crumbles”) provide more complete and balanced nutrition, do not allow selective feeding, and should comprise about 75% of the diet
- Dark leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits can make up 20-25% of diet
- Treats should be limited to only 5% of the diet
- Clean, fresh water should be provided daily
- Enclosures should be as large as possible, such that the bird is able to fully extend it’s wings and flap without touching the cage walls
- Cage should be clean, secure, safe and constructed of durable, non-toxic materials
- Perches should be of variable widths, heights, and textures. Also provide a concrete perch to help to maintain the toenails.
- Avoid placing perches directly over food or water to prevent contamination
- Access to natural light is preferred
- Avoid drafty areas.
- Parrots should stay in their cage or a “bird safe” room when they are not under direct supervision.
- Birds with unrestricted access to the home are at risk for accidents such as toxin ingestion, electrocution, pet attacks, and drowning.
- Physical examinations every 6-12 months
- Consult a veterinarian with experience in avian medicine if you have any questions or concerns about your bird’s health.
- Annual fecal examination for parasites, yeast, and bacteria
- Vaccination for Polyomavirus, as directed by your veterinarian
- Routine blood testing
- Wing, nail trimming as needed