The Amazon Parrot is a vividly coloured-bird of the genus Amazona, which is indigenous to Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Its existence was scientifically reported for the first time in 1830 and has since become one of the most common types of pet bird.
When not in captivity, the primary habitat of the Amazon Parrot is the rain forest, with its lush jungle, warm temperatures and high humidity. In order to preserve the population of this wild bird, treaties exist to prevent them from being captured from their natural environment for domestication purposes.
There are more than 30 types of birds classified as Amazon Parrots, including the following:
Puerto Rican Amazon
St. Lucia Amazon
St. Vincent Amazon
The average size of the Amazon Parrot ranges from 30-40 cm in length and 300-600 gm in weight. Its eye colour ranges from red to brown and often changes slightly from youth to maturity.
All species of Amazon Parrots are known for the brilliant colouring of their feathers, which are mostly green, though shades of red, orange, yellow and blue are also common. If present, these accent colours are typically found on the head, neck, wings and tail.
There are several species of the Amazon Parrot that are most commonly kept as pets, including the Blue-fronted Amazon, Orange-winged Amazon, Yellow-headed Amazon and Yellow-naped Amazon.
Amazon Parrots express themselves verbally by mimicking human voices and sounds, which is one reason they have become a popular household pet. In captivity, they can live up to 40-60 years. The parrot is a highly sociable creature that needs a considerable amount of interaction with its owner. In order to maintain proper health, the Amazon Parrot should be given activities and exercises that will provide mental and physical stimulation.
When kept in a cage or aviary, it is important for the Amazon Parrot to have room to play, eat and drink. Time outside of the cage will help promote good health and sociability. While inside its cage, stimulating toys such as bird swings and ladders and items to chew on will help keep the Amazon Parrot occupied. If it does not receive enough attention or interaction with humans or other birds, it can be susceptible to destructive behavior such as the plucking of its own feathers.
Though the Amazon Parrot tends to be an extremely good-natured and loving creature, there are periods of the animal’s life during which aggressiveness and bad behaviour may occur. This is a temporary and natural change in behaviour during the parrot’s youth. The same hormonal aggressiveness may also be present during mating time, but proper training and socialisation can help keep biting and other destructive behaviours to a minimum. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to seek veterinary help to determine if a hormonal imbalance is to blame.
A vast majority of Amazon Parrots do well when paired with a mate, as this gives the bird another animal with which to bond. Birds tend to live in a flock when in the wild, so it is natural for them to be in close proximity with other birds and may reduce or eliminate restless and destructive behaviour.
Other than the rare exception, the appearance of male and female Amazon Parrots is so similar that a medical procedure is usually necessary to determine the bird’s gender. Some owners have a male and female Amazon Parrot in hopes of breeding them. Mating typically takes place in late spring and the female lays an average of two to four eggs. Hatchlings are born approximately four weeks later and it takes two to three months for the hatchlings to become full-grown. Prior to reaching that age, they are dependent upon their parents for care and nutrition.
A healthy and balanced diet will help the Amazon Parrot maintain good health. Parrot mix is available in most pet stores and tends to offer a mixture of pellets and seeds. Fruits, grains and vegetables will help give the diet some variety, as will nuts, which should only be given occasionally due to their high fat content. Along with fresh food, clean water should be provided daily to ensure that the Amazon Parrot maintains a healthy lifestyle.