Blue Fronted Amazon

Blue Fronted Amazon

General Info:

One of the most popular types of Amazon in the U.S. is the Blue-Fronted Amazon. There are many types of Amazon parrots. Yellow-Headed, Orange-winged, and the Lilacine Amazons, and these are but a few of the many many different species of Amazon. All Amazons are predominately green, with different accent colors depending on the species. The Blue-Fronted is distinct with it’s characteristic blue feathering near the beak of the bird.

One very neat thing about this particular bird is the uniqueness of the feathers covering the bird’s head. The bird’s body is primarily green. The head has a bit of green as well, but the colors that stand out are the yellow and blue. Here is where the bird is unique. The portion of the birds head that is covered in either blue or yellow feathering is totally different in each individual bird. One bird could have a large portion of its face covered in yellow feathers with only a small splash of blue feathering.

Another bird of the same species could have very little yellow feathering and a large area of blue feathers near the beak. Blue feathers can even extend down the neck of the bird toward its chest. The feet and beak are a gray-black color and the eyes are an orange-yellow.

This bird inhabits part of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. Although their habitat is being destroyed by deforestation at an alarming rate, these birds are actually not endangered. They feed on crops if they happen to come upon one on their quest for sustenance and have actually become a bit of a nuisance to farmers. Some farmers, such as those in Argentina, actually kill the Blue-Fronted Amazon in an attempt to lesson the damage they do to their crops.

The Blue-Fronted Amazon is an amazingly wonderful pet, but you really have to make sure you are the right person to own one. It must be kept in mind that they can be extremely noisy. Most often they will sow their wild oats in the early morning as they wake up and greet the day, and just before bed as they ready themselves for a long night of slumber. They also tend to become attached to one person. It is possible to train your bird so they interact with other members of the household without becoming aggressive, but the bird will most definitely still be a one-person bird, staying very attached to their “mom” or “dad”. Males, especially, can become extremely possessive of their chosen human and be quite aggressive to other people. One example of their boundless love is my grandmother and her bird “Gus”. He chose her as his “master” and loved her so much that in the event that she became ill, he also stopped eating and took ill as well. Although they are birds, they too have a love that is very deep and real.

Train-ability: These birds are exceptionally intelligent and quite easily trained. They are ranked as very high on the list of “talkers” (A few spaces down from the African Grey) and are capable of learning many words. There are some that don’t say any words, some that say hundreds of words, and some that only mimic noises or music. It really depends on the individual bird as to what type of vocal capabilities they will have.

Size: They grow to a bit over a foot in length and weigh about one pound

Lifespan:

They’re believed to have an average lifespan of about 60 years.

Dietary Needs:

Because of a problem with obesity, these birds are especially in need of a strictly monitored diet. Limit the amount of seeds in the diet, as these tend to be very high in fat. Seeds can be given as a treat on occasion. A nice nutritious pellet is recommended, supplemented daily by lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (never feed food that are toxic to birds, such as avocado). Sprouts are a great snack. Fresh water should be provided daily as well.

Common Diseases and ailments:

  • Obesity
  • Toxicity by ingestion of metals
  • Bacterial and fungal infections
  • Psittacosis
  • Feather-picking

Cage Size:

We would suggest a cage no smaller than 32 x 23
Of course larger is better as with most birds. The Blue-front amazon needs plenty of exercise to combat obesity so a large cage with lots of toys and stuff to climb on is preferred.

Yellow Headed Amazon

Yellow Headed Amazon

is native to Mexico and Central America. It is actually endangered due to the destruction of the rain forest in these areas. Another reason these birds are endangered is the captive pet trade. These parrots sell for quite a lot of money, so they are captured and sold as beautiful, exotic pets. Although the capture and export of wild parrots into the United States is illegal, it happens much too often.

This Amazon is known for its gorgeous plumage. It is mostly green in color, with yellow feathering on the head and neck as well as a bit of yellow on the wings (the wings also sport a bit of red). The beak and feet are flesh toned.

Size: 15 to 17 inches in length

Lifespan: Sexual maturity happens sometime around their 5th to 8th year of life. Their lifespan is anywhere between 50 and 80 years, so be prepared for a lifetime with your bird.

Dietary Needs:

A diet of consisting of nutritious pellet and fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts is recommended for this parrot. Because the Yellow-Headed Amazon is prone to a vitamin A deficiency, dark veggies, carrots, corn and other such foods rich in Vitamin A are great. Beans are a good addition, but only when they have been cooked. Nuts that are still in their shell are very fun to crack open and eat as well.

Cage Size: The larger the better for these active birds. This birds cage should be at minimum 32 inches wide with 5/8 to 1 inch bar spacing.

Traits: These birds are not timid or shy. They are outgoing and forthright, dramatic in their gestures and very entertaining. Because of their in-your-face personality, you should always watch your bird closely when you have guests in your house. Instead of running away, these birds will more often than not come right up to your visitor and may very well give a nip to an unsuspecting hand. They can become aggressive during mating season when they reach sexual maturity, so they are recommended for a more experienced bird owner. Training is important with these birds to curb any aggressive tendencies. Training also doubles as great bonding time with your bird. Remember, set aside time everyday with your bird to keep them happy and bonded to you. Birds, most of the time, are very social creatures.

Health Concerns: Yellow-Headed Amazons are prone to a problem that many people also suffer from. That’s right. Obesity. With all those yummy foods available, who can resist eating just one more scrumptious morsel? Well, although a pudgy bird may seem happy and perhaps appear a bit cute, obesity in birds is very harmful to their health. Exercise outside his or her cage along with healthy low fat foods are a good way to keep your Amazon trim and in-shape. Amazons may get a few diseases that are common among their particular breed. Some include: Psittacosis (A bacterial infection that causes lethargy, difficulty breathing, weight loss), toe necrosis, and fungal infections. Psittacosis is particularly dangerous, as it can be spread to humans with weak immune systems, such as the elderly and young children.

Train-ability: This parrot is an amazing “talker”. The yellow-Headed Amazon is considered one of the most talented imitators in the parrot world, running a close second to the African Grey. This does not mean that all Yellow-Headed Amazons will speak words. They may just makes sounds, like that of the door opening if it has squeaky hinges or the telephone ringing. Some will have an array of spoken words in their vocabulary, but this really depends on the bird and how much you talk to them.

Lilac Crowned Amazon

Lilac Crowned Amazon

General Info and Care:

The Lilac-crowned Amazon, or Finsch’s Amazon is native to Mexico. This parrots beautiful plumage features a primarily green body, maroon forehead, and violet-blue crown. The beak is bone colored and the feet flesh colored.

Lilac-crowned Amazons make good companions for experienced bird lovers. They are intelligent, friendly and very charming. Like all companion birds they require socialization throughout their lives. Parrots that do not get the proper socialization and attention can become depressed and display destructive behavior as well as possible declining health that can result in illness and even death. Everyone in the family should spend time with the bird. Lilac-crowned Amazons will form bonds with all family members if socialized properly.

Lilac-crowned Amazons are fair talkers. Like all parrots they have the ability to talk. Some parrots choose to talk. Some choose not to. The best way to encourage your bird to talk is by talking to them often and including them in activities.

Lilac-crowned Amazons are prolific chewers and wonderful acrobats. They require lots of wood to chew on, swings and toys that they can hang from. Rotated your bird’s toys often to prevent boredom and encourage play. This is important to their mental health as well as keeping a healthily trimmed beak.

A minimum of 4 hours outside of his cage a day is a must for these parrots. Amazons can tend toward obesity and require daily exercise. We suggest taking your parrot with you from room to room. Parrot play stands are an excellent way to do this.

A good UV light or adequate time in the natural sunlight are strongly suggested for feather health as well as the mental health of all parrots.

Bathing at least once a week is suggested for feather health. There are several ways to bathe your parrot. I take my parrots in the shower with me. You can give them a shallow bowl of water or mist them with a water bottle. Make sure to keep them from drafts after bathing until they are completely dry. Bathing should be encouraged from the beginning so your Amazon can be happy and joyful with this necessary ritual.

You may also like: 7 Best Parrot Cages For Your House

Lilac-crowned Amazons can be loud and should be allowed to be so. In nature parrots communicate by calling out. They also relieve stress and warn of danger this way. You should expect your bird to be noisy in the morning and evening. This normal calling usually lasts 10 minutes or so. Of course there is normal screaming calls and problem screaming. For advice on how to raise a well rounded parrot. Click Here

Size: The Lilac-Crowned Amazon is about 13 inches from beak to tail.

Lifespan: Average about 60 years with proper care.

Dietary Needs: high quality pelleted diet, with some seed mix and fruits and veggies daily.

Common Diseases and ailments:

Obesity
Upper respiratory diseases
Vitamin A deficiency
Psittacosis
Bacterial, viral and fungal infections
Foot mutilation
Toe constrictions or malformations
Feather picking
Tumors
toxins

All of these ailments can be avoided with proper care.

Mexican Red Headed or Red Lored Amazon

Mexican Red Headed or Red Lored Amazon

The photo is of a Mexican Red Headed or Red Lored Amazon.  While many are companion birds, they are considered endangered in the wild.  Mexican Red-Headed Parrots require a lot of space and love to play, so make sure you have the room ready for them to romp around. When shopping for a cage for your Mexican Red-Headed Parrot, make sure the cage has enough room for the bird to stand up and maybe fly up to a smaller perch above its head. They need to stretch their wings out without reaching either side of the cage. They also need toys to play with, and try to keep a mister on hand. Also, make sure you’re paying special attention to their diets – with the tendency to get obese, these birds can easily become the victim of a disproportionate fat intake, and then they won’t live anywhere near the 70+ years they’re known to live. Pay careful, close attention to your parrot, and it will stay happy for a very long time.

AMAZON PARROT GENERAL INFORMATION: 

To determine what type of Amazon parrot you own, check for the head coloration, then beak and foot color. You should also check the wing and tail coloration, as some species such as the Blue Fronted Amazons, have a variation in the amount of color.  Their natural diet consists of fruits, berries, seeds, flowers and nectar. In captivity the Mexican Red Headed Parrot does quite well on a formulated parrot diet with daily bowls of cut up fruits and vegetables. All Amazon parrots are prone to obesity so be careful not to feed a staple diet of seeds, which can be very fattening. These parrots are not known for their ability to talk, but do not let this deter you. The Mexican Red Headed Parrot is an affectionate parrot that will bestow much love upon the people it likes.

The Mexican Red Headed Parrot is reported to lack the extreme mood swings of other Amazons; this makes him of much more even temperament.  Amazon parrots are stocky birds with short, slightly rounded tails and heavy bills. Beak color varies depending on the species and sub-species. The cere is naked, except for bristle feathers, which are thought to have a tactile function like a cat’s whiskers. There is a distinct notch in the upper mandible. Feathers can be bright and shiny, as in a Blue-fronted Amazon, or dull, like the Orange-winged Amazon.

They can be perch potatoes as they age, so it is important to watch their diets. They can live to be 80 years old, so it is very important to get youngsters started off on the right foot by accustoming them to healthy foods, such as pellets, vegetables, fruits, pasta, bread and nuts.  It is recommended that owners purchase a good quality gram scale to accurately weigh their birds on a weekly basis. Weight loss can be the first indicator of a medical problem, and it is easier to catch subtle weight gains and address the problem early on, before it becomes more serious.

AN UNUSUAL FACT ABOUT AMAZONS:

Unlike most other members of the parrot group, Amazons don’t have an uropygial gland (also called a preen gland). This gland is located on the back, on the midline, near the base of the tail. The gland produces vitamin D3 precursors, and the secretion waterproofs the feathers. The secretion also is antibacterial and antifungal. Since Amazons don’t possess the uropygial gland, their powder down (from down feathers) provides waterproofing. The only other parrots without the uropygial gland are the purple macaws (hyacinth, Lear’s, Glaucous and Spix).