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Amazon Parrots

Double Yellow AmazonAmazon parrots are very beautiful and intelligent birds recognized for their talking and singing abilities. Amazons are typically show-offs and love to be the center of attention! These parrots are also known to have very outgoing and sometimes stubborn personalities.

As pets amazon parrots are very loyal, however, they require a lot of attention, nurturing, guidance and training to keep them from developing undesirable behaviors, like biting and screaming. Amazon parrots love to chew, so they need lots of destructible toys to satisfy their natural instincts.

There are about thirty amazon species that are commonly recognized and many sub-species. Two of the most popular species kept as pets are the Double Yellow-headed and Yellow-naped Amazons.

Amazon parrots are mostly green with other brightly colored patches depending on the species. In general, amazons can vary in size from 10 - 18 inches in length and they have short, square-like tails.

Where do they come from?

amazon mapMost amazon parrots originate from South and Central America but some species are also native to North America (Mexico) and the Caribbean.

The native amazon habitat varies from lowland rainforests to interior highland forests. Their habitat can also change depending on the season of the year.

In the wild, amazon parrots are known to be very strong fliers, able to travel long distances at high altitudes.

Amazons prefer to sleep and feed in the tree tops. They make their nests by chewing cavities into trees!

An amazon parrot's diet in the wild consists mainly of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, blossoms and leaf buds. They have very strong beaks and can easily crack open the hardest of nuts!

The wild population of amazon parrots is classified as threatened primarily due to the loss of habitat because of deforestation. Additionally, illegal trapping has contributed to the decline in population for many amazon species.

Listen to Red Lored Amazons in the wild:

Amazona autumnalis
    © 2015 Cornell University

View a video of a flock of Yellow-crowned amazons landing on river rocks:

Source: ibc.lynxeds.com

View a video of a flock of Blue-fronted amazons preening and playing:

 

 

There are many amazon parrot species. To see more pictures and obtain information about a specific species click on the links below:

 

  • Christopher Columbus saw amazon parrots during his exploration of the New World and brought a pair of Cuban Amazon parrots back to Europe as a gift for Queen Isabella.
  • Amazon parrots are recognized as the parrots with the best singing talents.
  • When amazon parrots were first discovered they were called "kriken" which comes from the French word for "screechers".
  • When an amazon parrot is fanning its tail, dialating its eyes and raising the feathers on the back of its head then you better watch out or risk being bitten!
  • Famous people who have owned amazon parrots include Elizabeth Taylor and Steven Spielberg.
  • The Yellow-naped Amazon is the national bird of the Honduras.
  • The Imperial Amazon is the national bird of Dominica.
  • The St. Vincent Amazon is the national bird of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
  • The Cuban Amazon is the national bird of the Cayman Islands.
  • The St. Lucian Amazon is the national bird of St. Lucia.
  • Cuba and The Dominican Republic are two countries that have had amazon parrots on stamps:
stamp Amazon1 stamp Amazon2

(source: bird-stamps.org)

  • Amazon parrots have been featured on coins in the Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica and St. Lucia:
coin Bahamas coin Belize YCA coin Jamaica coin SaintLucia
  • The national flag of Dominica features the Sisserou Parrot (Amazona imperialis) of which only about 200 still exist in the wild.

DominicaFlag

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