Amazon Parrots – Care, Facts & Profile
Amazon parrots a typically good at mimicking human speech. Most amuse themselves by destroying toys (at times while rolling on their backs), talking, singing, and playing with their companions.
These parrots have big strong beaks. It is important for those who plan to handle an Amazon to take the time to learn each bird’s specific personality before picking one up.
Raised head feathers, flared tail feathers or eye pinning might result in a trip to the hospital for stitches for the human who ignores the bird’s attempt to communicate.
Amazon parrots may go from quiet and cuddly to loud and aggressive in an instant. It’s important to provide toys that they can fight and destroy so they can work out some of their natural aggression.
Hand-raised Amazon parrots especially crave attention and interaction with their human companions. If you aren’t ready to give quality time to raising an Amazon and have the patience to deal with their hormones when they mature, then I would suggest you look for a different bird.
There are several common species that vary in both size and temperament. All Amazons are considered headstrong and on the moody side.
Common Amazon Parrots
Blue Fronted Amazon: Said to be a little more easygoing. Excellent talking and mimic ability. I read some great stories about their ability to sing songs.
Cuban Amazon: One of the smallest Amazons and considered a bit rare because they are so hard to find in the U.S. Reported to be relatively a quiet bird.
Double Yellow Headed Amazon: Considered one of the best talkers. They are comical, headstrong and usually outgoing.
Lilac Crowned Amazon: A favorite among many because of it’s sweet disposition and it’s beautiful colors. Known to have an even-tempered disposition and a little shy. Not known for their talking ability, but many become good talkers and singers.
Mexican Red Headed Amazon: Owners say these parrots are gentle, cuddly, affectionate and not as moody as other Amazons. Some owners say they are not the best of talkers and they are said to not go through as long a hormonal stage as the other Amazon Parrots.
Orange Winged Amazon: These parrots are often confused with the Blue Fronted. They are similar in personality and looks but there are differences. The Orange Winged is said to be a little more even-tempered and an inch or two smaller. It’s upper mandible is lighter colored, often with dark streaks. It’s orange feathers are the best give-away, the Blue Front has red feathers instead.
Red Lored Amazon: Owners say these parrots are gentle, cuddly, affectionate and very loyal. Some owners say they are good talkers, but there are never any guarantees.
Spectacled Amazon: Also known as White-fronted Amazon. This is the smallest of the Amazon Parrots. It is said to make a good pet bird for both adults and children. Owners say it’s a fairly good talker and quieter than the larger Amazons. The female lacks the red edge on the wing.
Yellow Naped Amazon: Known to be very intelligent, affectionate and gentle but still headstrong. Can be very good talkers, and will form strong bonds with their owner.
All Amazon Parrots are loud at some time. Most are loud at sunrise and sunset, and when you aren’t giving them the attention or item they want. If you provide lots of toys for them to destruct and play with, and change them out often it will help. Also, you must spend quality time with your Amazon Parrot. Proper nutrition is also essential.
Some Amazon parrots are cuddlier than others. Most of it depends on how they are raised as a baby and how they’ve been treated since then.
Amazon Parrots will often have a favorite person, and that will be the person they will cuddle with. Experts suggest that you socialize your Amazon Parrot when you bring it home so that it will be comfortable with many people handling them.
Even still, that is no guarantee that your Amazon Parrot will like other people. Some birds just pick one person to like. You can’t make a parrot like anyone, but you can help it tolerate them and accept them. (To learn more about training your parrot, click on the Parrot Training button to the left.)
Often a bird will not “like” someone because they feel that person’s apprehension. Encourage people to relax when they handle your parrots. If they are really nervous, it might be best for them to wait until they have more confidence.
A bite from a large bird may spoil their future handling of that bird and other parrots too.
There is not a hard and fast rule for Amazon Parrots. Each species has different personality traits as listed above and each parrot will have a different personality, just like a child.
Known Behavior Problems
Amazon Parrots have a reputation for becoming extremely aggressive and/or vocal when they become sexually mature. You will have to spend some extra time and have extra patience to maintain a companion relationship during this time.
Another factor to consider is boredom. You need to provide plenty of toys for your Amazon Parrot to attack and also some to destroy.
Amazon Parrots lean toward having vitamin A and calcium deficiencies. You should provide no more than 80 percent of their diet with top-quality pellets.
We like the Totally Organics Pellets because they are 100% organic and don’t even have artificial vitamins in them. This is important if you have a bird with allergies.
I suggest that you pick one that is organic and not artificially dyed. Anything artificial has to be cleansed by the kidneys before it can be used. A lot of pellets are just junk.
The other 20 percent of their diet should consist of grains, vegetables and a little fruit, preferably organic.
CAUTION: Never give your parrot alcohol, avocado or chocolate – these can kill your parrot! Also avoid asparagus, eggplant, cabbage, caffeine products, junk food, milk and cream, raw potato, and rhubarb (including the leaves).
Remember that the chemicals sprayed and fed to plants have to be cleansed by their tiny kidneys. Who knows what has been fed and sprayed on all that other stuff!
No matter what the pellet manufacturers want you to believe, parrots that have a variety of fresh healthy foods are much happier and healthier.
When fresh fruits and vegetables are not possible, dehydrated fruits and vegetables are great! Many birds love to crunch on dried fruits and veggies.
The best thing about them is that they don’t spoil, so you can leave them in the cage for hours or even days. This is handy when you are trying to get them to accept fruits and veggies.
When you are going to be home with them, you can moisten them with warm water to provide fresh-like fruits and veggies. Boy does this come in handy when you are traveling or on an outing!
We provide bath water in the morning and sometimes in the evening on warm days, but we only leave it in there one to two hours so that they don’t drink nasty water all day.
Do invest in a water bottle. You will avoid lots of potential health problems by ensuring they have clean water to drink that hasn’t been bathed and pooped in.
If your parrot has not used a water bottle before, you will need to provide both a water bottle and a dish until you see that they are drinking from the bottle.
Lixit makes a glass water bottle that has a wire instead of a spring that keeps it on the cage if you are worried about safety. (Some birds get their foot or beak stuck in the spring attachment on other bottles.)
The minimum cage requirement for Amazon parrots is 24 x 24 x 28 inches, with the bar spacing no smaller than 3/4 of an inch.
As mentioned earlier, provide lots of stimulating toys and healthy things to chew. Buy a cage with a safe coating on it, because these birds will use their beak to climb around the cage.
Consider getting a cage with a playpen on top for your Amazon Parrot to play on when you are home. The more room they have the happier they will be. Play top cages have a toy hook attached they are sure to enjoy.
You need to consider what type of carrier you will use for transporting your Amazon Parrot. You never know if you might break down or may decide to take your parrot with you on a trip. Purchase a comfortable cage for these occasions.
This is very important to keep your bird from getting a chill in winter or overheating in summer.