Avian Species Menu

Green Cheeked Amazon Parrot

Green Cheeked Amazon Parrot - Amazona Viridigenalis

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Species Organizations

National Audubon Society
Website: www.audubon.org
Cornell Lab of Orinthology
Website: www.birds.cornell.edu
The Avian Web
Website: www.avianweb.com

Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae
Scientific Name
Amazona Viridigenalis
Other Common Names
Mexican Red-Headed Amazon Parrot, Red Crowned Amazon Parrot
Species Description
Length: 33 cm (13in). Green. Feathers with black edges. Red Forehead. Blue crown and blue around the ear coverts. Red wing coverts; primaries with blue tips. Green tail with yellow tip. Eyes yellow, beak pale yellow, legs green-gray. Young birds have a red forhead.

Woodland, along forests, and in low country. Generally near water. Like to forage in cypress or acacia trees, in pairs or large flocks.

Northern Mexico south to Veracruz

Gentle birds; very popular with aviculturists. Usually fairly good talkers. Their courtship behavior - in the wild in March - is accompanied by much shrieking and pecking at each other. Provide a pair  (housed in a good sized aviary) with a roomy barrel or nest box. The female lays 2-3 eggs. Incubation time about 26 days. The Young leave the nest after aproximately 68 days. These parrots need large sunflower seeds, boiled maize (corn), some hemp, oats, wheat, white seed, millet. walnuts, hazel nuts, ground nuts, fruits, and greens year round. Various berries, bilberries, gooseberries, and strawberries, are essential.

An Amazon parrot is a large parrot of the genus Amazona native to the New World ranging from South America to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Most Amazons are predominantly green, with accenting colors that depend on the species and can be quite vivid. Amazons, like all parrots, are zygodactyl, having four toes on each foot-two front and two back. They feed primarily on nuts and fruits, supplemented by leafy matter.

Amazons are known for their exceptional vocal abilities, playfulness, and dexterity with their feet. They are very loyal, loving companions; having them is somewhat like having a two-year-old human child in ability and temperament for 50-plus years. However, some Amazons are aggressive (usually during their mating time), and they all require a lot of attention when kept as pets. Parrots require more attention and care than domesticated pets such as dogs or cats. Parrots are highly intelligent wild animals.

While there are a number of species of birds that can be kept as cage-bird pets with little human attention, parrots must have daily attention in order to keep them mentally healthy. Parrots are not for the inexperienced bird owner. All parrots need a lot of stimulating activities to keep from being bored and terribly destructive to themselves and their surroundings. In particular, since Amazons are cavity nesters in the wild, their desire to chew wood is strong, and they need to be provided with destructible toys to satisfy this innate urge.

Amazons are actually very similar in personality to monkeys, and both animals lead similar lives back in their rainforest canopies. Amazons are very energetic, playful, social creatures that crave lots of interaction with their human owners. The best pet birds are hand-raised and have bonded early with human companions. More than other parrot species, Amazons are well known for their strong or often moody characters. They can be, at different times, cuddly, loud, quiet, stubborn, silly, jealous, playfully aggressive or irritable. They will play and fight with their toys for hours on end, even rolling over on their backs to juggle a ball or play with some string. Sometimes, however, an Amazon will temporarily become possessive of a toy, or a person, and may become quite aggressive toward anyone who tries to interfere. Careless owners have had fingers or ears bitten, followed by a trip to the hospital for stitches. This is the trickier aspect of owning an Amazon parrot, you really have to understand your bird's moods and behaviors. Amazon parrots are definitely not for all pet owners, they need much more love and attention than most people would expect. Owning an Amazon is very similar to owning a dog with wings.

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