Avian Species Menu

Spectacled Amazon Parrot

Spectacled Amazon Parrot

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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

Classification
Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae
Scientific Name
Amazona Albifrons
Other Common Names
White Fronted Amazon Parrot
Species Description
Length 27 cm (10 1/4 in). Green with dark-edged plumage. White forehead; blue crown. Lores and periophthalmic area scarlet. Red patch on primary coverts and alula. Eyes yellow, beak yellowish, legs pale gray. Wings are usually totally green in females.


Habitat
Slopes, dry country, lowland, foothills, and lower mountains; sometimes close to water; in pairs or small groups, but also with thousands together in certain roosting spots. They live on figs, nuts, berries, and blossoms, fruits, seeds, etc. It is reported that they are a pest to farmers. Little is known of their nesting habits.

Distribution
Mexico to Western Costa Rica.

Captivity
Very little is known about this bird. There are old breeding records available, but the only real successes have been extremely rare. Solitary, they can be excellant pets and good talkers, especially when purchased young. Old birds remain noisy and will constantly raise their nape feathers when excited. The only way to accomplish breeding success is by placing several birds together in a large aviary where they can choose their own partners. Those pairs are then separated and placed in their own roomy aviary. Provide hollow tree trunks, barrels, or nest boxes of thick hardwood timber (35 x 35 x 45 cm; entrance diameter 10 cm).

Summary
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.


Dogs
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