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Amazon Parrot Update

 In This Issue:

Amazon Parrot Facts

  • Amazons originate in South & Central America
  • Primarily green birds, all have short tails
  • Overall length is about 12 to 14 inches, shaped somewhat like a football
  • More than 32 species & subspecies
  • Unique and sometimes strong personalities
  • Many are excellent talkers


What is a “Handfed” Baby Parrot?

Baby parrots are hatched and raised in captivity, in aviaries and homes right in the United States! Our babies come to us from Florida, Mississippi, California; and some even from Wisconsin. Parent birds are housed in spacious outdoor or enclosed indoor aviaries, in an environment that simulates the wild environment as much as possible. When conditions, diet and care are optimal; contented adult pairs often nest to lay eggs and raise chicks.

At a very early age, no later than 3 weeks old, we take over from the parent birds the work of feeding the chicks. Being handfed by people rather than parent birds, allows the imprinting and bonding necessary to create a delightfully socialized baby parrot. Without handfeeding, baby parrots would likely be just as fearful of people as their parents. Properly handfed and socialized, domestically raised baby parrots are the most fascinating of all pets! They are healthy, happy and a joy to own. They readily adapt to becoming part of your family.

Most babies are handfed until they are 14 to 16 weeks old. At that time they begin to “wean” and eat on their own. We do not sell baby parrot while they are handfeeding. All babies must be completely weaned before being permitted to go home with their new family.

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The Family Amazon

Orange Wing Amazons have green bodies, but vary greatly in the shadings and patterns around the face. The Orange Wing, as its name implies, has orange colored feathers on the wings as well as the tail. The forehead has yellow and blue feathers. The orange color can vary in shade from a pale yellow gold to a deep orange. The blue is generally violet blue, although some can be sky blue. Some individuals can have a solid blue forehead while others are mostly yellow. The Orange Wing can be confused with the Blue Fronted Amazon.

Orange Wings sport a calm temperament, and if raised in a family will remain friendly and very social. Young hand raised birds usually make respectable talkers; sometimes outstanding. They are very playful and require a wide variety of toys for entertainment.

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The Mellow Yellow

This beautiful Amazon is mainly green with a patch of bright yellow on the crown. Yellow Crowns have a dark beak with a pinkish spot on either side of the upper mandible when mature. The intensity of the yellow and green colors increase with age. The overall size of the bird is medium for Amazons.

The Yellow Crown Amazon is the calmest member of the Yellow Fronted group. Gentle, loving and excellent talkers, these are a favorite among Members; although not well known in aviculture.

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The Best Talking Amazon

The Yellow Nape is one of the largest Amazons, sporting a large yellow patch on the back of the neck when mature. The yellow patch increases in size each year. As juvenals they are solid green, with yellow beginning to appear at the one year molt. Yellow Napes may also develop a small yellow area on the forehead but this is not an indicator of age or sex, but rather a differentiation between subspecies.

Yellow Napes are prized by people who want a talking bird. They talk clearly and a lot. But not only do they talk, they sing, they dance, they whistle, they cry like a baby and even bark like a dog. Yellow Napes can be very high strung and attach themselves to one or two people. So, socialize them with everyone from the day they enter your home if you want them to like everyone.

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Pavarotti Eat Your Heart Out

The Double Yellow Headed Amazon is a spectacular looking bird. Adults have a bright lemon yellow heads. The yellow can extend over the head and down the neck on some birds. The bend of the wing is red and yellow, and this coloration, like the head color, will increase with age. Baby Double Yellow Heads look like Yellow Crowns, but remember that Yellow Crown has dark beak while Double Yellow has light colored beak and feet.

The Double Yellow Head is a natural opera singer. Even birds that have never heard operatic music will invent calls and songs that would make the best singer jealous. These birds are very excitable, but their excellent talking ability and playful antics more than make up for their sometimes overexcited disposition.

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The Green Cheek is also known as the Mexican Red Headed Amazon. Knowing these two names makes it easy to identify this bird with its red forehead and bright green cheek patches. The Green Cheeked Amazon has a light colored beak, unlike the two tone light/ dark shade of the Red Lored Amazon.

The Green Cheek has long been a popular bird. Large number were imported from Mexico many years ago when the importation of birds was legal. Some also came in “illegally.” America’s proximity to the Green Cheek’s home in Mexico, combined with low prices, pushed wild populations to the “endangered” status before exports were fortunately halted completely.

The American domestic hand fed babies which are now available have proven this bird to be a good talker with a quiet temperament who usually enjoys the company of everyone.

This beautiful and uncommon Amazon shares many of the traits of the Green Cheeked, but it wears a crown of striking maroon instead of red. The cheeks are mint green while the lilac (maroon) color extends down the face, bordering the cheeks in adult birds.

The Lilac Crowned is a quiet, affectionate bird who quickly becomes a cherished family pet. They have a moderate talking potential of about 6 to 12 words. We are fortunate to have two babies available this year.

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The Green Moluccan

The Mealy is the largest Amazon species kept in captivity. This gentle giant is dressed in muted shades of green. The forehead is yellow-green and the wings are blue-green. Around their large eyes, they have large white rings which make their eyes look even larger. Some Mealys will have a small patch of yellow on the crown of their head. Unlike other types of Amazons, a healthy Mealy will never have shiny feathering. Mealys should have a dusty appearance.

Although never common, the Mealy was imported frequently during the 1980’s. Owners of these large birds found them to be easily tamed, quiet, good natured and friendly with everyone. Domestic babies have proven to be all of that plus have some talking ability. The Mealy is so friendly that many owners compare the temperaments of their pets to that of docile Moluccan Cockatoos.

Blue Crown

A close cousin is the Blue Crown, which is just as rare. Blue Crowns differ by having a blue-gray crown. This species too has a very sweet temperament. Although louder than the Mealy, it has a better reputation for talking.

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The One of a Kind Amazon

It can be said that no two Blue Fronts look alike. Blue Fronts usually have a face that is marked with blue and yellow. Some Blue Fronts have a lot of bright intense blue with no yellow, some will have almost no blue and lots of yellow; but most have both colors. In addition to a colorful face, Blue Fronts usually have yellow and red on the bend of the wing. Healthy adults have bright iridescent green feathers which fit tight to the body.

Blue Fronts are always active playing with toys or people. They make great family birds as they generally like whoever they are with.

Blue Fronts are easily one of the top five talking parrots of all time, many learning over a 100 words plus other sounds. They learn very rapidly. Many of our babies will be talking by the time they are weaned. They also have a reputation for singing. Many of our customers birds sing complete children's songs.

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The Sugar & Spice Bird

The Red Lored is one of the most colorful of all Amazons. The forehead is bright red, the crown pale lilac and cheeks bright yellow. Young Red Loreds show less color than adults as the color increases with age.

Red Loreds make sweet, loving companions. They are often likely to become entirely devoted to one member of the family, whom they will jealously guard from all other family members. They have an Amazon’s average talking ability of about 12 words, but often begin learning to speak earlier than most.

As the parrots red lores suggest, these birds can have a spirited side to them. They can become very excited, often playing wildly with their toys.

The Red Lored’s coloration makes it easily mistaken for several similarly colored species: Lilacine, Green Cheek and Lilac Crown.

Lilacine Amazon

This extraordinarily rare subspecies of the Red Lored, shares many of the same characteristics. The main physical difference is the color of the cheeks which have almost no yellow. We are fortunate to have 2 Lilacines this year.

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 The Affordable Amazon

The White Fronted has been known as the Spectacled Amazon, although the term Spectacled is used today to refer to a rarer bird. The White Front is the smallest of the available Amazon species and is sometimes confused with the White Capped Pionus.

The White Front is the most affordable Amazon, being less expensive as well as having more modest caging requirements than other Amazons. The White Front has a white forehead with blue crown and red around the eyes. The beak is yellow. A male has red on his wing feathers and the females is green in the same specific area, making this the simplest Amazon to sex.

The White Front can talk, but is not a gifted talker, usually learning just a few words. This is a quieter Amazon which fits well into apartment living.

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