The Amazon is a loving and sociable parrot originating from South America.
Its affectionate and loyal nature make this bird a wonderful pet for those experienced with companion parrots. They are highly intelligent and require a devoted owner who is willing to provide significant and meaningful attention, as well as stimulus such as chewing toys to keep them happy and healthy.
Hand reared male birds from aviary bred parents make the best pets. Amazons are generally easily trained and have an excellent talking ability. If not provided with the necessary training and socialisation, the Amazon can become aggressive and susceptible to other behavioural problems.
The Amazon parrot is native to the New World ranging from South America to Mexico and the Caribbean.
In the wild, they feed primarily on nuts and fruits, supplemented by leafy matter.
Most amazons are predominantly green, with accenting colors that depend on the species and can be quite vivid.
They 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 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, and 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 as Pets
Great large parrots - with the complexity, time commitment that goes with owning a large parrot. People who are either inexperienced or unwilling to spend time on training / socializing a parrot will eventually cause (or allow) the parrot to become very nippy and overly noisy.
They make great pets for the RIGHT home.
Training and Behavioral Guidance:
- Amazon Parrots generally present challenges, such as excessive screaming or chewing - especially at certain stages in their life. They do discover their beaks as method of "disciplining us" once they are out of the "baby stage" and they can generally be somewhat naughty, and it really is important to learn to understand them and to guide their behavior before an undesirable behavior has been established. Undisciplined parrots will chew on electric wiring potentially causing house fires. They regard anything in your home as a "toy" that can be explored and chewed on; destroying items that you may hold dear or are simply valuable. Even a young bird that has not been neglected and abused requires proper guidance; this becomes even more challenging when it involves a rescued bird that may require rehabilitation.
Biting & Hormonal Behavior:
Dominant Behavior: They are likely to discover their beaks as a method of "disciplining us" once they are out of the "baby stage." It really is important to learn to understand them and to guide their behavior before an undesirable behavior has been established.
- Training is vital to stop this aggressive behavior.
- Hormonal Aggression: They are also known for their "hormonal" aggression phase. This phase usually appears between the ages of 5 to 12 years. During this time there will be one to two years in which they are likely to be very aggressive. Fortunately, once they go through this, they generally settle down with little or no aggression shown outside the breeding season - with some aggression, but to a lesser degree, when they are in breeding condition.
These parrots going through that stage are difficult to handle for many but the most experienced amazon owners. Species such as Lilac Crowns and Mealies are less excitable than other amazon species during the breeding season. Females tend to be calmer than males during this phase. An attack by a hormonal male can be vicious and will not be limited to one bite.
Many bird owners are bewildered by the fact that their previously so cuddly pet suddenly turns on them - their primary caretakers. To add insult to injury, their pet may pick another family member as their favorite. Dr. Jill M. Patt - Practicing Veterinarian in Mesa, Arizona, describes this being similar to a wild bird leaving its parents and choosing a mate.
She suggests the following ways of dealing with it:
- Understand that this is a natural behavior.
- Have the family member the bird has picked limit their interaction with your bird, spend time with the bird when that family member is absent, and ensure that only you are the one to provide all favorite treats and activities.
- The environment can also be altered somewhat to attempt to reduce breeding behavior. Limiting the daylight hours to mimic a winter sun will often help.
- In some instances, the vet may prescribe drugs that balance out a pet's hormones.
- Click here for more information on reducing hormonal behavior in birds.
- Web Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit this website for valuable tips on parrot behavior and training.
- If you are, as I am, a visual learner and prefer step-by-step instructions to train your pet, I recommend:
The amazon species most commonly kept as pets include the following:
- Blue-fronted Amazon
- Double Yellow-head Amazon
- Lilac-crowned Amazon
- Mealy Amazon
- Mexican Redhead or Green-cheeked Amazons
- Orange-winged Amazon
- Panama Amazon
- Red-lored Amazon
- White-fronted Amazon
- Yellow-crowned or Yellow-fronted Amazon
- Yellow-naped Amazon
If you are considering one of these magnificent parrots as pets, please visit the following websites for information:
Class: Aves ...Order: Psittaciformes ... Family: Psittacidae ... Subfamily: Psittacinae ... Genus: Scientific: Amazona ... English: Amazons ... Dutch: Amazonepapegaaien ... German: Amazonen ... French: Amazones
CITES I: Protected/ CITES II: Endangered Species or EXTINCT (as specified under each species)
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