Saint Vincent Amazons
Useful Webpages: General Information about Amazon Parrots ... Amazon Species ... Amazon Photo Gallery .... The Diseases of the Amazon Parrots ... Amazon Nutrition / Diet
... Amazon Parrot Incubation Data
Books, DVDs and Other Media about Amazons (Sold / shipped out of: | | | )
The Saint Vincent Amazons (Amazona guildingii) - also known as St. Vincent Parrots - are native to the Island of St.Vincent in the Carribean Lesser Antilles, where they can be found in humid hill forests at levels mainly between 1,000 and 2,300 ft (300 m and 700 m).
This species is very endangered, with a population of fewer than 500 birds remaining in the wild, because of habitat destruction, hunting and illegal trapping for the pet trade.
This large and multi-colored amazon averages 15.75 to 16 ins (40 cm) in length from head to tail.
- The forehead, forecrown, lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird's head) and eye area of this amazon parrot are yellowish-white merging into orange to back of crown, cheeks and throat. The ear-coverts (feathers covering the ears) and the rear of cheek are violet-blue. The nape (the lower back of the neck) is green to olive-green with bluish tinge and edged with black.
- The breast and abdomen are bronze-brownish, each feather with narrow black edging. In many birds, the abdomen has a greenish tinge. The under tail-coverts are greenish-yellow. The back, shoulders, lower back and upper tail-coverts are bronze-brown to olive-green.
- The upper tail-coverts have green tips. The edge of wings is orange. The outer primary wing feathers are dark green with green to violet-blue outer webs. The inner primary wing feathers are green. The primaries (= longest wing feathers) are black with green to orange base with outer webs becoming centrally yellow to orange. The tips to outer webs have a violet-blue tinge. The outer secondaries (shorter, upper "arm" feathers) are violet-blue with orange base. The inner secondaries are dark green with violet-blue tips. The secondary-coverts are orange-brown to olive-green with green base. The median and lesser wing-coverts are bronze-brown to olive-green. The lesser under wing-coverts are bronze-brown to green with green to pale blue edging. The greater under wing-coverts and underside of flight-feathers are yellow to green.
- The tail-feathers are violet-blue with orange base and broad yellow to orange tips.
- The bill is horn-colored and the irises are orange-red. The feet are grey.
- Gender id: Males and females look alike.
- Immature birds look like adult, but their plumage is generally lighter and duller; and their irises are brown.
- There is a less yellow-brown morph (genetic mutation) and a less common green morph.
Diet / Feeding
Its diet consists mainly of fruits, nuts, flowers and seeds.
Breeding / Aviculture:
They are particularly active in the early mornings and afternoons. They quickly grow trusting with their care taker. They are medium-noisy to noisy -- which also should be considered if neighbors are close-by. They enjoy bathing and are heavy chewers. This needs to be taken into consideration as far as aviary construction is concerned. Plenty of branches should be provided to them to satisfy their urge to chew. Once acclimatized, these amazons become very hardy and easy-to-care for and breeding has been achieved on several occasions.
Their breeding season starts in spring. The hen usually lays a clutch of 2 to 3 eggs, of which 1 to 2 eggs are frequently infertile. She incubates the eggs for 25 - 26 days and the young fledge the nest when they are about 9 to 10 weeks old.
At a minimum, they should be in an outside flight 18 x 6 x 8 ft (6 x 2 x 2.5 m) with adjoining inside area 6 x 6 x 8ft (2 x 2 x 2.5 m). As they are heavy chewers, metal construction is essential. The nestbox dimensions should approximate these: 16 x 16 x 32 ins (40 x 40 x 80 cm).
Amazon ownership generally presents multiple challenges, such as excessive 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. Aggressive behavior is especially common in "hormonal" amazons. Undisciplined amazons 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.
Behavioral challenges of the amazon parrots may include:
- Excessive Chewing: Any parrot will chew. In nature, they use their beak to "customize" their favorite tree, to enlarge the size of their nest in a tree hollow. Doing this keeps their beaks in good condition. The problem is excessive and undesirable chewing. Undisciplined parrots will chew on electric wiring potentially causing house fires. The owner needs to provide plenty of "healthy" chewing opportunities (bird toys, natural wood branches, etc.) and training is necessary to teach an amazon parrot what is fine to chew on and what is "off-limits."
- Dominant Behavior: Amazon Parrots, as most parrots, 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.
- Hormonal Aggression: Amazon parrots 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.
Amazons 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.
- Calling / Voicing / Screaming: Not everybody can tolerate the natural loud call of an amazon, and even though it can't (or should not) be entirely eliminated, there are ways to discourage screaming / screeching. Amazon parrots are excellent talkers though, and their natural loud call can be replaced with human speech with a little bit of training. Fortunately, they are quick learners.
Training is vital to stop this aggressive behavior.
Training and behavioral guidance will help your pet be the kind of companion you want it to be ...
- AvianWeb 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 found a way to resolve a "parrot behavioral issue" please share it with others.
- If you are, as I am, a visual learner and prefer step-by-step instructions to train your pet, I recommend:
If you are considering one of these magnificent parrots as pets, please visit the following websites for information:
- The 3 Key Elements to Keep Your Pet Bird Happy & Healthy
- Bird Nutrition ... In the wild, its natural diet consists of seeds, nuts, fruits and plant material. To learn more about the diet of the captive Amazon Parrot, please visit this webpage.
Species: Scientific: Amazona guildingii ... English: Saint Vincent Amazon ... Dutch: Sint Vincent Amazone, Koningsamazone ... German: Königsamazone ... French: Perroquet amazone de Guilding
CITES I - Protected Species
High Quality Species Photos, Videos and/or Articles Contributions are welcome! Click here to upload articles and images.
Please Note: The images on this page are the sole property of the photographers (unless marked as Public Domain). Please contact the photographers directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.
The Avianweb strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!