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Your Amazon Parrot
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Your Amazon Parrot

Facts About Your Amazon Parrot

I am going to introduce you to my Red-Lored Amazon, Gonzo. He is the mildest in temperament for an Amazon. He loves to be around people maybe not very cuddly, but his personality outshines that. He is very intelligent and it attentive when being spoken to. He understands you and responds to you when he is told not to do something. He is much like a dog and very loyal. I am very fortunate to have an Amazon like Gonzo.

Now we are going to talk of the genus of all Amazon parrots. There are about 30 different species within the Amazon genus. They are all on the CITES index, which means that Amazon parrots, like Macaws, Pionus, Caique parrots all protected exportation out of the wilds like Brazil, Central and South America and the likes of Mexico. On what is called the CITES Treaty; CITES stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. The CITES also known as the Washington Convention was created by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It was adopted in 1963, the convention then opened for signatures in 1973 and entered into force on July 1, 1985.

I ask that if you do decide on an Amazon be very careful as to where you purchase your Amazon from. They are an endangered species and they need to be protected by people, like you and I. That is why I highly recommend getting a hand-fed baby or adopting an older parrot. The difference between a wild caught and domestic parrot is the band they have on their leg; an open band means they have been taken out their country of origin and a closed band means they were hatched and hand-fed in the country you reside in.

Many breeders do band their babies for statistical reasons, by keeping clean blood lines and knowing which aviary the baby came from. If a breeder does not band their babies I would be weary of that purchase. Remember that if one day certain species of Amazon’s may become extinct in the wild, it will be you and I who not let them be forgotten; as they will be our domestic companions.

An Amazon parrot's life span, with them being healthy is around 50 years or even longer as long as they have had good nutrition and have been well taken care with their needs in mind. They are a medium size bird about 10-20 inches from head to toe. Amazons have short stubby tails. Their primary colors are green feathers with coloring on their head and/or their face. Some can be very colorful to just a multitude of greens.

Diet

An Amazon’s diet, you have to be careful as they have a tendency to become overweight with lack of exercise from being in a cage for a number of hours a day. They eat seed, pellets, fruits, veggies and some may like human food. I highly recommend putting a pellet in their diet. It has nutrients not found in seed. Fresh fruits and veggies are very important as they contain phytonutrients (antioxidant pigments), that is not found in seed and pellets. An Amazon needs nutritional food and also a variety of other foods because as they become bored, they need the variety for psychological enrichment. Food is mealtime but it is also playtime. Like your two year old child, mealtime is fun time. The fruits and veggies that are rich in vitamin A are dark green leaf veggies, carrots (the baby ones whole), mangos and sweet potatoes. The reason for vitamin enriched foods is because Amazon parrots's are prone to this deficiency. All sorts of fruits and veggies can be fed. The fruits you can feed them are apples, pears, berries, mango, papaya, banana, grapes, oranges, tangerines, tangelos. The veggies you could feed them are whole baby carrots (something they can play with), cucumbers, zucchini, red peppers and chilies, even dandelion and chickweed (make sure they are not sprayed with pesticides).

Gonzo loves all nuts, though Amazons are known to get obese from fatty food, he also has an indulgence for tortilla chips and ramen noodles. DO NOT feed them avocado, alcohol, caffeine products and chocolate as it is toxic to them. Make sure they have clean and fresh water every day. Amazon’s like to dunk their food, so you may have to change it a couple of times a day. That is to avoid any bacterial infections.

Cage

Their bird cage should be as followed with the cage guidelines when you are buying a cage for them. Remember twice the width, so they may spread their wings and 1 1/2 times in length for their tail. Bar spacing needs to be 5/8 inch to one inch apart. There needs to be both horizontal and vertical bars to climb around on. They need plenty of toys to play with. Make sure the bowls are secured to the cage because Amazon's are renowned throwers. I recommend an extra bowl for treats, fruits and veggies; besides their water and food bowls.

You need to wash their food and water bowls daily. Clean their cage at least once a week, by washing everything down with water and a small amount of dish detergent. Make sure it is well rinsed off when you put your parrot back into the cage after cleaning. Their trays can become quite messy as everything goes on the floor or below them. They do not have best table manners. I like to change their trays with newspaper every time I feed them. Newspaper is nontoxic and cheap to get. I do not recommend pine saw dust or ground shells. There is a chance of getting a bacterial infection or them eating it and getting sick.

Illness

We have spoken of bacterial infections and you are wondering “How do I know if my parrot is not feeling well?” The signs can be different so watch them carefully. Watch your parrot carefully because parrots differs from one another when there are signs if illness. If their demeanor changes from lively to sullen, ruffled plumage, resting often with their head tucked into their back (keep in mind that your parrot may prefer to sleep this way), consistent sneezing (yes parrots do sneeze). Now the most noticeable ones to watch for are if they do sneeze and discharge is coming from their nostrils, cloudy eyes and any change in their droppings (feces). I recommend you to have a good avian vet specialist, who you have relationship with; that knows your parrot so you may call them after hours for any potential issues that should arise.

Gonzo is not caged and we do not have to be subjected to the aggression that Amazons are known for. The more your parrot is out and interacting with the family they are more likely to be friendlier and not so aggressive. Amazon's can be the most aggressive of all parrot species; however this varies from Amazon parrot to Amazon parrot. Our Red-Lored is one of the mildest and more adaptable to the family life than other known species. These issues can be alleviated by not caging your parrot for excessive periods of time. Gonzo is not caged; he hangs on top of his cage and playpen, watching the day goes by. This also gives him a chance for exercise and prevents the obesity Amazons are known for. Please do not keep them on their perch in the middle of their cage; as they will appear like a stuffed parrot and when approached will bring out their aggressive side.

Behavior

How your Amazon parrot behaves. Many are very loyal, like a dog. Extremely intelligent and playful; you can teach them to play basketball and roller-skate; these are typical toys that can be purchased. They are outstanding talkers and yes, even sing opera. Amazons love classical and traditional anthem music. Keep in mind that each species of parrots are individualistic and have differences, so you may get an Amazon parrot who does not sing or talk. In our case, our Red-Lored does not sing nor talk, but is fantastic just the way he is. Never get a parrot expecting it to talk, get it because you want a lifelong companion. Amazon's are great screamers and vocalization, not as loud as a cockatoo or macaw though. They can be quite noisy at times, especially when the sun comes up and goes down. When it is breeding season and they hit puberty, about 5 or 6 though it could be later, they can turn into Jekyll and Hyde. Ride it out, this your companion you made, it is a commitment to for life.

Amazon’s love to bathe with a mister or in the shower, it is fun time and it can be quite comical. Their world is about playing. May it be with food to the toys in their cage; they see the world as an adventure playground.

Keeping this all in mind; you will have a happy family when you understand your new found companion and their idiosyncrasies. Gonzo is everything that one that anyone could ever ask for. He is beautiful, great disposition in life and shows us how to take one day at a time. We are grateful for Gonzo; hopefully after you have done all your research and made that commitment as to what kind of parrot you decided on, you have decided on an Amazon parrot.


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