Amazon parrots are highly intelligent birds, very outgoing and renowned talkers. They adapt well to captivity, adjusting easily to their cage or aviary. Amazons require a great deal of mental stimulation. Without the proper attention, social interaction and toys, an Amazon parrot is prone to behavioral problems. People who are willing to devote a considerable amount of time to their parrots will have a delightful companion pet for many decades.

Biological Facts

  • Over 30 Amazona species described
  • Those commonly seen in practice include
    • Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva)
    • Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica)
    • Double Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix)
    • Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata)
    • Red-lored Amazon (Amazona autumnalis)
    • White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons)
  • Young Amazon parrots have a gray-brown iris. This changes within 2-3 years to a red, red-orange, or chestnut-brown. After that age it is very difficult to determine an Amazon’s age.
  • Weight: 350-600 gm
  • Sexual maturity: 4-6 years
  • Males and females look alike in most cases. A simple blood test can determine the gender of your bird
  • Avg. life span: 40-50 years
  • Maximum recorded life span: 80+ years
  • Origins: Central and South America, Islands of the Caribbean


  • Highly intelligent and curious; Amazons love to explore their surroundings
  • Considered by many to be the most trainable of all parrots
  • Have the capacity to learn a large vocabulary
  • Tamed birds readily adapt to new surroundings and activities; expose early to daily activities in your household as well as to other pets
  • Need environmental enrichment, interesting toys, and foraging exercises to reduce the chance of behavioral problems.
  • Can be very noisy and destructive


  • Amazons in the wild feed on a variety of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
  • Seed-based diets are not recommended as they permit pet birds to select an imbalanced diet from what is offered.
  • Formulated diets (“pellets” or “crumbles”) provide more complete and balanced nutrition, do not allow selective feeding, and should comprise about 75% of the diet
  • Dark leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits can make up 20-25% of diet
  • Treats should be limited to only 5% of the diet
  • Clean, fresh water should be provided daily


  • Enclosures should be as large as possible, such that the bird is able to fully extend its wings and flap without touching the cage walls
  • Cage should be clean, secure, safe and constructed of durable, non-toxic materials
  • Perches should be of variable widths, heights, and textures. Also provide a concrete perch to help to maintain the toenails.
  • Avoid placing perches directly over food or water to prevent contamination
  • Access to natural light is preferred
  • Avoid drafty areas.
  • Parrots should stay in their cage or a “bird safe” room when they are not under direct supervision.
  • Birds with unrestricted access to the home are at risk for accidents such as toxin ingestion, electrocution, pet attacks, and drowning.

Preventive Care

  • Physical examinations every 6-12 months
    • Consult a veterinarian with experience in avian medicine if you have any questions or concerns about your bird’s health.
  • Annual fecal examination for parasites, yeast, and bacteria
  • Vaccination for Polyomavirus, as directed by your veterinarian
  • Routine blood testing
  • Wing, nail trimming as needed

Common Medical Disorders

  • Obesity
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Respiratory infections
  • Discolored feathers (hepatopathy or malnutrition)
  • Foot necrosis
  • Chlamydiosis (rhinitis, sinusitis, enteritis)
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Papillomatosis
  • Chronic sinus infection
  • Egg-binding