Amazon Parrots - General

By Rick Axelson, DVM

Care & Wellness

General Information

The colorful Amazon parrot (Amazona sp.) is the most common of all the pet parrots kept in captivity. They originate from Mexico, Central America, South America and the adjacent islands of the West Indies. There are numerous types of Amazon parrots. They are stocky, medium amazon_parrots-1sized birds with a strong beak and short, rounded, blunt tail. These birds can be very personable and interactive. Amazons bond readily, often with one member of the family or specifically with males or females. This bond occasionally leads to aggression towards others. They are generally very affectionate and will often persistently solicit petting and head scratches. Widely recognized for their extraordinary ability to mimic, some Amazons develop extensive vocabularies of words, songs, verses, whistles, sneezes, coughs and electronic sounds such as telephones and microwave oven beeps. Some species are prone to loud squawking especially in the early morning and late afternoon. They are very playful and enjoy climbing and chewing. Providing non-toxic, washed, fresh branches and pet-safe toys will afford many hours of entertainment and exercise for this inquisitive pet. These handsome, good-natured birds make excellent companions and family pets. The Blue-fronted, Yellow-naped and Double Yellow-headed Amazons are best known for their talent to talk.

Some commonly kept Amazon parrots include the Double Yellow-head Amazon, Yellow-naped Amazon, Blue-fronted Amazon, Green-cheeked Amazon and Orange-winged Amazon.

Purchasing an Amazon Parrot

"When selecting an Amazon, try to choose a young bird, as it may be easier to tame and train."

Amazon parrots may be purchased from a pet store or a reputable breeder. When selecting an Amazon, try to choose a young bird, as it may be easier to tame and train. Older, wild, colony or parent-raised birds may prove challenging to tame. Hand raised babies often make better pets since they have been completely socialized with humans. Young birds are easier to tame and adapt more readily to new environments and situations. Your new bird should be exposed early to different events (young and old people, males and females, other pets, car trips, visits to the veterinarian, etc.) to help promote a calm, well-adjusted pet. The lively, alert bird that is not easily frightened is more likely a healthy bird. After purchasing your new bird, have it examined by your veterinarian.

Veterinary Care

Amazon parrots require regular, routine veterinary health check ups. Your veterinarian can perform a physical examination, grooming (beak, nail or feather trim as necessary) and laboratory tests as needed. During these semi-annual check-ups, health, nutritional and maintenance issues can be identified and addressed. Veterinary check-ups help prevent disease and will aid in the maintenance of a long lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird.



Green is the predominant body color with red, orange, yellow, white and blue adorning the head, wings and tail differently among the various species.


Somewhat less colorful

Sexing No external sex differences

Weight Average 10 - 20 ounces (300 - 600 grams)

Size Average 10 - 20 inches (25 - 45 cm) in length

Life span 15 - 25 years (maximum 75 years)

Diet Consult your veterinarian. Also see handout Amazon Parrots - Feeding.

Breeding Sexual maturity at 3 - 6 years. Large environment is needed to breed this challenging bird

Brood Size 2 - 7 eggs hatch in 17 -31 days, young leave the nest in 4 - 8 weeks

Cage Minimum 2 ft x 3 ft x 4 ft long (60 cm x 90 cm x 120 cm); depends on the size of the bird.

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