Some people don't realize that there are several different kinds amazon parrots. Some of the most commonly species seen in the pet trade are double yellow headed amazons (also simply called yellow headed amazons), yellow-naped amazons, yellow fronted amazons, blue fronted amazons, orange-winged amazons, green cheeked amazons, panama amazons, white-fronted amazons (also called spectacled amazons), mealy amazons, red lored amazons, and lilac-crowned amazons.
Life Span of Amazon Parrots
All species of amazons are long lived as most large birds are. You can expect a healthy amazon to live around 50 years or even longer with good nutrition and care so plan accordingly!
Size of Amazon Parrots
Depending on what species it is, amazons are about 10-20 inches in length from beak to tail.
Temperament of Amazon Parrots
Amazons are extremely intelligent and playful birds that love being the center of attention. They need lots of affection and time with their owners, are curious, athletic, and seem to enjoy entertaining their owners with clownish antics. However, they are also considered somewhat moody once they reach sexual maturity and can become fairly aggressive if not trained and handled properly.
Speech Ability and Vocalizations of Amazon Parrots
In general, amazons are considered good talkers but some species (double yellow headed, yellow naped and blue fronted) and birds that don't live with other birds are more inclined to talk than others. Keep in mind that even among species known for learning to talk that there will be individual differences so you should never get an amazon or other parrot expecting it to be a talker. As for other vocalizations, amazons can be quite noisy and loud. Amazons are also good screamers, though not as loud as cockatoos or macaws.
Cages for Amazon Parrots
The minimum cage size is 24"x 36"x 48" with bar spacing of 3/4 to 1 inch but the bigger the better. An aviary or safe free flight area would be ideal. See "Before You Buy a Bird Cage" for more advice on choosing a cage.
Toys for Amazon Parrots
Being very playful, amazons need lots of sturdy toys. Amazons particularly seem to enjoy toys they can manipulate with their feet. See "Bird Toy Safety" for tips on choosing appropriate and safe toys but plan to go through more toys than you can count over the lifetime of your bird. Besides the initial purchase of the cage and your bird, the bulk of your expenses will be and should be toys.
Feeding Amazon Parrots
Your amazon should eat both pelleted bird food and healthy, fresh fruits, vegetables, and other "human" foods. Seeds are too high in fat for amazons and while they can be fed as treats, they should make up no more than 10 percent of the whole diet. Nuts are a good treat but should only be fed in moderation. See "Parrot Nutrition 101" for more about proper diets for parrots.
Edited by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT