Orange-Winged Amazon Parrot

A Mild Pet Bird Who Loves to Talk

Amazona amazonica.
Ariadne Van Zandbergen/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Charming and beautiful, orange-winged Amazon parrots are popular pets throughout the world. Because they love interacting with people, they are a good choice for experienced bird owners who want to form a close relationship with a parrot of their own. While they may not be the flashiest parrots, they are also not the feistiest, which is one more reason they make great pets.

Common Names

Orange-Winged Amazon, Orange-Winged Parrot, Loro Guaro

Scientific Name

Amazona amazonica

Origin and History

Orange-winged Amazon parrots are natives of South America. They are found primarily in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela, though some populations inhabit parts of Bolivia and Brazil as well.

There are two subspecies as well. The micra orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica micra) is found in the Guianas. The Tobago orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica tobagensis) is from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and grows to about 12 inches in length.

These birds are born for a social life. It's common to find them in flocks with other Amazon parrots, foraging for food and protecting each other from danger.

Size

Orange-winged Amazons are normally around 13 inches in length from the beak to the tip of the tail feathers once they reach maturity. Generally, a healthy weight is around 11 to 12 ounces, which is something to keep in mind because pet parrots are prone to obesity.

Average Lifespan

Adopting this species is a long-term commitment because they can live up to 60 to 70 years in a healthy environment and with a balanced diet. Some birds have been reported to reach 80 years old.

Temperament

Orange-winged Amazons make sweet and affectionate pets and bond closely to their owners. They have a comical attitude that makes them a hit with bird lovers everywhere.

You'll find them to be more gentle and have milder personalities than other Amazons. As with any bird, however, individuals can break from the norm. Some from this species can be as moody as a yellow-naped Amazon.

Orange-winged Amazons have a reputation for going through a hormonal bluffing stage as they reach sexual maturity. This is common in many Amazons and it does pass, though it can last for up to two years. The birds, particularly males, can become a little aggressive and bite people. For this reason, they are recommended for experienced bird owners with a lot of patience.

Despite that, many people enjoy this bird because it is a quick learner and has excellent speech abilities. Many individuals can develop a good vocabulary and even non-talking birds will enjoy whistling and mimicking sounds. Also, it's not considered a loud bird compared to other parrots, but it certainly can scream at times.

Due to their natural instinct of joining groups with other birds, these parrots are very social. While some may choose a favorite person, most will get along great with a family. However, Amazons and young children are generally not a good fit.

Orange-Winged Amazon Parrot Colors and Markings

This species is often mistaken for the blue-fronted Amazon parrot as the two birds look very similar at first glance. They are both primarily green and have blue on the head with yellow patches on the crown and cheeks. There are subtle differences in these markings and the Orange-winged Amazon tends to have more muted colors.

The trademark of the Orange-winged Amazon is a splash of orange on the front edges of their wings, which gives them their name. This is barely noticeable unless the bird is in flight. In contrast, the blue-fronted Amazon has very bright red, sometimes with yellow, feathers on their shoulders when the wings are folded.

The Orange-winged Amazon's beak and feet are horn-colored with shades of gray. It's a monomorphic species, so there is no easy way to tell males and females apart without testing through DNA or during surgery.

Caring for Orange-Winged Amazon Parrots

Amazon parrots thrive on social interaction and they need it to remain healthy and happy. Birds that are neglected often fall into destructive behavior patterns and depression. This can manifest itself in various physical and emotional problems, including feather plucking, and make keeping the bird tame extremely difficult.

It's important for orange-winged Amazon owners to set aside a period of time each day for one-on-one interaction with their bird. This will establish and maintain a healthy bond as well as a healthy bird.

While hand-fed Amazon parrots normally make loving, affectionate pets, they are also curious explorers. Anything in your home can be viewed as a toy and may be subject to the bird's beak. They like to chew and a key to taming this natural instinct is to provide plenty of toys that can be destroyed.

You will also find it important to guide your bird toward acceptable behavior. Reward the good things he does and take your time working with his natural tendencies. Once you develop a good understanding of the bird's personality, training is relatively easy.

Visiting this bird at local breeders is a wise move before you decide to adopt one. This will allow you to interact with the birds in their home environment so you can get a better idea if it's a good choice for you.

Feeding an Orange-Winged Amazon Parrot

Like all Amazon parrots, orange-winged Amazons do best on a high-quality pelleted diet. This should be supplemented with seed mix and daily servings of fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables. A fresh and varied diet will help ensure that your bird maintains top nutrition.

Exercise

Amazon parrots are prone to excess weight gain, so it's important that they are allowed room to exercise every day. This begins with a cage that is large enough so your bird can move around while having a good number of toys, ladders, and perches available to play with.

You should be able to give this bird a minimum of three to four hours outside of its cage each day. It helps your bird burn excess calories and stretch its muscles and provides the training and socializing time that is essential to his mental stimulation.

More Pet Bird Species and Further Research

If you’re interested in similar species, check out:

Otherwise, check out all of our other Amazon parrot species profiles.