I am going to introduce you to my Red-Lored Amazon Parrot, Gonzo. He is the mildest in temperament for an Amazon Parrot. 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 parrot 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. Amazon parrots 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.
An Amazon parrot’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. Your 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’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 as it shespeaks 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.
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. The cage Gonzo has is 24x20x27.
They need plenty of toys to play with. Make sure the bowls are secured to the cage because Amazons 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.