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5 Things You Need to Know About Amazon Parrots

Behind that beautiful bird face is a big brain, and a bigger tummy.

Amanda Lafond

Follow Amanda Lafond on Twitter at @PepperNPals

You’ve seen them on programs like America’s Got Talent and The Tonight Show. Maybe you’ve even seen them performing in bird shows at zoos and theme parks. One thing is for sure; Amazons are talented parrots. But before you decide to house one of these talkative beauties, I’ve got a few tips for you.

1) It’s true! Amazon parrots are excellent mimics. "They can be great talkers and can make all kinds of noises. The more you talk to your bird, the more they will learn to talk,” said Katie Calcasola of The Golden Cockatoo in an interview. In particular, Amazons are noted as being talented singers. They have clearer speaking voices compared to most parrots. Of course, not all Amazon parrots learn to sing and speak, as each bird is different.

2) Amazon parrots can be a handful compared to small companion parrots like budgies/parakeets and cockatiels. "I don't recommend Amazons for first bird owners,” Calcasola said. "They can be very willful and if you allow them to, they will take advantage of your inexperience. I personally own two Amazons and both are very sweet.  Occasionally I need to respect their desire to be left alone. When my birds don't want to be handled I need to respect their wishes.”

Calcasola said that the perception that all Amazon parrots are aggressive is undeserved, but warns that these birds do go through hormonal changes in puberty that can make them aggressive.

Amazon parrot

3) Behind that beautiful bird face is a big brain. Amazon parrots are intelligent, and as such require a lot of attention, training, stimulation and socialization. A bored bird may become mentally unhealthy, leading to behavioral problems and even aggression. Amazons are easily trained a variety of tricks and communicate many of their emotions through body language. You must be prepared for many training sessions and learn to pick up on your Amazon’s social cues.

4) Amazon parrots need diverse bird foods to avoid certain health issues. "Amazons are noted for developing fatty liver disease and they can become overweight.  It is very important to make sure that the Amazon gets plenty of exercise and that they eat a low fat diet. If possible we recommend that an Amazon eat pellets, a small amount of a seed/dried fruit and nut mix, and fruits and veggies. Variety and exercise are the best things to do to keep them happy and healthy,” Calcasola said.

5) These birds are known chewers! If you enjoy your furniture intact, it’s best to provide your Amazon parrot with many destructible toys. "My Amazons love to chip away at wood, so I would always recommend lots of wood toys. As a rule I recommend that most birds be given a combination of wood, leather and any type of material they can shred,” Calcasola advised. Bird toys made from yucca are always excellent for any demolition parrot as they are soft and easily shreddable.

Want to learn more about Amazon parrots?

Choosing A Pet Bird: Unique Amazon Parrots
Top 10 Pet Amazon Parrot Questions Answered 


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Posted: June 9, 2014, 2:00 p.m. PDT

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I was afraid he might swallow the buttons
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