Yellow-shouldered Amazons (Amazona auropalliata) are one of the smaller Amazon parrots. I think they are also one of the prettiest. I had heard of them when I did programs for Audubon societies on endangered parrots during the 1980s, but I had never seen one until the late 1990s. I was really impressed when I saw a couple of them in a bird shop. Their feather condition was so perfect that they shimmered. It took a while but now they are available as companions, and what a great little companion they are! They tend to be quieter than many of the other Amazons, but that might mean that they are not likely to pick up the extensive vocabulary of some of the species in this family. Yellow shoulders are one of the less excitable Amazons and have a reputation for enjoying physical handling that many other species won’t accept.
I had only met one or two of these little jewels until I moved to Colorado. My friend Susanne Cochran of Avalon Aviary has raised several yellow-shouldered Amazon babies since I have lived here and they have all been delightful. I like to visit her aviary from time to time just to play with the young birds and yellow shoulders have consistently been some of my favorites. One clutch was raised with three blue-headed Pionus and a white-bellied caique. Maybe the caique influenced the yellow shoulders because these little guys were inquisitive and playful enough to be into everything. One of the babies started to talk at a very young age, and I am told that they can develop a good vocabulary. Most of all they seem to be one of the sweetest Amazon species that I have me.