Amazon parrot species commonly kept as pets include yellow naped Amazon parrots, double yellow headed Amazon parrots, blue fronted Amazon parrots, orange winged Amazon parrots, lilac crowned Amazon parrots, Mexican red headed Amazon parrots, white fronted Amazon parrots and the mealy Amazons.
Amazon parrots are probably most desired for their ability to talk. While not every individual will learn to pick up sounds, Amazon parrots seem more inclined to copy sounds than most other species, with perhaps the exception of African grey parrots.
Unlike African grey parrots amazons usually retain a little of their own voice in their speech. In other words when they copy a sound you can usually easily identify that it is a parrot making the sound. Whereas an African grey parrot may imitate something so perfectly it is hard to tell which is the bird or the real thing.
Amazon parrots also seem to be inclined to copy singing more so than other species. It is easy to find many video clips of Amazon parrots sounding much like opera singers on the internet.
Barbara Heidenreich and Groucho the singing Yellow Naped Amazon parrot.
Be careful of gimmicks on the internet that guarantee to teach your parrot to talk. There are things you can do to increase the likelihood a parrot will copy sounds, but truth be told there are no guarantees. You can learn more about training parrots to talk on cue in the DVD Train Your Parrot to Talk.
Aggressive behavior is not necessarily inevitable as a parrot ages. By using positive reinforcement training strategies Amazon parrots can learn to be well behaved for their entire lives.
Amazon parrots are known for choosing food items more likely to contribute to obesity. It is important to monitor your Amazon parrot’s diet to make sure it is not contributing to a health problem. It is also helpful to ensure your parrot’s daily life includes activity to help prevent obesity problems.
Interesting Facts and Quirks:
Amazon parrots have a distinct odor that seems to emanate from their respitory system. This odor is not unpleasant and those who adore Amazon parrots often associate this smell with something good. The odor is most noticeable near their nares. The purpose for this odor is not known at this time, as most birds do not have many receptors for scent.
Potential Behavior Problems:
Amazon parrots have been labeled as having a reputation of becoming aggressive upon sexual maturity, to the point that some breeders refuse to breed them for the pet trade. Some behavior consultants have labeled several Amazon species as “hot” indicating they will likely behave aggressively as they mature. Unfortunately this label is less likely the result of some innate characteristic of Amazon parrots, but the result of a lack of information on how to train Amazon parrots with positive reinforcement. There are many examples of mature well behaved Amazon parrots. To learn more about addressing aggressive behavior in parrots try the book “The Parrot Problem Solver” .
Amazon Parrot Training Examples:
Here is young double yellow headed Amazon parrot demonstrating all the behaviors he has learned. You can read more about his training on the Good Bird Inc blog.