Yellow cheek amazon, Red-lored parrot
The Red-lored amazon is one of the Amazon parrot species, native to the tropical regions in the Americas. It is a wonderful pet that is gentle, loyal and affectionate, and is one of the commonest pet parrots in North America, although endangered in some countries, notably parts of Venezuela and Mexico. It appears to adapt well to the human habitat. However, the main threat to this bird is being trapped for the pet bird trade.
The Red-lored amazon inhabits North, Central and South America, especially from eastern Mexico to western Ecuador, with most of them being found in Panama. One subspecies lives only in northwestern Brazil between the Negro and Upper Amazon Rivers. This species is arboreal and lives primarily in rainforests, preferring wild areas.
Habits and lifestyle
These birds are often sedentary, living in the same place for the whole year, daily moving between their roosting and nesting areas. They are gregarious and live in flocks, though during the breeding season the birds live in pairs, and are often seen flying as a pair. Their calls are loud, screeching, and unmelodic. They have the strongest calls out of Panama's three Amazonia species. Unless resting or eating, they tend to be noisy. Like all Amazons, they call out an alert in the morning first thing, and then again when the sun is setting, for about 10 minutes. This species is highly intelligent. When flying they use shallow stiff wing-strokes and so are very easy recognizable in the air. They are good mimics, though they do this only in captivity. Their beaks and feet are used to husk seeds and climb trees, and they will use their beaks to test new surfaces.
flock, company, pandemonium
Diet and nutrition
Red-lored amazons are monogamous and pairs probably mate for life. Pairs mutually preen, or clean each other's feathers, and will feed their partner. Breeding is between February and April, though in Colombia and several other places it is from December. Their nest is in a hollow tree and they usually lay 2-5 white eggs, which they incubate for 20 to 32 days. Hatchlings are naked and blind. The female feeds and broods the chicks for 10 days and then the male helps. The young can leave the nest after about 60 days. Some young remain with the parents until the next mating season.
February-April, in Colombia: starts in December
Although this bird is not endangered, this is imminent. The forests that are its home are slowly being destroyed. These parrots are also hunted for food and for their colorful plumage, which is used in ceremonial dances. Demand for use as pets is also a serious threat.
This species has a very large range, but the IUCN Red List does not provide the Red-lored amazon total population size. According to the BirdLife resource, the population is less than 10,000 mature individuals. Overall, currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC), but its numbers today are decreasing.
Fun facts for kids
- Red-lored amazons were first described in 1758 by Linnaeus.
- There are about 50 different species of Amazon parrots.
- Although Red-lored amazons tend to be vocal, their talking skill is not regarded highly. Depending on the individual, some are good talkers while others only manage a couple of words.
- Eggplants and avocados are poisonous for Red-lored parrots, as with all parrots.
- A group of parrots is called, amongst other things, a "company", “prattle", "pandemonium", or "psittacosis" of parrots.
- The Red-lored amazon will eat coffee beans.
- It was apparently Christopher Columbus who named a green, short-winged parrot “Amazon”, that he brought from his first travel to the New World back to Europe.