Amazon parrots are parrots in the genus Amazona. They are medium-sized, short-tailed parrots native to the Americas, with their range extending from South America to Mexico and the Caribbean. Amazona is one of the 92 genera of parrots that make up the order Psittaciformes and is in the family Psittacidae, one of three families of true parrots. It contains about thirty species. Most amazons are predominantly green, with accenting colors that depend on the species and can be quite vivid. They feed primarily on seeds, nuts, and fruits, supplemented by leafy matter.
Many amazons have the ability to mimic human speech and other sounds. Partly because of this, they are popular as pets or companion parrots, and a small industry has developed in breeding parrots in captivity for this market. This popularity has led to many parrots being taken from the wild to the extent that some species have become threatened. The United States and the European Union have made the capture of wild parrots for the pet trade illegal in an attempt to help protect wild populations. Feral populations of amazons can be found in different parts of the world, including in South Africa, Europe, and major cities in the Americas.
Amazon parrots are native to the Neotropical Americas, ranging from South America to Mexico, and the Caribbean. Outside of their native habitats, more than 14 species of amazon parrots have been observed. In Italy, there are only two reproductive populations of Amazona, dating back to their introduction in 1991 to the city of Genoa. The birds are present in Germany, but their status is unclear. They are also found in Spain, where the most common parrot present is the turquoise-fronted amazon. Portugal, California (where the birds were largely introduced during the 20th century), Puerto Rico, South Africa, and the Netherlands have also reported sightings of Amazona parrots. More than 12 species of amazon parrots can be found in the US state of Florida, mostly around the city of Miami. Feral populations are also present in São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Buenos Aires, and Río Cuarto within South America.: 52–56
Amazon parrots mostly inhabit forests such as scrub forests, palm groves and rainforests, but some prefer drier areas: 12 such as savannas. Vinaceous-breasted amazons are thought to prefer parana pine trees, and have been shown to prefer forest fragments or isolated trees,: 21–22 while Tucumán amazons nest at higher elevations than other amazon parrots, mostly in Blepharocalyx trees, within the cloud-forest.: 398 Yellow-headed amazons nest in the canopy of tall trees, mostly in Astronium graveolens and Enterolobium cyclocarpum.