How to choose an amazon parrot species

Amazon parrots can be wonderful life-long companions however you should not be hasty in your decision. Here are a few things you should know.


If you are thinking about purchasing an Amazon parrot for a pet you may want to do your homework before handing your money over.  Although parrots hold a certain amount of fame as being shoulder-riding, talking birds, there is much more to a parrot than meets the eye.

When choosing a parrot to keep in mind that only about 8% of the parrot population is Amazons.  There are approximately 27 species of Amazon parrots out of the 332 known parrot species that exist in the world today.  These birds range in origin from South America to Northern Mexico; 9 species are from the islands of the Caribbean.  Of the Amazon species, less than half of them are readily available to be chosen as a pet.  Not all parrots in your local pet store will be Amazon.  In fact, two of the most popular parrots you are likely to see are the African Grey and various species of the Conure, neither one being an Amazon.

Not all parrots are alike; all parrots differ in specific color, size, personality, and character.  Nor are all parrots within one species the same.  Single parrots are as individual and unique as any other animal.  The traits of these birds vary not only by species but by subspecies as well.  If you want a bird to with a particular color, personality, or vocal trait you will want to know what species are best known for the traits you are looking for.

Amazons generally range in size from 10-18” in height.  Though they are only medium in size, they will still need a cage with ample room for play and exercise.  Cages should be square or rectangular and need to be at least 39” tall with a minimum floor space of 23” X 39”.  This size will allow enough room for perches, toys, and free movement.  Round cages can cause your parrot to develop a nervous turning and twisting of the head and therefore are not suitable for your pet.

Not only do parrots need ample room for play and exercise but they require plenty of attention.  Amazons require more attention than most people realize to be healthy and happy.  Their mimicking, speaking, and play habits are greatly affected by the amount of quality time spent with them.  The old adage, “The more, the merrier” holds true for parrots.  The more time you spend with your parrot will also allow you to get to know your new companion much better.

Many people will buy a parrot for their talking ability.  Though this should never be the sole reason for buying a bird it can be a very desirable and rewarding trait.  Be sure you are ready to have a very vocal bird for the extent of its or your lifetime as, once your bird begins talking, it will not be very inclined to stop.  Some Amazons simply mimic words while others talk and/or sing.  Amazons known for their talking ability include the Blue Fronted, Yellow Fronted or Crowned, Panama, Yellow Naped, and Double Yellow-Head Amazons.

Most Amazons are very playful and enjoy performing, loving attention.  Some Amazons are more outgoing and clownish than others.  Although they seem to live for excitement, sometimes they can become overly excited and can become difficult to handle.  If they do become upset over something they are quick to let you know by screaming or biting.

Amazons parrots, as well as other species, can also become very attached to their owner. They show their affection by being affectionate and, with some species, cuddling.  This attachment is good between bird and owner but can, at times, become too strong; even to the point of jealousy.  The bird will try to drive off any competition for your attention.  Male Amazons can become so attached to his owner that he chooses them for a mate.

Lastly, Amazon parrots are very hardy birds.  In a healthy environment, they have a very long life span.  Though the typical life span is between 40 and 80 years, some parrots have been known to live to 100.

Choosing an Amazon parrot is not something you should do on impulse.  To have a lasting, happy relationship with your bird you will want to choose carefully before committing yourself.  With the right amount of love and attention, you and your new companion will have a very happy life.