Red Lored Amazons

1 01 2013

We are enjoying the beautiful Red Lored Amazon Parrots (Amazona autumnalis)  that live around us.

Here is a picture taken from our backyard of one in a Cohune palm: amazon3195edgefr

There are 27 species of Amazona parrots, all of which are green in color and native to the the Americas. In fact, it was Christopher Columbus himself who apparently gave the name ‘Amazon’ to a green, short-winged parrot that he brought back to Europe after his first voyage to the New World. Once they were discovered, traders and sailors began capturing these parrots and exporting them back to Europe. Those that survived the long sea journey often ended up in pubs where they imitated noises such as spitting, coughing, snoring and learned a vocabulary of swear words. Once these expressions had been picked up, the owners found the birds almost impossible to retrain! Here’s an example of a talking Red Lored Amazon.  Here’s a singing Amazon parrot on a TV show

Red Lored Amazons eat a diet of fruits, seeds, and buds. They have powerful beaks and dexterous tongues. With these tools they are able to eat all kinds of fruit and remove tough nut shells with ease.  They would easily better me in a sunflower seed eating contest.

Most Amazon parrots spend time in small groups. We usually see them flying and perching in pairs. In the evening, they gather in small communal roosting sites. Parrots in captivity are famed for their ability to learn to speak. In the wild they have a range of calls, particularly shrieks and screams, used when flying between fruiting trees and during courtship. This is a recording of a couple of pairs flying by our place with their familiar squawking which starts at “wake up time” in the morning:

Here’s one doing a Spring mating or egg dance.  Pretty cute, eh? When they reproduce, two to four eggs are laid in a tree hole. The eggs hatch after three weeks and the young fledge after a further two months in the nest.

Their conservation status is least concern. CITES Appendix II listed. All parrot species are now protected by regulated commercial trade and several Amazona species are classified as endangered, with commercial trade prohibited.


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