Amazon parrots make fantastic pets, provided they’ve been hand-tamed from a young age. They’re known for their gregarious personalities and playful and outgoing temperaments. These highly intelligent birds can do well in families, though they can sometimes become possessive of their owners, so they may not make great pets in homes with children.
If you’re considering adopting an Amazon, there are some things you should know about the costs associated with caring for one. You should expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $5,000 or more to acquire your Amazon, and $15 to $270 per month to care for him afterward. Read on to learn more about the one-time and ongoing costs of Amazon parrot ownership.
Bringing Home a New Amazon Parrot: One–Time Costs
The cost of bringing home your new Amazon will likely be one of the most expensive parts of bird ownership. Amazons are among the most highly sought-after species and can fetch as much as $5,000 or more. While finding one for free isn’t impossible, it is not likely, or, at the very least, should raise some questions about its health and legitimacy.
Finding an Amazon parrot for free is highly unlikely, but it’s not totally impossible. The most likely scenario that would lead to you acquiring an Amazon for free is if his previous owner passed away or surrendered him.
We recommend cautiously approaching free pets, especially if acquiring them from someone you do not know. You’ll want to learn more about the bird in question, including his current health status and upbringing, so you know what you’re getting yourself into. We also recommend proceeding cautiously if you already have other birds, as you may unknowingly be introducing viruses into your home.
Adopting an Amazon parrot from a shelter is a common way new owners acquire their pets. These birds are sometimes surrendered as their previous owners may have been well-meaning but did not realize the amount of work and care an Amazon requires.
Buying an Amazon parrot from a breeder is the priciest way to acquire your new pet. However, it’s also the safest in terms of protection for your investment. Most breeders will provide a guarantee that protects you if your bird falls ill so many days after adoption.
The cost to adopt an Amazon from a breeder will depend entirely on the type of Amazon you’re acquiring and its genetics and sex. Rarer varieties can cost as much as $5,000.
Initial Setup and Supplies
While caring for birds may seem simple, any current owner will tell you they’re one of the priciest pets to keep.
The biggest initial cost is likely to be the cage, which can fetch up to $2,000 or more. You’ll want to invest in an enclosure big enough for your Amazon to stay comfortable, entertained, and safe. A cage that is too small may encourage bad behaviors like feather plucking. The best cages are made of bird-safe materials like stainless steel, but that does drive up the cost a lot, so we realize this isn’t realistic for every Amazon owner.
List of Amazon Parrot Care Supplies and Costs
|Bird-safe cleaning supplies
|Food & water dishes
|First aid kit
How Much Does an Amazon Parrot Cost Per Month?
- $35–$270+ per month
Aside from the huge initial costs of acquiring your Amazon parrot and providing him with an adequate cage, there are several ongoing monthly costs you’ll need to account for in your budget. Your responsibility as a bird owner doesn’t end once your Amazon is settled into your home in his new cage.
Birds have extremely long lifespans, and Amazons are one of the longest-lived species. They typically live between 60 and 80 years, so that is a long time to provide for a pet. Let’s take a closer look at the monthly costs you should be budgeting for.
- $0–$25 per month
Unlike dogs and cats, pet birds are generally not routinely vaccinated. If you believe you have reason to vaccinate your Amazon, we recommend discussing your concerns with your veterinarian. They may recommend certain immunizations depending on your lifestyle. For example, the polyomavirus vaccine may benefit select birds living in homes where they have contact with other birds.
- $15–$40 per month
Your Amazon’s diet should consist primarily of pellets. The cost of the pellets will correlate with their quality. The better–quality options will then inevitably cost more. Pellets can be purchased from the pet store in bulk or in bags. A bag of commercial pellets will cost anywhere between $15 and $30 but should last longer than a month. Your parrot’s diet should also consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, which you can share with him.
- $5–$35 per month
Grooming, when it comes to parrots, refers to the maintenance of his nails, wings, and beaks. You may not have to pay a single cent to groom your Amazon, as he is pretty good at maintaining his own grooming regimen when he preens himself. However, some owners like clipping their bird’s wings to prevent loss or escape. A professional groomer or veterinarian should handle this. Additionally, nail trimming may be necessary if your Amazon’s nails get long enough to scratch your skin. Again, we recommend having a professional show you how to do this, as over-trimming can decrease your bird’s stability and may make him more likely to fall from his perch.
Beak trims are only necessary if excess keratin accumulates on your Amazon’s beak. Your vet can handle this by using special sanding tools. You may wish to invest in abrasive surfaces like rough wood or concrete perches to reduce the likelihood of your Amazon needing a beak trim in the future.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $0–$65+ per month
If you’re doing your due diligence with your Amazon’s husbandry, you shouldn’t have monthly costs for your pet. A healthy bird should visit an avian vet at least once yearly to form a baseline, but monthly visits are unnecessary unless your Amazon has health problems or requires medication.
- $0–$30 per month
Pet insurance is a great investment for pet owners, but finding an insurer to cover our avian family members is challenging. Nationwide is one of the best-known options and is the only insurance company in the U.S. that will consider insuring exotic pets. If you have the funds available, we recommend opting for insurance as it can help cut back on astronomical vet fees. It’s well-known that exotic vets, such as those that treat birds, charge extra for their expertise.
A bird’s environment is pretty easy to maintain, provided you do some maintenance daily. Cage liners or bedding should be changed daily. To save money, we recommend using old newspapers instead. A box of cage liners will cost between $10 and $25, and they won’t last you as long as you think. Bedding costs will depend on what type you choose. Paper bedding can cost as little as $10 for a huge bag, while pine or aspen can run you closer to $25.
You must also invest in bird–safe cleaners as most chemicals you use to clean the rest of your home are unsafe for birds. A single cleaner container will last you several months, so it’s worth the investment.
Amazons need UV lighting as it plays a role in their health and encourages natural behaviors. Natural exposure two to three times a week outside is recommended during the warmer months; however, it may not be ideal if your bird doesn’t wear a harness well or the area you live in has a lot of predators. You can provide UV lighting with a fixture and bulb. The bulbs should be replaced every six months as they become less effective over time.
Your Amazon is a busy, intelligent bird that requires a fulfilling environment to stay happy and healthy. With that in mind, one of your biggest monthly costs is likely to be entertainment. Toys are necessary for physical and mental stimulation, and your bird will make quick work of them. Parrots are notoriously hard on toys, but that’s okay as that’s what they’re for.
The right type of toys allows your bird to hone his natural skills, like foraging. Toys are meant to be destroyed, so you’ll need a budget to replace his toys every few weeks.
Additionally, it is recommended to have enough on hand to rotate them weekly, so there’s always something new to play with.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning an Amazon Parrot
- $35–$270 per month
As you can see, the total monthly costs of owning an Amazon can vary. At the very least, you should expect to pay around $15 per month for feeding your bird. You may not have to pay for all the ongoing costs every month, but you should still budget for them.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Aside from ongoing and initial costs, you should expect to incur additional costs occasionally. For example, if you’re going away on vacation, you must pay to have someone watch your Amazon. He should never be left alone for extended periods, so we do recommend considering boarding him versus having a sitter come once per day. Boarding typically costs anywhere between $25 and $30 per day. If this isn’t in your budget, you can expect to pay around half of that for a pet sitter instead. Of course, you can cut these costs to $0 by asking friends or family members to watch your bird while you’re away.
Owning an Amazon Parrot on a Budget
Amazons are not cheap pets to acquire nor care for. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you can make it work by being very careful with how you spend your money. We recommend setting aside money from each pay cheque to go toward ongoing and surprise costs you may encounter as a bird owner. This will ensure you always have cash at the end of the day to feed and entertain your Amazon properly and have the funds available if an emergency arises.
Saving Money on Amazon Parrot Care
As expensive as it is to keep an Amazon as a pet, there are several things you can do to save money on your parrot’s care.
As mentioned above, the entertainment costs are one of the biggest ongoing expenses you’ll have as an Amazon parent. Thankfully, DIYing your own toys is super simple and cheap. You can even use things destined for your recycling bin, like egg cartons or shredded paper, so your homemade toys don’t have to cost a penny. You can also DIY parrot cage or cleaning supplies by creating your own cleaner using things you probably already have in your home: white vinegar and water.
Another way to save money is by scouring local marketplaces and garage sale websites for second–hand equipment. You may be able to find a bird cage for super cheap, which will take a huge load off of your shoulders.
Birds are not the cheapest pets to acquire or pay for, but we hope our blog has shed some light on the costs associated with Amazon parrot ownership. The one-time costs can run between $335 and $2,454+ depending on what type of Amazon you adopt and how you acquire said pet. The monthly fees will cost between $35 and $270 or more, depending on your lifestyle and spending habits. Savvy bird owners can get away with spending the bare minimum monthly because they’re DIYing toys, shopping for second-hand products, and making their own cage liners and chemicals.
Unfortunately, the initial and ongoing costs of owning a parrot can be an obstacle for potential owners to the point that they don’t even go through with the adoption as they cannot afford the care. Since you’ve read our guide, you’re way ahead of other potential pet owners who don’t do their due diligence before adopting.