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10 Types of Amazon Parrots: Pictures, Facts & History

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By Nicole Cosgrove

mealy amazon parrot birds perched on a branch (Amazona farinosa farinosa)

Amazon parrots are among the most beautiful and intelligent parrots in the world, which makes them a top choice for bird lovers. They are fun, affectionate, have an incredible ability to learn words, and are often comical. There are over 30 species of Amazon parrots, but sadly, not all Amazon parrots are suitable for pet ownership.

If you are looking to bring home an Amazon parrot but aren’t sure which ones may be suitable or available, we are here to help you! In this article, we go more in-depth with 10 of the most popular types of Amazons that can be your next feathered friend.

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How Are Amazon Parrots Classified?

Amazon parrots, sometimes known as Amazons, are members of the Psittacidae family of birds and are found primarily in Central and South America. There are many varieties of Amazon parrots, each with distinctive color patterns.

Amazon parrots typically have green bodies but can include multicolored plumage and large, strong beaks, depending on the species. They are typically curious, friendly, playful, and highly intelligent. Despite being among the most popular pet parrots, just a few more than 30 species of amazons are regularly kept as pets.

The 10 Types of Amazon Parrots

1. Red Lored Amazon Parrot

red-lored amazon or red-lored parrot (Amazona autumnalis)
Image Credit: Milan Zygmunt, Shutterstock
Weight: 11–17 ounces
Length: 12–14 inches
Appearance: Vivid green feathers, patches of red on forehead, yellow cheeks, touches of red on wings
Lifespan: Up to 80 years

The Red-Lored Amazon parrot is one of the most popular pet parrots and can live up to 80 years in captivity. They are loved for their extraordinary talking abilities, fun antics, and humorous character. They are also very loyal birds that form a strong bond with their family. The Red-Lorde is highly intelligent and requires training and attention to be happy and content.

Mexico, Central America, and South America are the natural habitats of the Red-Lored Amazon parrot. Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus, who developed the current taxonomy system, first recorded this species in 1758. The Red-Lored Amazon parrot is a subspecies that comes in a few sizes but shares a similar appearance. Despite not being an endangered species, the Red-Lored Amazon is slowly declining due to various issues, such as habitat degradation and their growing appeal as pets.


2. Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot

blue fronted amazon (amazona aestiva xanthopteryx) parrot bird
Image Credit: aabeele, Shutterstock
Weight: 14–15 ounces
Length: 15–17 inches
Appearance: Primarily green, yellow surrounding the eyes, turquoise blue patch above the beak, touches of red on flight feathers
Lifespan: 40–80 years

Blue-fronted Amazon parrots have playful personalities and love to perform. While they may not be as cuddly as other Amazon parrots, they do love to be around their owners, making them great pets for people who have a lot of time to give. Although they can be paired with other Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrots and get along with other species, socializing them correctly may take some effort.

Blue-fronted Amazon parrots were first recorded in zoological records in 1758 by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus. The Blue-fronted Parrot, which is native to Brazil, thrives in a variety of water-rich habitats. Wild populations of this species can be found in Paraguay, Bolivia, and northern Argentina, extending south to Buenos Aires.


3. Orange-Winged Amazon Parrot

orange winged amazon parrot bird perched on a branch
Image Credit: Chelsea Sampson, Shutterstock
Weight: 11–12 ounces
Length: Up to 13 inches long
Appearance: Predominantly green, yellow forehead and cheeks, light blue above the eyes, orange on the front edge of their wings
Lifespan: 60–80 years

Orange-winged Amazons are loving and devoted pets that form strong bonds with their owners. They are calmer and gentler than other Amazons, yet they still have a humorous personality that appeals to bird fans worldwide. A quality that many people find endearing about this intelligent species is that they have excellent talking skills and are very quick learners.

Everyone in the family will probably get along with your Orange-Winged Amazon parrot, but they’ll develop the strongest attachment to just one person. Because the birds are incredibly sociable, expect lots of interaction.

The Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus first formally described the orange-winged amazon in 1766. Due to the enormous quantities of birds imported from Guyana until 2005, when the importation of wild-caught birds was made illegal, the Amazon has long been the most prevalent in Europe. The Orange-winged Amazon is a very widespread species across much of their range and is considered to be a species of least concern.


4. Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot

yellow naped amazon parrot bird perched on a branch in costa rica
Image Credit: Jim Cumming, Shutterstock
Weight: Up to 1 pound
Length: 12–15 inches
Appearance: Mostly bright green, bright yellow on the nape and back of the neck
Lifespan: 50– 70 years

Yellow-naped Amazon parrots are one of the most popular species. They love to be the center of attention and can easily form bonds with their families. They will also have you wowed with their incredible talking abilities and intelligence and entertained by their comical nature. However, because they are known to exhibit a brief phase of mild aggression as they reach adolescence, they are not the best birds for households with young children.

The Yellow-naped Amazon is endangered in the wild, like many others, due to unlawful trapping and deforestation. They are indigenous to northern South America and the Pacific side of Central America. They primarily inhabit Northwest Costa Rica and Southern Mexico.


5. Double Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrot

double yellow headed amazon parrot
Image Credit: Fine Art Photos, Shutterstock
Weight: 15–22 ounces
Length: 15–17 inches
Appearance: Green body, yellow head, ring of white around the eyes
Lifespan: 60–80 years

Double Yellow-headed Amazons are renowned for being incredibly chatty. Many engage in conversation with their owners and try to attract attention. While they generally bond with one owner, ensuring several family members handle the bird frequently, especially when they’re young, will help them accept more people.

Additionally, they frequently scream at dawn and dusk, which is normal for the species. When they achieve sexual maturity, they may also experience a hormonal phase. This often happens between 4 months and a year but may persist for up to 2 years or several months. They can be a little aggressive at this stage, which is why Double Yellow-Headed Amazons aren’t typically recommended for children.

They are endangered, which makes owning them a little more challenging. To confirm that the bird was bred in captivity, documentation is necessary. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America and are usually found in forests and areas close to water. Wild Double yellow-headed Amazon parrot populations have been introduced in various places, including Stuttgart, Germany, and numerous regions in southern California.


6. Lilac Crowned Amazon Parrot

lilac crowned amazon parrot also known as finsch's amazon bird
Image Credit: Glass and Nature, Shutterstock
Weight: Up to 11 ounces
Length: Up to 13 inches
Appearance: Predominantly green, red above the eyes that transitions to lilac down the back of the head and neck. Hints of blue and red in their flight feathers.
Lifespan: 60 –80 years

Lilac-crowned Amazons, also known as Finch’s Amazons, are medium-sized parrots with endearing personalities that are devoted companions when adequately socialized. While lilac-crowned Amazons are regarded to be skilled talkers, the caliber of their speech isn’t as good as that of some of the other Amazon species, and some may never learn to speak. They make better pets than other aggressive Amazons since they are typically more docile.

The Lilac Crowned Amazon parrot’s native habitat is on the Pacific coast of Western Mexico. Sadly, their population is quickly falling, making them one of the species that are most in danger. Nevertheless, because of the efforts of avian breeders, getting a Lilac Crowned Amazon in captivity is not very challenging.


7. Green-Cheeked Amazon Parrot

red-crowned amazon (Amazona viridigenalis), also known as the red-crowned parrot, green-cheeked amazon or Mexican red-headed parrot
Image Credit: Tracy Starr, Shutterstock
Weight: 10–12 ounce
Length: 12–13 inches
Appearance: Mostly green, red crown and forehead, purple band down the neck from the back of the eye
Lifespan: Up to 70 years

The Green-cheeked Amazon is one of the finest speakers if you’re looking for a good conversationalist. The Mexican Red-Headed Parrot is another name for the species, and they prefer to be with their flock constantly, whether it consists of humans or other birds. Although Green Cheeked Amazons are known for being friendly birds, some owners claim their curiosity makes them more likely than other Amazons to get into trouble.

The Green-cheeked Amazon parrot is an endangered species indigenous to the lowlands of northern Veracruz and northeastern Mexico, but since the 1970s, they have been successfully reproducing in captivity.


8. White Fronted Amazon Parrot

white fronted amazon parrot bird in mexico
Image Credit: Maciej Czekajewski, Shutterstock
Weight: 6-5–8.7 ounces
Length: Up to 10 inches
Appearance: Green body, white forehead, red around the eyes, some red flight feathers, and blue feathers on the outside of the wings
Lifespan: 30–40 years

One of the most beautiful members of the Amazon parrot family, and a wonderful is the White-fronted Amazon parrot. Compared to other Amazons, they’re also one of the tiniest, but they make up for their small stature with a loving temperament and entertaining behavior.

The White-fronted Amazon, like most Amazon parrots, can be loud, which should be taken into account by those sensitive to noise. Some birds also have excellent vocabularies, even though talking is not one of their strengths.

The White-fronted Amazon was originally categorized and described by Swedish naturalist Andres Sparrman in 1788. They’re native to Central America and Mexico and are most frequently spotted in small flocks of up to 20 birds. They can be found in various settings, from drier landscapes like savannahs of cacti to wetter ones like rainforests.

Although their populations are stable, they are in decline due to habitat degradation, capture for export, and local use as pets.  Although not regularly bred, White-fronted Amazons were heavily imported into the United States in the 1970s and 1980s.


9. Panama Amazon Parrot

Yellow-crowned amazon Parrot (Amazona ochrocephala) perched on a cashew tree in the forests of Panama
Image Credit: Gualberto Becerra, Shutterstock
Weight: 12–14 inches
Length: Up to 14 inches
Appearance: Predominantly green with a splash of yellow on the forehead, red can be seen on their flight feathers and under the tail
Lifespan: 40–60 years

Despite being less common than the other well-known Amazon parrots, Panama Amazon parrots have gained popularity as pets recently. The Panama Amazon Parrot is regarded as being fairly gentle compared to other Amazon Parrots, but they have great speaking skills and can be rather vocal and noisy.

The Panama Yellow-fronted Amazon is very intelligent, curious, devoted, and simple to tame and train. They adore the company of humans, are highly sociable, and quickly form bonds with their owners. They are naturally playful, making them amusing and enjoyable pets.

The Panama Amazon is a subspecies of the Yellow-headed Amazon, and they are native to the Pearl Islands, Coiba, and Northwest Columbia.


10. Mealy Amazon Parrot

A Mealy Amazon Parrot waiting for food to be ready
Image Credit: Syamoes, Shutterstock
Weight: 25–27 ounces
Length: 15–17 inches
Appearance: Predominantly green, blue/violet patch on the top of the head, lime green tail feathers
Lifespan: 60–80 years

One of the largest species of Amazon parrots is the Mealy Amazon parrot. They are distinguished from other Amazon parrots by their reputation for being peaceful and gentle. They are incredibly affectionate and form a close bond with their owners. They are excellent pets for bird owners who would like a bird with a more relaxed attitude.

Mealy Amazons are regarded as non-aggressive and generally get along nicely with other birds because they don’t pinch or bite. They were first discovered in the 1780s and typically live in the canopies and tree holes of tropical forests and woods.

They are native to central and southern America. Their geographic range stretches from southern Mexico to some areas of Bolivia and Brazil, but they are also present in places like Peru and Columbia.

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Conclusion

Amazon parrots make lovely pets. They are highly intelligent, playful, and sociable, and most of them have a remarkable ability to learn words. They will undoubtedly require your attention, but the bond that you establish is irreplicable. Remember that some Amazons are critically endangered, so it’s extremely important to research your options and find a reputable breeder who actively supports conservation efforts.


Featured Image Credit: Ondrej Chvatal, Shutterstock

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