Origin: Northern and Central South America
Family: Psittaculidae (Parrots)
Species: A. Amazonica
Weight: around 340g
Height: 13in / 33cm
Appearance: The Orange-winged Amazon is coloured predominantly in green, with blue and yellow feathers on its head, throat and crown, with orange on the tail (visible only when the parrot flies) and yellow-orange on the crown, wings and cheeks. The beak is horn and dark grey. Males and females have an identical pigmentation and overall appearance.
Procreation: Orange-winged Amazons need a mate to build a nest, something they do as a pair. The nest is typically in a tree cavity. The female lays 3-4 eggs. Their incubation period is about 4 weeks and the juveniles are ready to leave the nest after their second month.
Temperament: Orange-winged Amazon parrots are smart, temperamental and very funny birds. Towards people they know they are also friendly and loyal. They’re they are not shy and they’re quick learners who love to show off any tricks they’ve been taught. Orange-winged Amazons enjoy human companionship and love to cuddle and play games. In the breeding season, most of them become aggressive and may even bite. They have very loud voices which they enjoy using, generally by screaming
Talkativeness: Orange-winged Amazons have a great ability to learn, most of them are very good at talking. As natural mimics they can be trained to imitate human sounds and words. Their voices are strong and loud, which can be an issue in the wrong environment.
Environment: Like most large parrots, Orange-winged Amazons require a lot of space, large cages and many toys to keep their minds busy and active. They are not well-suited to small homes, doing better in large houses with lots of space for playing, climbing and hanging. To keep an Orange-winged Amazon happy, it should have wooden toys and company every day.
Preferred Food: Fruits and seeds.
Relationship with People: Orange-winged Amazons require attention and time from their owners, but they are not as needy as many of the other large parrots. They are independent and can enjoy their own company. Towards people they know, they show their fun and loving side and they’re not usually aggressive except in the breeding season. Orange-winged Amazons are mostly a one-person bird rather than a family pet and will suit experienced owners better than novice bird keepers.
Common Health Problems: Upper respiratory infections, poxvirus infections, dietary deficiencies, vitamin A deficiency, obesity, fatty liver syndrome, lead poisoning, cloacal papillomas, chronic depression.
Lifespan: up to 50 years.
The Orange-winged Amazon quickly becomes accustomed to new environments and is easily trained. In general, the owner should give the newly arrived bird several days to get used to that person’s appearance, voice and to its cage. Only then should one proceed to interact with the parrot. A hand-fed baby could be successfully handled from the very beginning.
The Orange-winged Amazons are active parrots that need a sizeable amounts of toys. These birds also require sufficient space to stretch their wings as they enjoy performing climbing activities. A hanging perch, mounted above the cage playpen may serve as an efficient solution. The owner is strongly advised to obtain a movable perch that can follow that person around the house, for these parrots always seek ways to be entertained.
- Taming Basics: Amazons are most susceptible to bird training during the evening. For optimal results, each session should be limited to under 20 minutes, with about an hour of rest in between. One should keep in mind that bird taming and training requires patience. The owner should never resort to verbal or physical abuse, otherwise the pet will no longer trust its master.
- Initial Training: The owner’s first goal in bird training is to convince the parrot to accept a treat. As a sign of gratitude, the bird will allow to be gently scratched on the head. The parrot could then be taught to step on one’s hand.
- Advanced Training: Once the Amazon parrot overcomes its initial reticence, the owner can move on to speech training. Repetition is important when teaching the Amazon parrot how to speak. Success is almost guaranteed, for every Amazon parrot is able to learn at least several words.
Parrots are natural mimics. They will constantly imitate almost any sound they hear. The owner should experiment with a few two- or three-syllable words or phrases, pronounced in a slow and cheerful manner. Timing and consistency are key – mornings and evenings tend to be the time when the parrot is most focused and absorbs the most information. An efficient method of setting speech patterns in place is to pronounce them on a regular basis. The parrot should be trained outside of its cage, with no other distractions present in the room. When the bird is being spoken to, the owner’s intonation should reveal excitement and joy. When teaching the bird how to name objects, small and colourful ones should be prioritized. As a reward, one should grant the bird the correctly guessed object. For example, if the bird correctly names a key chain, it should be given to the bird to play with.
Parrots may learn to speak softer than their usual high-pitched voices. Training should begin once the bird is relaxed. The training period should not exceed more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time. One should begin with simple, short words and phrases, such as “Hello” and “Good morning”.
Amazons may adopt an aggressive behaviour, similar to that of other medium-sized parrots. If the owner wishes the bird to be hand-tamed and to enjoy spending time with that person or with other members of the family, one definitely needs to know how to handle an Amazon. If training is unsuccessful, that person may face difficulties when attempting to socialize the bird with other people.
One has to first determine what kind of treats the parrot would prefer. Parrots will often enjoy eating seeds, nuts, dried and fresh fruits. Such treats should be mixed in a bowl and then served to the parrot inside the cage. One may also add apples, fresh sweetcorn and other fruits and vegetables to the sprouted seed to add variety. When it comes to eating new foods, baby parrots’ behaviour is similar to that of children – the animals need to consume a new type of food at least 6 times before they develop a taste for it. Foods that should be avoided include lettuce, avocado, chocolate and Aloe Vera plants.
The Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica), also locally known as the Orange-winged parrot, is a large-sized Amazon bird. This animal may be encountered in the wildlife areas of South America, specifically in those of Bolivia, Surinam, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana, Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil, Panama and Paraguay. They travel in groups alongside other Amazon species. Like many other types of parrots in these regions, this one is trapped and used for pet trade and as food.
The Orange-winged Amazon nests in tree cavities. The eggs are white and are usually grouped in clutches of three and four. The female incubates the eggs for about 26 days and chicks leave the nest in about 60 days after hatching.
Amazon parrots, as one would expect, are native to the New World. In fact, Christopher Columbus himself apparently gave the name “Amazon” to the green, short-winged parrots that he brought back to Europe after his first voyage. There are 27 species of Amazon parrot found in regions ranging from South America to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Orange-winged Amazons are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In the past, many of them were traded and used as personal pets, causing a decline in local population. Although imported in large numbers during the 1970’s and 1980’s, Orange-winged Amazons remain a relatively uncommon sight in the United States.
Similar to other Amazon parrot breeds, Orange-winged Amazons are most active on a high quality pelleted diet, complemented with a seed mix and daily servings of fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables. A fresh and varied diet will ensure that the bird will maintain good nutrition.
Orange-winged Amazons are noisy birds that produce loud, high-pitched screams. They eat fruits and seeds, including palm tree fruits and, on some occasions, cocoa. They roost communally in palm and other trees. At dawn and dusk, large numbers can be seen at the roost sites. This feral bird becomes an increasingly common sight in Miami, Florida area. They also live in colonies in London, England.
A quality seed mix can be used as the basis for these parrots’ diet, although pelleted foods may serve as an alternative. Not all Orange-winged Amazons, however, will eat these pellets readily. In either case, a selection of fruits and vegetables should be provided on a daily basis. These should often be sprinkled with a multi-purpose supplement in accordance with the recommendations written on the packaging. Cuttlefish bone and coarse grit should also be provided.
In temperate areas, birds that have lived indoor should not be placed inside a garden aviary until the weather becomes mild. During the first few days, the owner should make certain to keep them housed in the aviary shelter so that they may eat in proper conditions. As the next winter approaches, it may be better for them to enter the household once more. After being released back into the aviary during the following spring, they should become properly acclimatized and be able to stay outdoors throughout the entire year. A flight of at least 3.6m (12ft) is recommended.
The parrot needs to be provided with a sleeping cage as well, covered during night-time and placed in a quiet retreat within the house to ensure suitable conditions for rest. A “starter” cage, purchased for weaning and fledgling chicks, may always be converted into a sleep (or boarding) cage once it no longer serves its original purpose. It is recommended to provide parrots with 10 to 12 hours of sleep so that they may maintain a healthy lifestyle.