Based on the photos featured throughout this website, you would be correct in assuming that here at The Laughing Parrot, we are just a bit partial to the genus Amazona. Amazons may not be the perfect parrot for everyone, but they do seem to suit my personality perfectly. I'm not sure who should get credit for saying it, but whoever it was summed it up perfectly when they said "If the African Grey could be described as the college intellectual, then the Amazon would have to be the class clown!" At a party, the African Grey would be discussing politics and world order. The Amazon on the other hand would be the one with the lamp shade on his head!
One of my favorite characteristics of the Amazon is their terrific ability to entertain themselves (as opposed to my Macaw who must BE entertained!). Give an Amazon parrot a toy box full of foot toys or a toy to destroy and you've got one happy, happy parrot!
I am a former breeder of 3rd generation "Amazona ochrocephala ochrocephala" more commonly known as Yellow Crowned Amazons - also frequently referred to as Yellow Fronted Amazons. Yellow Crowns are generally great talkers and seem to have a more even temperament and laid-back personality than many other species of Amazons.
Young Amazons are usually very active birds. Older Amazons, without encouragement can become perch potatoes prone to obesity. To promote activity and avoid obesity, a large, roomy cage is recommended. Plenty of out of cage time is also important to their health, happiness and over-all well being. A separate play area such as a play gym or boing also helps encourage additional activity. In the wild, birds don't sit in one spot all day, they move around, explore and forage. Keep your bird happy and active by simulating these natural activities.
Amazons in general can be temperamental and moody. Perhaps this is why Amazons suit my own personality so well. When I'm nice, I'm very, very nice. There are other times however when it's best to just leave me alone until my mood improves. It's in everyone's best interest if you understand that most Amazons are very similar in this regard. When he's not in the mood to play or be social, if possible, just go away and leave him alone. Try again later and chances are he will be in a much better mood, ready to join you for some social interaction. If you push your Amazon when he's not in the mood to socialize, chances are - you will regret it. If you are the type of person who must interact with your bird on your terms, when you desire it, then an Amazon Parrot may not be the best choice for you. If on the other hand, you can respect his moods, go with the flow and adjust your behavior and timing accordingly, an Amazon may just be the perfect match for you.
Paying attention to your Amazon's body language is essential! Amazons are very good at letting you know what sort of mood they are in and what their intentions towards you are - IF you pay attention! When Yellow Crown Huey is feeling social, he greets me with an enthusiastic "HI WHO!" and readily steps onto my hand. There are other times however, when he just wants to be left alone. Using body language, he effectively communicates to me what sort of mood he is in. If I ask him to step up at a time when he's not feeling social, he will generally step back or aside and give me a look that clearly resembles a scowl. This is him saying - "I'm just not in the mood, please just go away and leave me alone". If I insist or push him to step up, he will then lower his head, sometimes emit a low growl or even push my hand away. That's his last warning to me and my cue to back off. If I insist, a bite will surely follow. Now granted there are times when you must insist that your bird step up and cooperate. There are others, like when you just want to play and socialize. It would be these times when you certainly have the option (and it is the best option) to simply say "Ok then, you don't want to play now, I'll leave you alone and maybe you'll feel like it later". Chances are, if you try again a little while later, your bird will be in a much better mood and ready to come out and be the funny little fella you know and love.
When an Amazon is very excited, feeling over-stimulated or aggressive, he will go into what is termed "full display". When tail feathers are fanned, head feathers fluffed, wings held slightly out from the body and eyes pinning - DO NOT, under ANY circumstances reach for that bird! It is during this sort of display that an Amazon is mostly likely to inflict a bite - and often a serious one at that! It is a good idea to teach your Amazon to step onto a hand held perch like a stick or dowel rod so that during these times, you still have a means of picking him up and transporting him to or from his cage.
Most Amazons love showers! Regular showers help keep them happy, but also help maintain good health and keep their feathers in prime condition. With regular showers, you will notice a significant difference in the overall quality and beauty of your birds feathers as well as a lot less dust and dander around your home!
If you would like more information on Amazon parrots or have specific questions about their temperament, behavior, care requirements, etc. please feel free to email us.