Amazons are most active from dawn to about 10:00 a.m. They become active again from about 4:00 p.m. until dusk. In captivity it is during these times that some become quite noisy. When alarmed by an intruder, they become very vocal and remain so after all signs of the intruder have vanished. The amount of noise varies with different species and individuals. These times during the day are perfect for speech training as it is the bird’s natural vocalization time.
The Amazon is a stocky-built bird with a square tail. Those commonly kept for pets are mostly green with light bone or dark gray beaks. They range in size from 10 to 16 inches. Amazons have green body feathers, varying from dark bluish green to a yellow green.
Amazons seem plain at first glance, but that quickly changes when they flare into display. In full display, they fan out their tails revealing red and yellow colors. The Amazon raises his head feathers, dilates his eyes and walks stiff legged. He holds his wings away from his body, drops them slightly, and fans the lower wing feathers revealing dazzling bright feathers. Amazons also fan their nape feathers similar to Hawkhead parrots. Although the feathers are not as long, they still make a beautiful frame for their faces. It is easy to see how they would intimidate another male or impress a female. Many Amazon species have eyelashes. If you look closely, you can see the black lashes on a Blue Front.
Amazons tend to become obese as they age. It is essential that they learn to eat healthy, low fat food early in life. Amazons tend to have Vitamin A deficiencies. Since one can easily overdose with Vitamin A additives, it is important that you include Vitamin A naturally in their diet. Some foods containing Vitamin A are leafy dark green vegetables and yellow vegetables such as carrots, corn, and squash. In the wild they eat nuts, fruits, berries, pods, seeds, buds and blossoms. The average owner of a pet Amazon should give him pellets, vegetables, fruits, and even a small amount of seed (minus safflower and sunflower seeds) with an occasional nut as a treat. You can share your low fat, low salt people food with your Amazon as well. Avoid foods with preservatives, food colorings or any other additives. Do not give avocado, chocolate or alcohol.
Food is very important to an Amazon. Most Amazons switch to a healthy diet easily. When you are late with their food, some Amazons will charge and even bite you for not feeding them sooner. Their love of food makes a good reward in training. Amazons will do almost anything for treats.
The cage should be square or rectangular. Round cages are not as suitable as they can cause the bird to develop a nervous turning and twisting of the head. The bars should be thick enough that the parrot cannot bite through them. Cage doors should allow the bird to come in and out of the cage with ease. These birds quickly learn how to open their cages so a good lock may be necessary. Amazons by nature enjoy climbing more than flying. If there are no horizontal bars on the cage, be certain to supply a playground where they can get the climbing exercise they need. Place the Amazon cage below eye level.
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