Orange-winged Amazon

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Is the Orange-winged Amazon right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Orange-winged Parrot; Loro Guaro

Scientific name: Amazona amazonica

The basics:
The Orange-winged Amazon is an under-rated parrot that sometimes seems to have passed from fashion since its heyday in the 1980s, when large numbers could still be legally imported from Bolivia. At that time, they were admired for being relatively gentle and easy to tame, not so temperamental as some of the other gifted talkers like the Double Yellow-headed Amazon. Of course, they are true Amazons, and it is your responsibility to learn their body language and how to read the warning signs of when the bird is feeling hormonal or overloaded. But, all in all, the Orange-winged Amazon can be a calm pet much less inclined to indulge in territorial or cage aggression than some of its rivals. Don't automatically pass them by just because of their quiet plumage.

The Orange-wing is a wide-ranging parrot throughout northern and central South America down through Brazil and Bolivia, able to adapt to a wide range of lowland habitats from river basins to elevations up to 600 meters and even, occasionally, 1,200 meters. In many areas, this adaptable bird is the most common large parrot, and they can gather in huge numbers at communal night roosts. Although trapping and habitat loss are a concern with any Amazon, this species may actually benefit from some land clearing, since they enjoy using a mosaic landscape and thus take advantage of human disturbances.

A large green Amazon with attractive yellow cheeks.

298 - 470 grams (10.5 - 16.5 oz.)

Average size:
31 centimeters (12 in.)

50+ years

Behavior / temperament:
The Orange-winged Amazon has a reputation for being a steady bird with a good voice. Intelligent and social, they can become outstanding pets when they are handled by someone with awareness and ability to lavish some time on their pet. Be aware that this social species does need regular playtime and training time to make the most of your relationship. Learn the bird's body language, so that you can detect when the bird is becoming overloaded and at risk for biting someone.

Many people now advise that no Amazon be allowed to ride on your shoulder. Instead, train your bird to ride your arm or a hand-held perch, so that you can always keep an aware eye on your pet and read its body language. A good way to bond with your Orange-winged Amazon is to teach and practice tricks, allowing the bird a great way to earn treats and attention. For the best chance of teaching this talented mimic to talk, start the training early.

The Orange-winged Amazon, like all Amazons, can be lazy and prone to weight gain, so you must make choices that will stimulate your pet to move and to play instead of just to talk. Offer at least a 36”w x 24”d x 36”h with no more than 1” bar spacing. Make that a powder-coated metal cage, with manzanita perches in all the places where you don't want to change perches frequently, because these birds have a powerful beak and they will chew. If you feel that your bird requires a smaller cage to feel secure, then please have a smaller sleep cage, but they still need a larger area where they have to climb around to get to all their toys, treats, and hiding places when you're not home.

It is crucial that you have a playpen in all the areas where you spend a lot of time. Train the Orange-winged Amazon to step onto a hand-held perch so that you can easily move your parrot out of the cage area, which is sacred territory, and onto neutral ground, where you can play safely together without accidentally stimulating the bird into territorial biting. Provide lots of puzzle toys, foraging toys, and birdsafe wooden items to chew up, not just in the cage but also on the playgym and various perches around the house.

The Orange-winged Amazon demands a varied, nutrient-rich diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. Some, but not all, individuals, have a distressing propensity to gain a lot of weight, to become obese, and to die of fatty liver syndrome. There are several diets that work for this species, but you always want to err on the side of offering low-fat choices. And please consult immediately with an experienced avian vet if you suspect that your bird is either over or under weight.

Many people find that a good pellet-based diet, formulated especially for the Amazons, with lots of chopped vegetables and fruits on the side, can be a good daily diet, but take care that this intelligent bird does not get bored with the pellets. Soak-and-cook, either from a vet or a commercial supplier, can be the answer, although it's more work than pellets. Many people like to create their own grain and legume based diet, which generally includes a mix of well-cooked beans and grains, including brown rice. As a practical matter, you will probably want to prepare the cooked diet in large batches, freezing what you're not using in a couple of days, and then defrosting it as you need it.

Small, high carbohydrate seeds like millet can be included in the mix, but sunflower and peanut are usually held back and only offered when trick training. A well-socialized Orange-winged Amazon will want to help you eat your dinner, which is fine if you eat a healthy diet that's rich in vegetables and whole grain, but never allow any parrot to sample avocado, chocolate, or undercooked meat or poultry.

Written by Elaine Radford


AWESOME Amazons, great speaking voice, Real Sweetie, huge talkers, great personalities, tricks


breeding season, children, hormones, high pitched voice, oneperson bird


smaller sized parrot, mimic

Helpful Orange-winged Amazon Review

Orange-winged Amazon

From BobHaynes Dec 3 2014 11:02AM


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