Species group: Amazon Parrots
Other common names: Yellow-cheeked Amazon; Salvin’s Amazon (A. a. salvinii)
Scientific name: Amazona autumnalis
The Red-Lored Amazon may be an under-rated parrot. These social, gregarious parrots can learn to talk and sing if you start them early, so channel their enthusiastic voices into talk training, rather than allowing them to squawk for attention. They are outgoing and capable of a deep affection for their owner, but they have the same ability as any other Amazon to become aggressive or territorial if they are not properly managed.
In the wild, the Red-lored Amazon is an adaptable, visible, and gregarious lowland species that can be common or even abundant in Central through northern South America as it gathers for the evening at its nighttime communal roosts. It is a humorous sight indeed to watch them gather in such numbers that one bird accidentally tries to perch on another's back. However, like the other Amazons, it has been persecuted to some extent by trapping for the pet trade.
A chunky mid-sized green parrot with a red forecrown. The Red-Lored Amazon was split into three species in 2014, so inspect the head closely to see which bird you actually hold.The Lilacine Amazon (A. lilacina) is immediately identifiable because its beak is all dark. The Diademed Amazon, A. didaderma, stands out because no other Amazon species boasts a feathered cere. The nominate Red-lored Amazon, A. a. autumnalis, has a white eye-ring, while Salvin's Amazon, A. a. salvini, has a pale yellow eye ring with green cheeks rather than any yellow touching the eye ring.
314 - 485 grams (11 - 17 oz.)
34 centimeters (13.5 in.)
Behavior / temperament:
The Red-lored Amazon is a teachable, enthusiastic bird, as long as you get a bird from a legal source that has not been abused. It isn't always as good of a talker as some of the other species like the Yellow-crowned Amazon, and its voice can be a little screechy, but it isn't as temperamental or difficult to manage either. That said, the Red-lored Amazon is still an Amazon, and you should bring all of your best parrot management skills. Be aware that this social species does need regular play time 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 handheld 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 Red-lored Amazon is to teach and practice tricks, allowing the bird a cute way to earn treats and attention. This bird would never be alone in the wild, so do not be fooled by its resourceful, independent nature. Your Red-lored Amazon looks forward to interacting with you every day and should never be neglected.
The Red-lored 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 Red-lored Amazon to step on a handheld perch on command, 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 chew items, not just in the cage but also on the playgym and various perches around the house.
The Red-lored 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 Red-lored 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
snuggle, happy bird, absolute joy, gentle bird, Personality Plus, affectionate
chronic respiratory infections, behavioural issues, aggression issues, hormonal, oneperson birds
lovely cooing sound, bird safe heater
Incredibly unique bird
I worked with 3 or 4 Red Lored Parrots at a wildlife sanctuary in Costa Rica. Most of them were very vocal and quite easily picked up mimicking humans or other sounds they heard. They were often quite loud, especially when it rained.
What stood out about these parrots was how each one had such a unique personality. We received one which was very shy and obviously suffering some sort of trauma. He would hardly go near anyone and squawked and flew away if we tried. The most memorable parrot we had was Rico who was absolutely unlike any other bird I have known. He would decide whether or not he liked someone upon first meeting them and either attack them if they came too close or, if he decided he liked them, he would constantly nudge them for attention. To those he liked he was extremely affectionate and would love to be rolled over onto his back to have his belly tickled. He also loved climbing under sweaters.
He and many of the other parrots did not like being in a cage. In fact, Rico completely refused and we had to keep him outside the cage at all times.
I would recommend these birds as pets to someone who has the time and energy to give them attention and the ability to let them live outside their cage for most of their life..
From athenarogers Sep 15 2014 8:42PM
Clingy, But Loving
My experience with this bird was varied and sometimes difficult, possibly because of the fact that it had a previous owner for several years, to whom my bird was very attached.
Initially, DG became very attached to me, and would only be obedient and loving towards me for the most part, and would either ignore or be apprehensive of my other family members. However, over time, as I was in school, she became more and more attached to my older sister, until she was completely obedient only to her.
She was sweet and very loving, and largely liked to be left to "do her own thing", however at times she became very clingy, anxious, and somewhat aggressive.
Being an Amazon, she was at times reactive and emotional, and due to her larger size and increased intelligence, was more high-maintenance in general, in terms of attention needed, cleaning, and product consumption.
She was also capable of being somewhat destructive, and couldn't usually be left alone unattended as she would get into and tear apart basically anything you left around that she could get her hands on to "play" with.
However, she was for the most part an extremely loving bird, and if treated well and not neglected or abandoned by previous or current owners, this species can be quite fun and fulfilling pets to have.
I would recommend this pet to someone who does not do a lot of travelling, and for someone who has the time and energy to devote to socializing and caring for this more intelligent species of parrot..
From MelissaJuliette Nov 6 2014 7:55PM