Black-billed Amazon

Black-billed Amazon

Scientific Name: Amazona agilis

Origin: Jamaica and West Indies

Average Lifespan: Up to 50 years or more

Size: Up to 11 inches

Color: Mainly green

Sounds: Whistler

Interaction: Social

black-billed amazon perching on a tree

Photo:  Ron Knight | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Black-billed Amazon

The body of Black-billed Amazon Black-billed parrot is composed mostly of green plumage. They have small red patches on their head as well as on their wings. The wings have bluish green shade and there are tinges of black in their ear coverts. The color of their iris is dark brown and the feet are grey. Their beak color is dark-gray which sometimes looks like black when seen in a couple distant. This is also the reason why they are named Black-billed Amazon.

The female specie looks exactly like the male except that it is smaller in size and their primary wings are green. The juvenile birds have the same physical appearance with that of a female in which all coverts are green. The color changes will start to develop as soon as they reach sexual maturity. These birds are smaller than their yellow counterpart, the Yellow-billed Amazon. In fact, they are the smallest parrot in the whole of Jamaica and other regions where they originated.

Personality and Temperament

The Black-billed Amazon is known for being a very noisy bird.  They are not ideal for pet owners who are not used to loud noises. They can be very noisy at any part of the day making loud, screeching noise which they do to either communicate or to keep themselves entertained. However, these birds are very sweet and gentle. They have very calm temper which makes them endearing to human companionship. They easily trust humans and there are no aggressive behavior being shown by this specie even during breeding season.

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In the wild, their frequent resting spot is in the branches of trees in the rainforests. Whenever it rains, these birds show signs of delight as they will play during rain shower on the branches of the trees, they will sing, hop, and hang upside down.

Health and Care

If you decide to have a Black-billed Amazon as a pet, it is important to consider careful transitioning or acclimatization to the kind of environment you will place them at. Make sure that the temperature is not below than 59 °Farenheit (15°C).  Keep in mind that these birds’ natural habitat is in the Amazon where places are mostly in tropical climates. Their cage must be spacious enough to allow them to fly and exercise their wings. The cage must also have ample space to provide a nesting box.

Keep their diet as healthy as possible by offering high quality bird feeds composed of formulated seeds and pellets.  If possible, include the kinds of food that they eat in the wild like mango, papaya, wild fruits, cucumber, and some berries. Most pet owners of this bird specie feed their birds with corn as they said that corns are one of their most favorite food.

History and Background

These birds are endemic in Jamaica and the regions in the West Indies. They are frequently seen perching in tree branches in the humid and mountainous rainforest. They are the smallest parrot in Jamaica and they are frequently seen hanging out in small groups consisting of 30 birds but of different species from non-aggressive origins. They can be seen grouping with the Yellow-billed Amazon.  They are now considered as one of the endangered Amazon species due to habitat destruction, trapping of wild parrots for pet trade as well as poaching.

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The female Black-billed Amazon can lay up to 4 eggs in single clutch. These eggs are incubated for as long as 26 days. After around 8 six from hatching, the chicks will show signs of readiness to fledge and will completely become independent after few days from the beginning they start leaving their nest.

The relationship between a pair of the Amazon specie is monogamous and their partnership lasts for lifetime. Even when they are in flight, these birds are still seen in pair. In the wild, the primary predator are the snakes and monkeys.

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