Red-tailed Amazon

Red-tailed Amazon

Scientific Name: Amazona brasiliensis
Southeastern Brazil
Average Lifespan: Up to 30+ years
Size: Up to 14 inches
Color: Mainly green
Sounds: Whistler
Interaction: Social

Red-tailed Amazon parrot perching on wood

Photo: adair broughton | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of the Red-tailed Amazon

The Red-tailed Amazon parrot is a medium-sized Amazon specie that grows up to around 14 inches to 14.8 inches in length from head to the bottom of the tail. An average-sized bird could weigh around 15 oz.  The primary color of their body feathers is green, their forehead and lore are light red while the crown and their back neck is pinkish red with some tinge of bluish lilac. They have faded blue cheeks and chin. The color of the ear feathers is dull bluish violet.

Their upper arm wing feathers are green but it fades to blue going down the tips. Their tail is also green but has red band that is very distinct. Their iris color is orange, bill is horn-colored, and their feet are grey. Young birds have lesser red in their feathers and their green plumage is slightly lighter than the adult.

Personality and Temperament

The Red-tailed Amazon is known to be noisy at any part of the day but most particularly during the early morning and the early part of the evening.  They are very enthusiastic chewers so it is important to offer them blocks of woods or fresh wood branches to keep their beak in proper form and to suffice their urge for chewing.

This Amazon specie can get a little too aggressive at times particularly to other species of birds and even to their handlers. But this kind of behavior can be corrected at young age especially when they are exposed to hand-rearing. This aggression is also typical during breeding season.

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In the wild, these birds normally flock with the same species and they are often seen in pairs. They love to hangout in the coastal islands where they get their primary source of food. They forage mainly on the ground for fruits, flower, seeds, and insects.

As pets, these birds love water so much and they take every opportunity to be in the water to play and bathe. This is important for their hygiene and their overall well-being so it is important to offer them with a shallow water pan in their cage. Replace the water regularly specially during the hot season.

Health and Care

In the wild their diet consists primarily of seeds, nectars, flowers, and sometimes insects. For captive birds you can offer them with specially formulated parrot seed mix comprising of several seeds such as millet, oats, sunflower, and safflower. You may also offer fruits and vegetables from time to time. Cooked beans, corns, and kibbles can also be given to them. These birds also love pine nuts.

Since they are large in size, their cage must have a minimum size of 12 x 6 x 6 feet to accommodate their movements and wing span. This also helps them to move conveniently and do their regular exercise. For their nesting box, a minimum of 12 x 12 x 24 inches space must be provided with an entrance hole with a diameter of about 3 inches.

History and Background

This Amazon specie originated from the Southeastern regions of Brazil particularly in the Atlantic forests and mangrove areas of Sao Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. However, these days, the population of this specie has reported to be declining rapidly in their native land and only few of them were found in the coastal areas of Sao Paulo and Parana.

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The most common reasons for their decline include destruction of their natural habitat for commercial purposes, illegal hunting, and trapping for pet trade. These days the Red-tailed Amazon has been included as one of the most critically endangered parrot species.

The continuous effort to save this specie from becoming extinct is paying off because from the 2000 reported birds in 1992, the population increased to an estimate of 6600 as of the recent report.

The female Red-tailed Amazon normally produces around 2 to 4 eggs per clutch and incubated for 26 to 28 days. The young birds show signs of independence as early as about 8 weeks old in which they start to fledge from their nest until becoming fully independent.

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