The Red-spectacled Amazon or Pretre's Amazon (Amazona pretrei) is native to south-eastern Brazil, State to Rio Grande do Sul and northern Uruguay, and possibly seasonal migrations of small populations may occur to north-eastern Argentina and the extreme south-eastern Paraguay.
This parrot's preferred habitat includes forest areas, particularly seeking out Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia) and Podocarpus lamberti forest up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft). They may also occur in forested areas along rivers at lowest altitude and plantations.
They usually congregate in family groups or flocks of between 5 and 150 birds. Some times large gatherings can be seen in roosting places. During the breeding season, pairs usually separate to prepare for the task of raising a family. The average clutch size consists of 3 to 4 eggs which are incubated for 26 to 27 days.
They tend to be quiet during breeding seasons and difficult to detect. Outside these times, they are conspicuous and noisy, and they can frequently be seen flying over trees. They often fly great distances and seasonal migration has been noted depending on availability of food sources.
This parrot is now very rare and close to extinction due to habitat destruction and trapping for the pet trade.
This parrot averages 12.4 - 13 ins. (31 - 33 cm) in length - including the tail, and weigh between 8.8 - 10.6 oz (250 - 300 grams).
The plumage is generally green; with exception of wings all feathers with distinct black edging and some sparse red spots on head, variable extent of red on forehead, lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird's head) and around the eyes,.
The forehead, lores, crown, eye area, lower thighs, bend, edge of wing as well as feathers in between are green and the primary wing feathers are red. The primaries (= longest wing feathers) are green with blue tips. The under-wing and under-tail coverts as well as underside of wings are green. The upperside of the tail is green with yellowish-green tips and red to base of inner webs of three outer feathers. The periophthalmic (eye) ring is whitish. The bill horn-colored / yellowish and the irises are orange-yellow. The feet are pale yellowish-grey.
Female look alike, but they have less red on the bend of the wing (up to six red primary wing feathers). The remainder of the primary wing feathers are green. The edges of the wings are often green. The feathers between bend and edge of wing are green.
Immatures look like females, but they have dark brown irises and some green primary wing feathers. There is less red to the plumage.
Red-spectacled amazons can live 50 years or longer, provided they receive good care.
They reach reproductive maturity when they are 3 - 4 years old.
Captive Red-spectacled Amazon Parrots:
These parrots are comparatively quiet compared to other amazon species. They are inquisitive and usually calm. They have a pleasing nature, but can get occasionally noisy, especially in early morning and evenings. They soon grow confiding. Outside the breeding season, they can be set up in a colony system. They are hard chewers and enjoy being sprayed. They are excellent flyers and climbers and ample opportunities for exercising should be provided.
Captive breeding has seldom been achieved. Only a few birds are established in breeding situations. Breeding pairs need to be isolated during the breeding season as they tend to get aggressive towards other birds during this time. The hen lays 3 to 4 eggs, which she incubates for 26 to 27 days. The young fledge when they are about 50 to 55 days old, but the parents continue to feed them for up to 11 weeks after leaving the nest. Any pairs set up in breeding situations should be protected from disturbances, as they may abandon their breeding efforts if spooked or upset.
They should have spacious accommodations: an outside aviary of the following minimum dimensions would be suitable: 15 x 3 x 6 ft (5 x 1 x 2 m) with adjoining shelter 3 x 4.5 x 6 ft (1 x 1.5 x 2 m). As they are avid chewers, metal construction is recommended. A roosting box should be provided at all times, with the following dimensions: 12 x 12 x 16 ins (30 x 30 x 40 cm) to protect from frost in winter and during the summer they will serve as nesting boxes.
Other Relevant Web Resources
- Amazon Species ... Photos of the Different Amazon Parrot Species for Identification
- Common Health Problems / Diseases of the Amazon Parrots
- Amazon Nutrition / Diet for Optimal Health
- Amazon Parrots as Pets
- Amazon Parrot Incubation Data
Diet / Feeding
The bulk of the Red Spectacled Amazon's natural diet consists of seeds, berries, fruits (Eugenia sp, Campomanesia sp, Nectandra spp, Ocotea spp.); probably also flowers, buds and nuts foraged in trees.
Captive food items should include a quality seed mix consisting of safflower, wheat, oats, canary grass seed and various millets; sprouted and with sunflower in spring and summer; millet spray. Plenty of fruit and vegetables, especially apple, carrot, grapes, pear and orange; rose-hip, elder and rowan berries; half-ripe maize; greenfood; as well as regular mineral supplements and vitamins. Rearing foods should also include plenty of sprouted food, biscuits and protein-rich food items such as soft cheese and egg food or hard-boiled eggs with shell.
To learn more about the diet of the captive Amazon Parrot, please visit this webpage.
Species: Scientific: Amazona pretrei ... English: Red-spectacled Amazon ... Dutch: Roodbrilamazone, Prachtamazone ... German: Prachtamazone ... French: Amazone de pretrei - CITES I - Protected Species
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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