Red-tailed Amazon Parrots

Red-tailed Amazon

General Information about Amazon Parrots



The Red-tailed Amazon Parrot (Amazona brasiliensis) is endemic to South-eastern Brazil. Nowadays they are only found in a few coastal areas in states of Sao Paulo and Parana. Previously, its range extended from southeast Sao Paulo to Rio Grande do Sul. Its natural habit includes atlantic forests and mangrove areas.

Habitat destruction, hunting and trapping for the pet trade has caused this parrot to join the long list of critically endangered parrots. In 1991-92, the population had fallen below 2000 individuals. Following on-going conservation efforts, the most recent estimate suggests a population of around 6600.


Description:

The Red-tailed Amazon usually measure around 14 - 14.8 ins (~35 - 37 cm) in length (including tail) and weigh around 15 oz or 425 g.

The plumage is mostly green, except for the following:

  • The forehead and lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird's head) are dull red and the crown, and the nape is rose-red edged bluish-lilac.
  • The chin and cheeks pinkish-blue.
  • The ear-coverts (the feathers covering the ears) are dull violet-blue and the edge of wing is red.
  • The secondaries (shorter, upper "arm" feathers) are green becoming dark blue towards tips and the outer webs to outer tail-feathers are blue.
  • The tail green with greenish-yellow tips and they have a broad red band across the tail.
  • The bill is horn-colored with grey tips, the irises are orange red and their feet grey.

Immatures have less red to the forehead and have a duller plumage. Their irises are dark.


Natural Diet / Feeding

These social parrots are usually found in pairs or flocks, which may at time number several hundred individuals in the non-breeding season. They forage mainly for fruits, but their diet also includes seeds, flowers, nectar, and, rarely, insects.


Breeding

In their natural habitat, the Red-tailed Amazons breed in mangrove and coastal forests on islands. The breeding season lasts from September to February. Females lay 3-4 eggs in a natural tree cavities. The incubation period is 27 to 28 days. The young fledge 50 to 55 days after hatching.


Aviculture:

These parrots can be very noisy – especially so during the early morning hours and late afternoons / evenings.  

They enjoy bathing and there are multiple reasons both for their health and well-being to provide them with daily bathing opportunities.

These parrots are very enthusiastic chewers.  Providing them with fresh branches regularly is therefore recommended.  They may get aggressive towards other birds and may even show aggression towards their care takers.

Breeding in aviculture is seldom achieved and little is known of their breeding habits.  It has been recommended to isolate pairs during the breeding season, which usually begins in the winter.  Proper warmth and humidity needs to be assured.
 
The hen usually lays 2 to 4 eggs, which she incubates for 26 - 28 days.  The young fletch when they are about 8 weeks old.

A suitable nesting box would have these dimensions:   12 x 12 x 24 ins (30 x 30 x 60 cm) with entrance hole 3 ins (8 cm) in diameter.

An outside aviary with an indoor shelter should be provided:  outside flight 12 x 6 x 6 ft  (4 x 2 x 2 m); adjacent shelter 6 x 3 x 6 ft (2 x 1 x 2 m).  Metal construction is recommended as these parrots are heavy chewers.  For this reason alone, a constant supply of fresh branches should be provided to satisfy their need to chew.

Recommended temperature / conditions:  These amazons are susceptible during the acclimatization period and proper environmental conditions need to be provided, including sufficient humidity and heated areas to protect them during cold spells.  During the acclimatization period they should not be exposed to temperatures below 72°F  (22°C).  Later on, they should tolerate temperatures as low as 59°F (15°C). 

Diet: They should be provided with a good quality seed mix of safflower, wheat, hemp, oats, paddy rice, buckwheat and mungo beans; sprouted sunflower; and a variety of fruit (oranges, bananas, peaches, apples, rowanberries, elderberry, rose-hips, half-ripe maize, etc.) and vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, greenfood, such as dandelions, etc).  Some pine-nuts are also appreciated. As is always the case with captive birds, a regular vitamin and mineral supplements should also be given.  During breeding season, bread and biscuits are recommended rearing foods.



Other Relevant Web Resources


Taxonomy:

Species: Scientific: Amazona brasiliensis ... English: Red-tailed Amazon ... Dutch: Roodstaartamazone ... German: Rotschwanzamazone ... French: Amazone du Brésil, Amazone à queue rouge - CITES I - Protected Species




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