The Saint Lucia Amazon Parrot (Amazona versicolor) is native to the island of St. Lucia in the Lesser Antilles where they inhabit montane forest, tall secondary vegetation and humid forested slopes.
At this point of time they are critically endangered due to habitat destruction and illegal trapping for the pet trade. There are now less than 400 birds existing in their natural habitat with a reduced distribution area of 22 square miles.
Their average length is about 17 - 17.2 inches (43 cm).
The general plumage is green, with each feather having a blackish edging. The lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird's head), forehead and forecrown are violet-blue turning pale blue on the back of the crown. Most parrots of this species have a variable red band to the breast. The breast feathers have a reddish-brown edging.
The abdomen is brownish-red with green base to feathers; and the lower abdomen and thighs are pale green.
The edge of the wings, the under wing-coverts, under tail-coverts and upper tail-coverts are yellowish-green. The primaries (= longest wing feathers) are violet-blue; secondaries (shorter, upper "arm" feathers) are green with violet-blue tips; and the outer secondaries have a red speculum (= distinctive wing patch) ; while the primary wing feathers are green with violet-blue tinge and the underside of the wings are greenish-blue. The upperside of the tail-feathers with broad yellowish-green tips; the outer tail-feathers have a reddish base to the inner webs and bluish outer webs. The underside of the tail-feathers are pale green.
The bill is grey with a horn-colored base to upper beak. The irises are orange. Their feet are grey.
Immatures have brown irises.
These parrots are very rare in captivity and a lot is yet to be learned about their breeding requirements. It has been recommended that pairs are isolated in the breeding season as they tend to get aggressive towards other birds during this time. Breeding activities usually start in March and go on until August. The hen lays 1 to 2 eggs which she incubates for 24 days. The young fletch when they are 70 to 77 days old.
They are medium-noisy to noisy and hard chewers, therefore requiring a constant supply of branches to satisfy their urge to chew. Metal construction aviaries / flights are necessary with minimum dimensions being 30 x 9 x 8 ft (10 x 3 x 2.5 m) with adjoining inside area of 9 x 9 x 8 ft (3 x 3 x 2.5 m). A suitable nest box would be 14 x 14 x 48 ins (35 x 35 x 120 cm).
'Species: Scientific: Amazona versicolor ... English: Saint Lucia Amazon ... Dutch: Sint Lucia Amazone, Blauwmaskeramazone ... German: Blauwmasken Amazone ... French: Amazone versicolor, Amazone de Santa Lucia - CITES I - Protected Species
Distribution: St. Lucia in the Caribbean Lesser Antilles
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
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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