Amazon parrots live in an area ranging from Mexico to northern Uruguay and northern Argentina. They are also found on a number of islands in the West Indies including Cuba. There are 27 species plus additional subspecies.
Amazon parrots are delightful, medium sized primarily green parrots. They are long lived, highly intelligent and generally very good talkers. I’ve found them to make wonderful pets but they do require a lot of interaction and will want to become a true family member. If you are considering an Amazon Parrot, check out the many varieties available as to individual traits.
Do not buy an Amazon solely for the purpose of having a parrot that talks. Talking ability not only varies between the different Amazon species but also can vary from bird to bird. Some people will say that males are more likely to talk but one of the very best talkers that I’ve encountered was a female Blue Front Amazon. While having a "talking parrot" might seem an important criteria, having a truly loving, socialized bird is what counts down the road. My Blue Front Amazon does not really talk even though Blue Front Amazons are considered to be one of the top talkers; however, he does not scream and he is a wonderful companion … what more can a person want.
This was one of my first commissions. They are the "children" of a couple in the military service. The "parents" provided me with many photos of their Amazons and described their different personalities. The two older birds are Yellow Crowned Amazons. While the younger bird, I believe, is a Mexican Red Head. Unfortunately, the bird isn’t in full color and I have lost track of the owners to verify. As you can see two of the birds are fast friends while the other is mischievous and gets into all the trouble. The oldest Yellow Crowned Amazon also loves to eat and in every photo had something to eat in her claws.
This was one of my early paintings of my pet Blue Front "Precious". Sometimes a little knowledge can be a good thing, as 20 years ago, I thought I knew more about exotic birds than I really did. Precious represents almost everything you should avoid when procuring your bird. He was wild caught, an older bird who had been physically abused. A year before I met Precious, his wing had been broken and his leg was considered "out of joint". The wing had been set and he had been passed around for over a year before my neighbors acquired him. He was probably about the meanest bird I have even seen. When my neighbor asked what she should call him, I couldn’t resist suggesting "Precious" when actually I though "Attila" might be a more appropriate name. During an ice storm he escaped and flew off. After a week my neighbors figured they wouldn’t get him back and acquired a more loving hand-raised Double Yellow Nape. Naturally, a week later, this mean little blue front was returned to them but that is another story. The next thing I knew my daughter told me that Rosalie had said if we agreed, we could have Precious. Believing that every animal deserves a second chance … and after numerous "discussions" with my husband. Well, Precious joined our family. A week later he developed a respiratory and we rushed him to the vet. The vet also x-rayed his leg and discovered it was broken. Precious is definitely a survivor as he survived both the respiratory and the surgery. The ends of the bone had calcified so it was necessary to shave off the ends and install a pin. Fortunately for our finances, this special vet took several of my avian watercolors as payment. What can I say? Twenty years later, Precious is definitely a member of our family and his acquisition really started my interest in painting parrots.
I found this poor old Double Yellow-headed Amazon parrot at a bird show in Florida. She was for sale as a breeder and even missing one eye. My heart want out to her and this is the only painting that I have painted on location. Needless to say, this was a poorly attended show. I only hope that she eventually found a good home. Double Yellow-headed parrots are generally great talkers and make delightful pets.
I did this painting from photos I took of this Yellow Naped Amazon at a bird show in Atlanta. He was a wonderful bird and seemed to like posing for the camera. He also was a very sweet bird as only Yellow Naped Amazons can be. Yellow Napes are very good talkers and many prefer over all the Amazons.
I decided that 20 years later, Precious deserved a second painting. As you may know, the older the bird, the more colorful they become. You can see that he is starting to get more blue on his chest area and the red areas on his wings has increased as well. By the way, after much patience and using chopsticks to scratch him (over a long period of time, gradually moved our hands down the chopsticks until we could use our fingers), he is now very loving to us and we are no longer bitten. Have heard that sometimes a male Amazon will become somewhat "nippy" during breeding season as he matures. We have never had this problem. Unfortunately, this Blue Front Amazon is loving only to us … anyone else who places a finger near him will bleed. It seems that Precious has learned the difference between "love nips" and "serious biting". Even members of the Georgia Caged Bird Society, will not attempt to handle him. We also have his cage open so he has continued access to the playground area on the top of this cage. Precious seems finally to have found his home and has never ventured from his cage area. I do not recommend this to others as there have been many mishaps as well as damage done if a bird is not confined to his cage. However, for Precious, this works well and he is a very happy bird. Blue Front Amazons are very popular as pets due to their beautiful color, their intelligence, and their high talking ability.
This Double Yellow-Naped Amazon is named "Popeye". He is the personal pet of some very fine breeders and travels to the various bird shows with his owners. Popeye is famous for riding around the floor in his own remote controlled car. He has celebrity status among the bird people that I know. Popeye also plays dead when shot with his owner’s finger and he loves to turn his head completely upside down while he watches you. This Double Yellow-Naped Amazon was a wonderful model and loved to pose for my camera. I could have done many paintings of him but had to choose one of the poses with his head upside down … this is the real Popeye. What is interesting is that he is the personal pet of breeders who breed many different types of parrots including macaws, cockatoos, etc.; yet a double Yellow-Naped Amazon is their personal pet.