Animal-World > Birds > Amazon Parrots > Blue-fronted Amazon

Blue-fronted Amazon Parrots

Blue Front Parrot, Turquoise-fronted Amazon

Family: PsittacidaeBlue-fronted Amazon Parrot Amazona aestiva, Blue Front Parrot or Turquoise-fronted Amazon"Pleco"Amazona aestivaPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy April Gonazles
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I had this bird for some time, but I didn't buy him. This may sound weird, but I found him walking down an avenue in my neighborhood, and he refused to fly. I... (more)  JoeBaka

   Blue Front Amazon is a very outgoing bird, a great performer and loves to talk!

   The Blue-fronted Amazon Parrots Amazona aestiva are very sociable extroverts, they love to showoff. These pretty birds have long been popular as pets and are one of the most commonly kept Amazon species. They are mentioned in literature written well over 100 years ago. It is an attractive bird with vivid coloring as an adult, yet each adult will have its own feathering pattern. It is known to have one of the longest life spans, 40 plus years, with the potential of reaching nearly a century in captivity.

   This is an intelligent parrot that can be trained to perform tricks and to talk. Comical and entertaining, the Blue-Front Parrot is a bird that you will frequently see in live animal acts. They love to learn and they even can sing. They definitely love music. They can speak and some Blue-fronted Amazons speak just as well as the yellow Amazon parrots like the Double Yellow-headed Amazon Amazona oratrix, or the Yellow-crowned Amazon Amazona ochrocephala.

   The Blue-Front Amazon can be quite independent, but it is one of the easier going Amazons. It will probably have a favorite in the family, however will normally consider the entire family to be part of its flock and behave accordingly. Yet it can become quite attached to one person and if it is not socialized well, will frequently dive bomb anything it feels is a threat to its human. In general all Amazons can be quite protective of their human counterparts. It is important to socialize this parrot starting at a young age.

   This is a calmer amazon and fun to watch. Blue-fronted Amazons like interaction but are quite content to entertain themselves for hours at a time just playing with their toys. The Blue-Front gets along quite well with other birds. It is usually non-aggressive although the males might get a little territorial during breeding season or molting.

For more information about Amazon Birds see:
Amazon Parrot: Information and Care


Geographic Distribution
Amazona aestiva
See All Data at Google Maps
Data provided by GBIF.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Amazona
  • Species: aestiva

Scientific name

   Amazona aestiva

Distribution

   The Blue-fronted Amazon Amazona aestiva was first described by Linnaeus in 1758. It is also known as the Blue Front Parrot and Turquoise-fronted Amazon. It is native to Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Northern Argentina. In the wild they live in flocks. They inhabit forests and wooded areas where they feed on fruits, berries, seeds, nuts, and the blossoms and leafy buds of foliage.

Status

   The Amazona aestiva is on the IUCN Red List for Endangered Species as Least Concern (LC).

Description

   The Blue-fronted Amazon is similar to the Orange-winged Amazon Amazona amazonica, but is larger overall. The Blue-Front is primarily green, however, there is quite a bit of color to this species. The feathers are edged with a dusky black. Directly above the upper mandible are blue feathers, going into white and then yellow. The yellow feathers can wrap around the head, eyes and neck. The feet and beak are gray. These birds can reach up to 14" (36 cm).

   There is considerable variation in the markings and coloration on the Blue-Front. Sometimes the blue is a vivid turquoise, thus the name Turquoise-fronted Amazon. Sometimes the blue will cover the entire face. The wings, when extended, will show vivid colors of bright red and violet blue. There are also several mutations of the Blue-Front, but the mutations are not readily available in the pet market.

  • Lutino - There is a Lutino mutation where the bright yellow feathers are replaced with white.
  • Cinnamon - The Cinnamon mutation is a cinnamon-yellowish color.
  • Blue - Another mutation produces an all blue bird with pale yellow markings.

Care and feeding

   In the wild, the diet of the Blue-front parrots consists of fruits, plants, seeds and nuts and probably some protein. A pet bird will enjoy a varied diet, including a quality seed mix or a pelleted diet, and many fresh fruits and vegetables. Plenty of human food that is nutritious can be offered, and they like chicken. Avocado and chocolate are toxic to any parrot. They like to eat at the table and enjoy eating with their family. They will let you know when it's dinner time.

Housing

   A roomy cage is required for the Blue-fronted Amazons. Amazon parrot cages must not be too confining, so get one that your pet will be able to feel comfortable in. It is their territory and their safe place.This parrot likes to climb and play, and enjoys expanding its wings. It is recommended that a cage be 2 x 3 feet wide and 2 1/2 to 5 feet high, and with a play pen top. A great thing is to have a hanging perch above that for climbing.

   Blue Front Parrots can tolerate varying temperatures, but they need to be kept away from any drafts. They love to be out of their cage on a playpen, and will enjoy interacting with their human as well as playing with toys. A variety of perches should be used of varying size and texture. A rougher textured perch instead of the smooth, doll-rod types, makes it easier for them to perch and is better for their feet and legs. A concrete perch can be placed as the highest perch in the cage and next to a toy. At times during the day they will perch there and it will save them (and you) from the ordeal of having their nails filed.

   Learn to have fun during bath time. Whether you spritz your amazon with water or an aloe spritz, or just put him in the kitchen sink, make it fun. Your amazon will teach you how he likes to be bathed.

Maintenance

   The basic cage care includes daily cleaning of the water and food dishes. Weekly you should wash all the perches and dirty toys, and the floor should be washed about every other week. A total hosing down and disinfecting of an aviary should be done yearly, replacing anything that needs to be freshened, such as old dishes, toys and perches.

Social Behaviors

   These parrots enjoy human interaction as well as interaction with other birds. They like to be greeted when you come into the room. They like to eat at the table and will let you know when it's dinner time. They are quite content and comfortable to be on a perch and in the company of its humans. Whether watching TV or eating dinner, the Blue-Front wants to be with you. The more your amazon is around its human counterparts, the more socialized it is and the more it will talk, sing and mimic. You will establish a greater attachment between you and your feathered friend the more you are together.

Handling/Training

   The Blue-fronted Amazon quickly becomes accustomed to a new environment and its keeper, and is then ready to start bird training. Generally though, you should give a new arrival a few days to get use to you, your voice and its cage before trying to handle it. A hand fed baby will not need much taming and can often be handled right away, as it is use to human attention.

   For information about training your Blue Front parrot see: Amazon Parrot Care: Handling and Training

Activities

   The Blue-Front is an active amazon and needs plenty of toys, and a hanging perch would be great. A moveable perch that can follow you around the house is almost a requirement. It likes to play, will make its own music and dance, and is quite an acrobat. They entertain themselves quite well and you will enjoy it.

Hand feeding a baby Blue-fronted AmazonBaby Blue-fronted Amazon Photo © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough

Sexing - Sexual Differences

   Blue-fronted Amazons are not sexually dimorphic, females look like males. If gender identification is important (for example for breeding birds) DNA / Feather or surgical sexing is recommended.

Breeding/Reproduction

   These Amazons are commonly bred in captivity. But the sexes must be confirmed and the pair must be harmonious, bonded with each other.

   They will need a nest box that is 31"-39" (80-100 cm) high with an inside diameter of 12"-14" (30-35 cm) and an opening of 4"-5" (10-12 cm). Provide some soft bedding material inside on the bottom of the box.

   The hen will lay two to four eggs (sometimes 5) which she will incubate for about 29 days. The young will leave the nest at proximately 9 weeks old. In some cases the female will not feed all the chicks so a breeder will be feeding some from day one.

Potential Problems

   The Blue-fronted Amazon, though a quieter amazon, can be noisy early in the morning and when the sun is setting. This usually lasts for about 10 minutes. It is just waking up and letting you know it is up or getting ready for bed. These parrots when well cared for will seldom become ill. Though it is often difficult to determine illness, some visible signs of illness to be aware of are:

  • ruffled plumage
  • listlessness
  • drooping wings
  • sagging body
  • extreme mood changes
  • having no appetite
  • bulges in feathering
  • partially closed or watery eyes
  • swelling of the eyelids
  • rasping
  • difficulty breathing
  • excessive saliva
  • dirty vent
  • any change in the feces not apparently diet related.

   Some of the more common illnesses are:

  • Psittacosis (chlamydiosis or parrot fever)
  • bacterial, viral, or fungal infections
  • feather picking (results of boredom, poor diet, sexual frustration, lack of bathing)
  • allergies
  • chewing flight and tail feathers by juveniles
  • beak malformations in chicks
  • Papillomas
  • kidney disease (gout)
  • toxicity
  • heavy metal poisoning
  • lipomas in older birds.

   If you notice any of these bird illnesses in your Blue Front parrot, immediately provide a warm, draft free, secure environment kept at about 86°F (30°C). Place food and water close to the perch where it is easily accessible. An ailing parrot should be taken to a avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Availability

   Blue-fronted Amazon Parrots are readily available and it should be easy to find one in a pet store or from breeders in your area..

References

Author: Cheryl Galloway, Clarice Brough CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Blue-fronted Amazon

JoeBaka - 2005-07-21
I had this bird for some time, but I didn't buy him. This may sound weird, but I found him walking down an avenue in my neighborhood, and he refused to fly. I figured since it was in the middle of February, he was going to die if he stayed out there, so I stuck him in my car and took him home. I didn't name him, he actually told me his name, and he said "hello Rico", and ever since I have been calling him Rico. Great bird, just a little messy and could attract bugs or mice with the leftovers that they put on the floor. Noisy at times but you get used to it. The great things about these birds is that you could let them out and let them fly around and spread their wings. Great bird, love him, but I still have no idea how much they run for because I found him on an avenue walking along at 12 in the morning.

  • Eva - 2013-11-01
    Hello, you lucked out because the BFA'S cost anywhere between 500-1000 dollars depending on where you buy them. I bought a bf for 1000€ as I live in Germany. and she is definently a blessing be good to your bird he will love you forever.
Reply
Barbara - 2010-04-20
I have a blue-fronted amazon whose name is Cleo. He has had me for 4 yrs and is the love of my life. When I first got him, he could only say hello, and oh boy! Now, he talks non-stop with an extensive vocabulary. When he wants to be uncovered in the morning, he says, "goodmorning baby" in the sweetest little voice you have ever heard. He sings bad bird, bad bird, whatcha gonna do...whatcha gonna do when they come for you." He often asks me "What's that baby doing..huh?? He is an amazing bird. I have another blue-front named Coca who is totally opposite. She is very shy and quiet and talks only when she chooses to. With 6 birds in my house, the one thing I have learned is that each bird is totally different. Each has their own unique personality. The more you communicate with your bird, the more they will learn, but some choose to never talk and you have to accept them as they choose to be. Amazons are my favorite breed. I love their mischievious antics and their baby talk. Birds are different than any other pet. They choose who they will love! Some birds adjust to new environments quickly, others don't. It was months before Coco got comfortable enough to talk. Cleo never missed a step. If you are a new bird owner, be patient. They will come around in their own time and you will be greatly rewarded with their love when they do!

Reply
Shon MtPisgah - 2012-10-13
I'm new to large parrots. Do any of you use Harnesses to take your BFA outside or in the car? We are outside a lot in the garden, can BFA visit the back yard with us? Trying to research every option, thx!

  • Clarice Brough - 2012-10-13
    Harnesses can work well, but it does take time for a bird to get accustomed to wearing one, and to be calm when wearing it. Some birds adapt fine while others won't. But if your bird does get comfortable with it, it can be a nice way to take it outdoors. However as a word of caution, you will still need to closely supervise the bird at all times.
  • Shon MtPisgah - 2012-10-14
    Thx Clarice!
  • Bill Klusmeyer - 2013-09-13
    I have a blue front amazon which I adopted. I don't like the harness idea, too much room for an injury. I opted to use a carry cage. Getting him in it wasn't too bad.  I had to make adjustments to help in entering. I took him to my local bird  store to get some things. He was a little stressed on the ride there to say the least, but when he got there he was the center of attraction. What a ham! Anyway the ride home was ok but I think he couldn't wait to get back in his cage. I really think a transport cage will be better.
  • David Brough - 2013-09-23
    I agree with Bill. A transport cage can provide a 'safe' spot for the bird just like their cage at home when they become accustomed to it. It also provides more protection for the bird.
Reply
kostas - 2013-08-25
Hello my name is kostas and I have a blue fronted amazon... or an oranged winged?! You see I'm rather confused in which species belongs my baby parrot. Please inform me on what pictures or videos you need to post you so as you could recognize my parrot species. I'm looking forward to your answers, best regards kostas.

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-08-27
    If you sign in with the facebook registration, you can then upload your pictures for us to see. Looking forward to checking them out!
Reply
Denise - 2013-03-30
Olive my 10 yr old blue fronted has had a stressful few months. Our house was destroyed by Sandy in October. We lived on the beach in Rockaway NY. It was the only home she every knew. I weaned her. She always had her flight wings and would spend alot of time in the kitchen perched on top of the cabinets, also loved looking out the windows bird watching. Overnight we all became homeless. I lucked out and found a pet store ( Animal Kingdom)upstate NY to take her in until I got settled somewhere. The staff there were great they took such good care of her. I visited her whenever I could. I finally was able to take her back last month. Wasnt easy finding some place to live because all of rockaway as homeless and looking for housing. We are living in a basement apartment in Brooklyn. I was so glad to get her reunited with my lab Sam. My question is Why is she losing feathers? She molted in the fall as usual and grew back all new feathers. We have forced air heat here. I kinda think its because the air might be too dry for her. My house had steam heat and also living by the ocean the air was never dry even in the winter. I had her wings clipped because I didnt want her the have an accident in her new surroundings. I started spraying her with water a few times a day it helped, finding less feathers on the floor. Do you think putting a cool mist humidifier by her cage would help? Thank You

  • Denise - 2013-04-11
    Thanks David
  • Tracey - 2013-06-21
    Hi Denise, It appears that someone else might have responded to you, but I can't see the response...so I'll offer what I can. First, I'm sorry to hear that you & Olive experienced that tragedy! I'm glad to know that you are finding your way back to your normal life and that Olive is back home with you. There are a number of reasons that may cause feather loss, feather damage and plucking among them. However, my educated guess would be stress and change. As you know, parrots don't deal well with change and that routine is very important to them. Like you, Olive experienced a great trauma and is bound to suffer its affects both physically and mentally. It is entirely possible that her skin and feathers have been dried out by the change in humidity, but it's likely a combination of that and the stress she's been under. Please also remember that changes in 'climate', particularly in amount of light, temperature, and humidity levels, can induce hormonal and other physical changes in parrots. Also be sure to watch her for plucking. It sounds like you're taking steps to adjust the humidity for her, but do be careful in how often you spray her as too much water can dry her skin & feathers out. Aloe is a miracle plant for parrots and the people they own alike...use it - frequently. You can mist her with a water/aloe solution and even feed her aloe. A google search will provide the vast number of ways that human and bird can benefit from regular use. In the meantime, watch her carefully, take your cues from her about how she feels and what she wants, and offer her as much love, affection, and attention as she'll accept! Bravo on choosing the 'cool mist', just be sure to clean it daily to prevent bacteria growth.
Reply
Roselie - 2013-03-19
We have a blue fronted amazon female and a yellow crowned male at home. Our female just laid an egg 2 days ago but there was only one. It is my understanding that they normally lay 2-4 eggs. Is it normal that she only laid 1 egg? Can these two different species even mate? Will the egg be fertile? How long does it take between laying the first and second egg? We are new to this and have lots of question but done't seem to be getting any many answers. Is there a web site or somewhere where you can get more answers? Any feedback or help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-03-23
    It can be normal for them to only lay one egg at a time. If she was going to lay another one or two she would have done it pretty soon after the first one was laid. I do believe that two different types of Amazons can mate, however I am not sure on that. If they are mating the eggs should be fertile.  If they egg has not hatched in a month it was most likely not fertilized. At this point the only thing you can do is wait. Also watch to see if the female sits on her egg(s) and appears to be taking care of them.
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