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Orange-winged Amazon

Orange-winged Parrot, Loro Guaro

Family: PsittacidaeOrange-winged Amazon or Orange-winged Parrot, Amazona amazonica juvenile, also called Loro GuaroOrange-winged Amazon - JuvenileAmazona amazonicaPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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we had an amazon fly into our property 8 months ago she will have nothing to do with anyone but me i handle her but she loves the grand kids to play with her but... (more)  sarah phillips

   The Orange-winged Amazon is a charming, beautiful pet bird and a pretty good talker!

   The Orange-winged Amazon Amazona amazonica, also known as the Orange-winged Parrot and Loro Guaro, is a very popular pet Amazon. They are very affectionate, attractive, and entertaining parrots. These pet birds are lots of fun, performing all sorts of antics and have a fair talking ability as well.

   While young, like the juvenile above, they are mostly green with just a few of the pretty yellow and blue feathers. Yet when they mature, they are lively, spectacular colored pet birds. Adults have bright yellow-orange and blue feathering on the face and head, and the bright orange on the wings they are named for.

   The Orange-winged Amazon has been popular as a pet for over 100 years. Known for being quite friendly, they are easy to tame and quite clever. These parrots also strongly desire the attention of their owners, and will perform all sorts of amusing antics to gain and keep it. They make a wonderful companion and will quickly form a strong bond with their owner, they can however be rather noisy.

   This is a robust and hardy bird that can do well indoors or outdoors. As is true with all Amazons, the Orange-winged Amazon is very social and enjoys the company of people as well as other birds. They can also be quite independent, and will probably have a favorite in the family. They can become quite attached to one person if not well socialized at a young age. But if well socialized, they will treat other members of the family as part of the flock. The Orange-winged parrot is also prone to a hormonal stage as it matures. This is a good choice for an experienced bird keepers who wants to form a close relationship with a parrot.

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


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

Scientific name   Amazona amazonica

  • Subspecies:
  • Amazona amazonica amazonica - nominate species
  • Amazona amazonica tobagensis - they are a bit larger than the nominate species, with a more extensive orange found on the speculum (secondary feathers of the wings).

Distribution    The Orange-winged Amazon Amazona amazonica was first described by Linnaeus in 1766. It is also known as the Orange-winged Parrot and Loro Guaro. They are found in most of northern and central South America as well as the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. In the wild they are seen in pairs or flocks, and are sometimes seen in flocks with others species, like the Blue-fronted Amazon Amazona aestiva.

  They inhabit all types of forests, damp woods, mangrove swamps, and bamboo clumps. In the wild these birds eat fruits, seeds, nuts, berries, blossoms and leaf buds. They also forage in corn fields and have come to be considered quite a pesky nuisance by the locals.

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

Description   The name of the Orange-winged Amazon is derived from a distinct yellow-orange on the bend of the wing and the speculum (secondary feathers of the wings). They also have yellow-orange on the crown and on the front of the cheeks. The rest of the cheek is a bright green and they often fluff their cheeks out, making them look like they have "mutton chop" sideburns.

   Their bodies are mostly green from head to tail, with the under parts a bit lighter green. There are hints of blues in the throat and on the crown. The feathers on the back of the neck and upper back are edged with a dusky black. The tail is green tipped with a light yellowish-green, has some oranges on the underside, and some green barring on the top. The beak is a horn color becoming gray at the tip. The eye is orange with a grayish white eye ring, and the legs are a pale gray.

  Juveniles are mostly green with few of the yellow-orange or blue feathers seen in the adult. The eyes are a dark brown to grayish brown. Orange-winged Parrots are a medium sized amazons. Mature birds are about 12 - 13 inches (31 - 33 cm) long from the head to the tip of the tail. They reach maturity in about the 4 - 5 year range with a lifespan of 60 plus years.

Care and feeding    In the wild, the diet of the Orange-winged Parrot consists of fruits, plants, seeds and nuts, corn, 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 cheese and 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 Orange-winged Amazon. 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.

   Orange-winged 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.

   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.

"Mr. Sonny" is a mature Orange-winged AmazonOrange-winged Amazon
"Mr. Sonny"
Photo © Animal-World:
Courtesy Ronen Leby

"I got Mr. Sonny when he was
about 2 or 3 months old. He is an
Amazon Orange winged. He is very
calm, loves to watch comedy shows
and he laughs along. He whistles and
says hello, mumbles "love you", and
mimics lots of noises.
He loves the shower!... Ronen

   Whether watching TV or eating dinner, the Orange-winged 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 Orange-winged 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 Orange-winged is an active amazon and needs plenty of toys. It also needs room to stretch its wings, they love to climb. A hanging perch mounted above the cage top playpen works great. A moveable perch that can follow you around the house is almost a requirement. This parrot 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.

Sexing - Sexual Differences   Orange-winged 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 Orange-winged Amazon can be noisy, having a harsh screech. They will make noise early in the morning and when the sun is setting. This usually lasts for about 10 minutes. This is it 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 Orange-winged 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   The Orange-winged Amazon or Orange-winged Parrot is readily available and it should be easy to find one in a pet store or from breeders in your area..

References

Author: Clarice Brough CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Orange-winged Amazon

sarah phillips - 2014-01-31
we had an amazon fly into our property 8 months ago she will have nothing to do with anyone but me i handle her but she loves the grand kids to play with her but will not get on their hand she cries like a baby when they leave she is 45 years old according to the band on her leg and knows several wordswe really love her

Reply
Bobbi - 2008-09-25
My OWA did not turn out to be a good situation. The seller said he was tame and talking, but turned out he was NOT tame OR talking, a biter, and had a serious screaming issue. I had him for a year and did try hard to make him pet quality but he never really came around, and everyone in my home had enough of his brainshaking screams. I was forced to rehome him and he is now in a breeding program and is doing fine. I encourage potential buyers to have a lengthy visit with the bird they plan to purchase, and if you can't handle it, find another! Keep in mind there is no rush in getting a bird, and they live as long as hummans so the right selection is very important.

Reply
Angela Kate Brown - 2007-11-03
I have owned several parrots over the past 20 years, and after the death of my precious Cockatoo several months ago I just didn't think I would ever be ready for another bird. I had a chance to get an OW that needed a home, although it was so much sooner than I had counted on. At first I was so overwhelmed by this energetic, laughing ball of green feathers that I didn't realize she was showing me how much she liked being in her new place (even under the watchful eyes of 2 cats). It took very little time to establish a small household routine that she seems to like, and a little adjustment with her food. I knew from a past parrot that Amazons can be moody, so she has certain toys that she can beat up on, and she will even chase me to get them out of my hand. I can also tell her happy and content times by her movements and sounds. She is always watching my expressions and words like she wants to talk, but only manages to 'squawk' out the sound. These pets are just like children, so you need to remember to monitor everything they are doing outside of that cage! Life is never dull with a Parrot.

Reply
Deb - 2005-10-18
Hi. I have had an amazon parrot now for about 6 months. He came from a home with no love, toys, etc! He used to be shut in a room all on his own. Now I have him taking food from me and I can stroke his head all the time. He is still scared of some of his toys I have bought him...LOL... But I feel that I'm getting there. He spends most of his day out of his cage. I wish he would be more sociable with others, but I guess that will come in time. ps. What a great site this is!

Reply
ruth - 2012-04-18
Can anybody tell me why my mums parrots eyes keep changing colour?

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-18
    The eyes aren't really changing color - the pupils are dilating (getting bigger and smaller)
    and it is frequently called pinning. The pupils expand so the eyes look darker or the pupils contract and the eyes take on a brighter color often times looking like there are actual rings of a different color (usually an orange) on the outside. It is a language - a body language. By watching the eyes and trying to determine the mood you can frequently tell when your parrot is haopy, sad, relaxed and or mad. If you see those pupils get real small and a fixed stare often in conjunction with a growl - leave him alone. If you see regular sized pupils and that relaxed furry look - it is gee I sure would like some attention. Any body language is different based on personality of the bird but it is another way a parrot does express himself. It is quite obvious in amazons.
  • Daniela Korpela - 2013-08-08
    OW eyes turn bright red when it is angry or fighting back. You might notice if you try to touch his tail.
Reply
Jayashree Manoharan - 2013-02-12
My 2 months old Alexandria is not eating properly but he is active and playful. He hates inside the cage. What can I do?

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-02-13
    Continue offering him healthy foods and supplements. That is about all you can do. If he is hungry enough and not sick, he will eat.
Reply

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