Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Double Yellow-headed Amazon!
Have you ever wondered what the most popular Amazon Parrot kept as a pet is? It is the Double Yellow-headed Amazon Parrot! With the Blue-fronted Amazon Parrot coming in close behind. When you are looking for a large parrot to keep as a pet, many people will steer you to the Double Yellow-headed Amazon Amazona oratrix. These Amazons are one of the best talkers and they can sing well too! At the pet store I worked at we always had at least one Double Yellow-headed and usually another less common type of Amazon as well, just to spruce things up a bit. We often got them as young babies and I helped hand-feed many of these youngsters! It was quite rewarding working with parrots at such a young age.
The Double Yellow-headed Amazon is a beautiful bird and a GREAT talker! That’s the main reason why people choose this one over others. They are very out-going and love to “cause a scene”! These Amazons love drama and will do all sorts of things to gain and keep their owners attention! This includes turning their head upside down, fanning out their tails, and dilating their pupils in and out very quickly. They should be handled and trained from a very young age to ensure they are tame and don’t get too rowdy. They are usually very social birds and love human companionship, but they also need down time where they can be alone and in their own space.
The Double Yellow-headed Amazons have been kept as pets for several hundred years now (pretty crazy to think about!), and they have definitely been favored. They were actually given a name and described for the first time in 1887 by Ridgeway. Other names they are known by include the Yellow-headed Amazon and the Yellow-headed Parrot. These Amazons originate from Central America and some coastal areas of Mexico. They inhabit regions such as forests and savannahs where there are plenty of nuts, seeds, berries, and other fruit. Usually they stay together as a flock or sometimes in pairs. The Double Yellow-headed Amazon is on the IUCN Red List for Endangered Species and is listed as Endangered (EN).
The care and feeding of these Amazons is like most other large parrots. They need a large enough cage where they can get around and stretch their wings. They should also have ample time outside their cage with a play area specifically for them. Their cage should be kept away from drafts, as birds in general are prone to respiratory illnesses. Give them plenty of perches and toys. You will probably find that switching out toys every month or so and giving them new ones will make your Amazon especially happy! Also, providing them with a rough or concrete perch can help tremendously in keeping their nails trimmed so that you don’t have to do it as often, or at all! Plan on trimming their wings periodically too. This will ensure they don’t get very far out an open door or window and become lost.
Give your Double Yellow-headed Amazon a wide and varied diet. Seed mixes or pellets bought at the store can be the bulk of their food. Feel free to give them plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables along with most other table foods from your meals. Some parrots like protein – such as chicken – as well. Give them clean, fresh water daily. You may want to provide a separate bowl or deep dish specifically for bathing. Amazons love bath time!
These Amazons rarely become ill if provided with a proper environment and are well-cared for. Some signs to look out for that they may be stressed or ill include: feather plucking, rasping, watery eyes, ruffled feathers, or moodiness. There are other signs too, so generally just keep an eye out for behaviors or appearances which vary from normal. If you suspect your bird is sick, definitely seek a veterinarian’s care.
If you are looking for an inquisitive, out-going, and fun-loving talking parrot, the Double Yellow-headed Amazon is certainly a good place to start!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.