The Lilacine Amazon is a type of Red-lored Amazon… one of the sweet, easy going Amazons!
Lilacine Amazon Amazona autumnalis lilacina is also called the Ecuadorian Red-lored Amazon. It is not as well known as many of the Amazon parrots, but those who keep it have found it to have a much easier going temperament. The attitude and behavior of the Lilacine is a trait of this species. This pleasant personality can also be found in its more readily available cousins, such as the Red-lored Amazon Amazona a. autumnalis, the nominate species.
The Ecuadorian Red-lored Amazon, just as other Amazons, has a mostly green plumage. Like the other Red-lored Amazons it has red lores contrasting with paler feathers on its crown. it is distinguished by its red band-like lores extending over the eyes. It also varies with cheeks that are a more yellowish-green than yellow. But its most unique characteristic is the coloring seen in the crown feathers. They are green with lilac tips and edged in a reddish-blue, and thus its name lilacina or Lilacine. The Lilacine Amazon is also a slightly smaller Red-Lored Amazon, with a finer appearance to its head.
The Lilacine Amazon is regarded as a wonderful pet, being very gentle, affectionate, and loyal. They display less aggressive behavior than many of the other popular amazons. They are known to have a loud call, yet even their call is said to be softer and more pleasant. They are intelligent and quick at play, but are not considered to be the best talkers. Some will be good talkers while others will only say a couple of words.
As is true with all Amazons, they are very social and enjoy the company of people as well as other birds. They will form very strong bonds with their owner, becoming fast friends and exhibit total confidence. They are also a hardy robust bird and can do well in either a cage or an aviary.
“Paquito (seen above) is my baby, he is very sweet and playful. He hatched on May 25th, 2004 and we adopted him on October 19th, 2004. This is his first and only home!”… Johanna Kimmer.
For more information about Amazon Birds see:
Amazon Parrot: Information and Care
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Psittaciformes
- Family: Psittacidae
- Genus: Amazona
- Species: autumnalis
Amazona autumnalis – Subspecies:
- Lilacine Amazon or Ecuadorian Red-lored Amazon:
Amazona autumnalis lilacina
- Red-lored Amazon
Amazona autumnalis autumnalis
- Salvin’s Amazon
Amazona autumnalis salvini
- Diademed Amazon
Amazona autumnalis diadema
The Red-Lored Amazon Amazona autumnalis was first described by Linnaeus in 1758. The Lilacine Amazon Amazona autumnalis lilacina is a subspecies of the Red-Lored Amazon. It is also called the Ecuadorian Red-lored Amazon.
The Lilacine Amazons are native to South America, found only in central western Ecuador north of the Gulf of Guayaquil. They live in tropical zones where they inhabit the canopies of woodland and forest trees, and mangroves. In the wild they live in flocks, but are sometimes seen in pairs or singly. They feed on fruits, nuts, berries, seeds. and the blossoms and leafy buds of treetop foliage.
The Amazona autumnalis is on the IUCN Red List for Endangered Species as Least Concern (LC).
The Lilacine Amazon or Ecuador (Red-lored) Amazon is similar to its cousin the Red-lored Amazon but slightly smaller with a finer head. Overall it has green plumage though on the crown the green feathers have lilac tips, edged with a reddish-blue. Its cheeks are yellowish-green and it has a red lore which extends over the eyes giving it a frontal band. The beak is blackish and the iris is dark brown. They become sexually mature at about 3 – 4 years. The average lifespan of the Lilacine Amazon is 40 to 60 years.
Juveniles are similar to the adults but with paler colors overall and less head coloration, and the iris is orange rather than brown. Mature birds are about 13 – 13 1/2 inches (33 – 34 cm) long from the top of the head to the tip of the tail, slightly smaller than the Red-lored Amazon.
Care and feeding
In the wild these birds eat fruits, seeds, nuts, berries, blossoms and leaf buds, as well as enjoying some palm fruits. A pet bird will enjoy a varied diet, including a quality seed mix or a pelleted diet, and many fresh fruits and vegetables. Pellets will work if started at an early age. Plenty of human food that is nutritious can be offered. Avocado and chocolate are toxic to any parrot.
For more about the Amazon parrot diet, see Amazon Parrots: Care and Feeding
A roomy cage is required for the Lilacine Amazon as they are very active. They need to spend a good deal of their time outside of their cage or be housed in an aviary. The cage must not be too confining, so get one that your pet will be able to feel comfortable in. 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.
They love to be out of their cage on a playpen, and will enjoy interacting with their human as well as playing with toys. This parrot likes to climb and play, and enjoys expanding its wings. A great thing to have is a hanging perch above a playpen topped cage, for climbing.
The Lilacine Amazon can tolerate varying temperatures, but needs to be kept away from any drafts. 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.
Don’t forget bathing. Spraying your amazon with warm water or a commercially available bird bath is necessary to keep the feathers from drying out.
Courtesy Johanna Kimmer
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
In the wild, Lilacine Amazons are very social birds. They are usually seen in groups, but with some distinct pairs in the group. The groups can be small with as few as six birds, to large with up to a hundred birds. They form monogamous pairings during mating season. These are social creatures, they like to be greeted when you come into the room. The more your amazon is around people, the more socialized it is and the more it will interact and play with you. You will establish a greater attachment between you and your feathered friend the more you are together.
The Lilacine Amazon will adapt fairly rapidly, becoming accustomed to a new environment and its keeper. It 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
The Lilacine Amazon is a very active amazon. It needs a lot of time out of its cage to stretch its wings, although climbing seems to be its favorite activity. It needs plenty of toys to keep it busy, and a hanging perch is thoroughly enjoyed. A moveable perch that can follow you around the house is also great. This Amazon likes to play, loves to wrangle with toys, and is quite an acrobat. They entertain themselves quite well and you will enjoy it.
Sexing – Sexual Differences
Lilacine Amazons or Ecuadorian Red-lored Amazons are not sexually dimorphic. Females look like males, though some say males have a slightly larger beak and head. If gender identification is important (for example for breeding birds) DNA / Feather or surgical sexing is recommended.
Though previously quite variable, the Lilacine Amazons have been bred regularly for some time now in the United States. They become sexually mature at about three to four years and may raise more than one brood per year. 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 eight eggs which incubate for about 26 – 28 days. The young will leave the nest at about 12 weeks. As with many parrots, the male will eat for both himself and the female while she incubates the eggs and feeds the young. The male regurgitates the food for the female to eat. He gets a lot less picky about what he eats at these times!
These birds are hardy and healthy if provided with a good environment and a good diet. Like all amazons, the Lilacine Amazon or Ecuadorian Red-lored Amazon can be noisy first thing in the morning and just before the sun sets. They have a loud piercing call, though many owners say their pets are relatively quiet. Amazons can often be quieted by just covering their cage for a short period of time. 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
- drooping wings
- sagging body
- extreme mood changes
- having no appetite
- bulges in feathering
- partially closed or watery eyes
- swelling of the eyelids
- 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)
- chewing flight and tail feathers by juveniles
- beak malformations in chicks
- kidney disease (gout)
- heavy metal poisoning
- lipomas in older birds.
If you notice any of these bird illnesses in your Lilacine Amazon, 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.
The Lilacine Amazon or Ecuadorian Red-lored Amazon had been one of the least available of the amazons, but with successful breeding they are beginning to appear more regularly.
- Animal-World References: Pet Birds – Exotic Birds.
- Dr. David Alderton, The Atlas of Parrots of the World, T.F.H. Publications, Inc. 1991
- David Alderton, Parrots, Salamander Books, 1999
- Werner and Susanne Lantermann, Amazon Parrots, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 1988
- Goran Rudic, Amazona autumnalis lilacina – Lilacine Amazon Parrot