Turquoise-fronted Amazon – Amazona aestiva (Linnaeus, 1758) – are funny and gregarious birds that are popular as pets and common in aviculture.
They are very curious and love to examine stuff with their powerful beak so be careful when they are out of their cage!
They are very intelligent and good at imitating sounds and words (though not as skilled as e.g. Grey Parrot). They are however very noisy when excited so I do not recommend them as pets if you are living in an apartment.
With proper care they can become 50-60 years old. They form a tight bond with their mate and will bond for life.
Due to their size they require a large aviary with a minimum length of 3 meters; if kept as a pet they should get several hours out of the cage each day. They also require a lot of attention – if neglected for too long they will scream loudly for attention. Provide plenty of chew toys, robes, branches etc. They also enjoy getting a bath and it is always amusing to watch an Amazon getting a spray bath.
They were previosly listed by IUCN Red List as Least Concern but in 2019 this was changed to Near Thretened due to heavy trapping for cage-bird trade and also their habitat is declining mainly because of conversion to agriculture. They are listed on CITES Appendix II and EU Annex B.
Overall green plumage with blue forehead and lores; yellow area from forecrown, forecheeks and around the eyes; orange eyes with narrow white eye ring; red bend of wing; the broad tail is green with red at base; the bill is slate grey.
Male and female has similar colors, in some females less yellow on face.
Juveniles have similar but duller colors and the color on the head is less extensive; dark brown eyes.
Size: 35 – 37,5 cm
Weight: ca. 375-450 gram
Above and to the right: Immature Turquoise-fronted Amazon – notice the dark brown eyes and also less yellow and blue colors on the head compared to adults.
Two subspecies are recognized:
Their habitat ranges from Bolivia to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina.
They are found in woodlands and also open areas with trees. In Bolivia they have been spotted up to 1600 m.
They are seen in communal roosts in large numbers but can also be seen traveling in pairs. Sometimes seen in flocks with other species.
Wild birds eat a variety of fruits, seeds and nuts.
The aviary should be at least 3m long and build from solid materials as they can easily destroy wooden parts with their powerful beak. Provide plenty of chew toys.
They can be kept in an outdoor aviary most of the year but must have access to a heated shelter during the cold season.
The adults are sexually mature at age 3 but do not expect successful breeding until they are 5 years. It can take some time for the couple to get used to each other and to the new environment so be patient.
Use a vertical nest box about 30 x 30 x 60 cm.
The clutch contains 3-4 eggs that are incubated for 22-28 days. The chicks reach fledging age after 8-9 weeks.
They normally only get one clutch per season but if you remove the chicks for hand rearing the parents sometimes will have a second clutch.