Amazon parrots are certainly the first kind of parrot that comes to mind when most people, even non-bird owners, hear the term “parrot.” Amazona species are unquestionably among the most popular pet parrot species. For good reason, double-yellowheaded Amazons are one of the top five most popular Amazon species kept as pets. They are well-known for their exceptional mimicking talents as well as their wonderfully attractive plumage.
“Amazons are highly flock oriented and require plenty of socialization, toys, and exercise,” says Merilee Hook, a regional adviser for the Amazona Society. A juvenile bird must be taught which actions are appropriate and which are not.”
Amazons have stubborn, vibrant personalities and may be highly social with both humans and birds. These parrots flourish in a household with a busy lifestyle since they are flashy, intellectual, and full of life’s delights. They learn tricks and orders quickly and eagerly for praise or a reward. Amazons with two yellow heads are both comical and bold. They may be stubborn, and need an owner who can embrace their strong nature.
“Double-yellowheaded Amazons may be drama queens and need to be monitored around strangers,” says Diana Holloway of The Amazona Society. While their fiery disposition is not for everyone, most keepers of this breed genuinely love them. To keep that intelligent brain engaged and occupied, regular behavior instruction and environmental enrichment should be undertaken.”
Hook also suggests that double-yellowheaded Amazons are among the simplest to read. “They are extremely upfront about their feelings – none of this nicely walking up and biting the heck out of you.” An Amazon with a flaring tail and pinned eyes is saying one of two things. When you give him his favorite delicacy, he may respond, “Ohhh, thank you, thank you – I simply adore them!” If there is no food involved, he may be asking, “Do you not grasp the words ‘I don’t want to?'” Stick your hand up here, and I’ll tell you again.”
Unlike African grey parrots, who typically refuse to speak in front of humans, double-yellowheaded Amazons like being in front of an audience, and many of them become quite excellent talkers and singers. According to Holloway, “Renowned Divas, their singing skill is unrivaled.” “From opera to country, kids can memorize all the songs in key, occasionally adding their own amusing lyrics.”
Sharlan Toby, the owner of a pet double yellowhead called Gracie that she displays, adds that Gracie often entertains the gallery and judges by singing Amazing Grace, Old MacDonald, You Are My Sunshine, or one of her other songs.
Gracie was highlighted in the local media for her lively attitude at the National Cage Bird Show in Lansing, MI, in 2004. “She began singing at 6 months old,” Sharlan says, “and I’ve found that she was able to pick up songs quite rapidly.” When she sings Amazing Grace, she will pause at key points to allow for someone to complete a line before continuing on to the next.”
Noise may be an issue for several Amazon parrot species. Double-yellowheaded Amazons often vocalize at least once every day with booming calls. Many owners note that double-yellowheaded parrots maintained alongside other Amazons are the loudest, particularly during mating season. Those purchased when they are young, as well as those that have been properly educated and socialized, will seldom vocalize to the extent of disturbing neighbors.
The double-yellowheaded Amazon is part of a genus that comprises nine species of yellow-crowned or yellow-headed Amazons, as well as the yellow-fronted and yellow-naped Amazons. Amazona ochrocephala oratrix and A. o. tresmariae are the two subspecies of the double-yellowheaded Amazon.
Double yellowheads of the subspecies A. o. oratrix have two unique body forms, although being physiologically the same subspecies. One is around 14 inches long and has green overall plumage with vivid yellow on the whole head and neck. The wing bend is pale red with yellow highlights and a yellow margin. The thighs are golden as well. The beak and feet are horn colored, with gray streaks towards the base of the upper jaw. They are most common in western Mexico. The second form of A. o. oratrix is known as the “Magna,” and it is somewhat bigger at 16 inches with more yellow and red. It is most often seen in eastern Mexico.
The A. o. tresmariae is quite similar to the A. o. oratrix, but the yellow on the head and neck extends to the upper breast, and the underparts are blue. It is a bigger parrot with a longer tail that can only be found in the Tres Marias Islands off the coast of western Mexico.
Most Amazon parrot species, and double yellowheads are no exception, have a tendency to gain weight quickly. As a result, both food and exercise are critical for maintaining optimal health and lifespan. The life expectancy of a double-headed Amazon may range from 40 to 80 years, however obesity can severely limit this (up to 70 percent).
Hook recommends that Amazon owners get a decent gram scale (rather than one that weighs in ounces) and weigh their Amazons on a regular basis. “Keeping track of their weight helps prevent a lot of issues from becoming problems.”
The oldest known Amazon, according to Holloway, was a double yellowhead named Old Baldy, who died at the age of 102. The Amazona Society recently learned about a guy who fished with his double-headed Amazon for 45 years on Lake Erie.
Most owners and breeders advocate a fresh, natural diet that is low in processed foods and heavy in fat. According to Gail Worth of Aves International, “Amazon parrots need a diet rich in natural beta carotenes.” Carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes are all good sources of fiber in the diet. Please do not feed Amazon parrots processed pelleted food as the primary source of nutrition. Pellets lack phytonutrients (chemical components present in foods that may help prevent illness), while entire fresh foods do. It is also suggested to consume sprouted seeds and cereals.”
Green, leafy vegetables like chard and dandelion greens, as well as deep yellow or red vegetables like squash, red peppers, green beans, peas, and broccoli, are high in beta carotenes. Soak or boil grains rich in nutrition but low in fat, such as quinoa, are also ideal for feeding to double yellowheads.
Exercise is also incredibly crucial for this species’ general health. A 34-inch square strong, sturdy cage with a play gym on top is ideal. Many manufacturers make cages expressly for Amazons and other big parrots, so keep an eye out for them.
Perches of various sizes, such as those provided by natural wood branches, are excellent for both foot exercise and chewing opportunities. To stay healthy and happy, double-yellowheaded Amazons require a variety of sturdy toys to swing and play with as well as chew on.
“Puzzle toys are fun, but they require a lot of wood to shred.” “Remember that a bored Amazon is a destructive Amazon,” Hook advised. Toys should be checked for safety on a regular basis and changed frequently to keep the parrot interested.
Showering double-yellowheaded Amazons on a regular basis is also recommended for feather and skin health. For displaying the parrot, a plant mister filled with water is sufficient. The majority of Amazons enjoy being thoroughly soaked with a mister. “Gracie enjoys baths (showers) and will do the ‘Amazon bath dance,’ in which she spreads her wings out and covers her head,” Toby reported.
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