Emotionally honest and resilient, Amazon parrots are outgoing, happy, flexible birds that frequently learn to talk and sing. We like to think of Amazons as “joy incarnate in feathers”. They have music in their souls. They take change and chaos in stride, so they are one of the easier birds to have in a boisterous family situation. Amazon parrots tend to be extroverted, enthusiastic and demonstrative; they are emotionally honest and you can almost always tell how one is feeling about things by looking at their behavior and body posture.
While many Amazons do not appreciate being petted all over their bodies, there are times when they love to have their heads petted and skritched. Amazon parrots love to be with you and to participate in what you are doing.
Amazon parrots tend to get overweight if too many fatty foods are offered and not enough exercise is given. Luckily Amazons that are given lots to do plenty of area to do it in, and are exercised frequently do not have a problem burning those calories
Amazon parrots are often overlooked because of a bad reputation for becoming aggressive during breeding season. This is definitely the case with some individuals, more often males of the species with more yellow, and birds who have not been properly raised or had no consistent boundaries set for them. It is our experience that all Amazon parrots can become overloaded at times, and during breeding season when the hormones are raging that can happen more easily.
Fortunately, when overloaded, Amazon parrots exhibit a behavior we refer to as “full amazon”; they spread their tails, pin their eyes, spread their wings out and, in extreme cases, make their bodies horizontal. When an Amazon parrot looks like that, don’t pick it up with your hand! It is saying “I am overloaded and excited, if you pick me up I may bite you!” Listen to the bird! When an Amazon is acting like this, have it step up on a stick. This will help you maintain a positive relationship with the bird. The overload will pass and the bird will calm down again.
Since they are such dominant birds, don’t let Amazon parrots get up higher than you (except inside their cages), don’t let them become free-flighted, and don’t carry them on your shoulder. Amazon parrots can be willful, and may test the rules daily with each person in their flock. This could go on for quite a while. Set simple boundaries by always asking them to step up when you bring them out of their cages to play on playstands, and also on the return trip. This simple act reminds your Amazon that you are setting the rules, not them. It is unwise to let them play on the outside of their cages since they can be up high and thus do not have to step up to get where they want to go. Amazons that are allowed free reign on the tops of their cages will invariably become dominant and difficult to manage.
Problems occur with Amazons because they are dominant birds who need firm nurturing guidance and boundaries set for them. With no boundaries, they will make no attempt to moderate their behavior (much like poorly-raised children).
Amazon parrots need to be respected for their emotional honesty. When they are overloaded, they most often tell you with their body language. They are fascinating and endearing pets for those of us who appreciate that parrots are not domesticated creatures. Dogs and cats have been domesticated for thousands of years. Most companion parrots are one generation removed from the wild. Thus their wild instincts are still intact. It is an enriching experience to have a little piece of the wild side in our lives, but we have to have enough flexibility, compassion and patience to not become frustrated when Amazon parrots become overloaded. When properly raised and with boundaries appropriately maintained throughout their lives, Amazon parrots are great teachers. They can make great family birds and endearing companions for a lifetime.