The mealy Amazon, often known as the gentle giant of Amazon parrots, is a placid, easy-to-train bird that makes a great companion. Although these lovely, huge birds lack the spectacular colors of other parrots, they make up for it with their kind, friendly personalities. They're ideal for bird owners who want a huge parrot but want one with a laid-back personality.
Common Names: Mealy Amazon, mealy parrot, blue-crowned mealy parrot
Scientific Name: Amazona farinosa
Adult Size: 15 to 17 inches in length, weighing 1 to 2 pounds, sometimes more
Life Expectancy: Can live to 60 to 70 years
Origin and History
Central and South America are home to the mealy Amazon. They have a range that stretches from southern Mexico through Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. These locations' woods and tropical rainforests are home to birds. Farm fields are an accessible source of food for them when farmers intrude on their environment. Amazons are considered pests by farmers.
This parrot lives in large flocks that can reach over 100 birds, though mating pairs will fly off to find a tree cavity to nest in for the breeding season.
The Mealy Amazon is the gentlest and most docile of the Amazon parrots. When maintained as pets, they are loving and build close ties with their owners. This is due to their instinct to form a monogamous, lifetime relationship with their spouse.
They, too, like interacting with their human companions. Many owners claim that the bird will just go about seeking for someone to pay attention to them. They'll calmly wait to be picked up or played with once they discover that family member.
To stay healthy and happy, Amazon parrots require social engagement. Neglected birds can develop destructive behaviors and depression, which can present as a variety of physical and emotional issues. Biting and plucking of feathers are two of these issues.
They are not an aggressive bird in general. Because they don't normally nip or bite, they're termed "non-nippy Amazons." They also get along well with other birds. During adolescence, however, many people experience hormonal bluffing. Bluffing can lead to violent behavior that some owners are unable to tolerate. While the phase eventually passes, it can persist up to two years. As a result, they're best suited to seasoned bird keepers.
Speech and Vocalizations
These birds are excellent talkers and can pick up a diverse vocabulary. It's quite comical to listen to them repeat phrases using different inflections every time.
When it comes to vocalizations, mealy Amazons are large, so their screams can be deafening and carry a long distance. Yet, they will not yell out as much as some feistier parrots.
Mealy Amazon Parrot Colors and Markings
Mealy Amazons are primarily green, with deeper colors at the top of the body and brighter lime green near the tail. The grey-green pattern around the nape of the neck and back distinguishes them from other parrots. The term "mealy" comes from the appearance of the bird being sprinkled with flour.
The species' other common name, blue-crowned parrot, is due to a blue patch that's on its crown. On some birds, this may be more of a purple color and some have a patch of yellow on their forehead.
These birds also have flesh-colored legs and flashes of red and blue on the margins of their feathers. Their beaks range in hue from horn to yellow to dark gray, with a featherless white ring around the eyes.
Caring for Mealy Amazon Parrots
Overall, a mealy Amazon may become a well-trained pet if you learn about its characteristics and concentrate on developing a strong relationship with it. Just make sure you can devote your whole attention to its demands and that you can afford the expenditures of owning a huge parrot.
Because this species is so huge, it will require a large cage. Your bird should have a cage that is at least 3 feet broad and long, as well as 5 or 6 feet tall. Because Amazon parrots are prone to gaining weight, they must be given ample opportunity to exercise every day.
Routine bathing or misting with a shower head is vital to maintaining good plumage and skin. Allow the birds to dry in a warm room or in the sun, or gently dry the bird with a warm blow-dryer.
Heavy-bodied mealy Amazons frequently fall and damage themselves, so don't snip the wing feathers too short. The main flying feathers can be trimmed to the point where the bird can glide to the ground.
Owners of Mealy Amazons should set aside time each day for one-on-one connection with their birds. It not only keeps the bird tame, but it also helps to form and maintain a good attachment. The bird mostly just wants to be near you. This clinginess facilitates training; they enjoy sitting on shoulders to be close to the activity.
Common Health Problems
Amazons are relatively healthy, long-lived birds but are susceptible to some diseases and disorders:
- Feather-picking, which can lead to skin infections and balding
- Psittacosis, also called parrot fever, a disease caused by the chlamydia bacteria
- Poor eating habits and obesity
- Bacterial and fungal infections
Diet and Nutrition
Mealy Amazons, like other Amazon parrots, benefit from a high-quality pelleted food supplemented by regular portions of fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables. Feed 1/3 to 1/2 cup pelleted food and 1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh fruits and vegetables every day. A fresh and varied food can assist to ensure that your bird stays healthy.
Give seeds and nuts as an occasional treat. Although they are a bird's favorite, they are loaded with fat and can lead to obesity if your bird becomes a picky eater and only wants seeds.
Never feed avocado, chocolate, rhubarb, alcohol, or coffee beans; these foods are toxic for your bird.
You should be able to provide three to four hours of supervised, outside-of-cage time every day at the very least. This action will help the bird burn calories and stretch its muscles while also offering important mental stimulation.
Ladders, a perch, and other attractive items should be included in the bird's cage to enable for movement and exploration. To keep the bird active while indoors, provide bird-safe toys. To avoid boredom, rotate toys and, because birds prefer to chew on things, provide an outlet for that impulse other than your furniture.
Social, affectionate, loyal
Intelligent, great talker and can perform tricks
Least nippy of the Amazon species
Can get loud when it wants to
One of the largest Amazons and requires a large cage
Needs at least 3 to 4 hours of socialization, exercise daily
Where to Adopt or Buy a Mealy Amazon
If you think a mealy Amazon is the bird for you, get in touch with local to see if you can come see their birds. Observing mealy Amazons in their natural habitat will help you evaluate whether or not this species is the ideal fit for your lifestyle.
Check animal shelters and rescue organizations before buying a mealy Amazon from a bird store or breeder. A breeder can charge anything from $1,000 and $2,000 for one. Breeders or rescue organizations can be found using online resources:
- Hookbills for Sale
- Adopt a Pet
- Royal Bird Company
If you're buying from a breeder, make sure you interview the breeder, inspect their birds' overall health, inspect their living circumstances, and speak with previous buyers. Crammed living quarters, lethargic birds, and breeders that ignore your queries or don't appear to know much about their birds are all signs you should avoid the breeder.
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