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The Yellow-shouldered Amazon (Amazona barbadensis) also known as the Yellow-shouldered Parrot or Yellow Winged Parrot, is a parrot of the genus Amazona that is found in the arid areas of northern Venezuela, the islands of Margarita and La Blanquilla, and in some areas of the Caribbean Islands.
The Yellow Shouldered Parrot is a smaller and slimmer Amazon parrot and sometimes is described as a miniature version of the Blue-fronted Amazon. Male and female adults have green body color with fine black scalloping on feathers, white foreheads, fore-crown and lores, a yellow hind crown to area around eyes and upper cheeks, yellow thighs and bend of wing area, red wing speculum across feather bases of secondaries 1-4, green tail with orange and red hidden in feather bases. The eye ring pale grey and eyes are orange to red.
Juveniles have similar colorings as an adult but colors are not as vivid in appearance with less yellow on their heads, and foreheads may have a tint of blue and white mix. Their eyes are brown hues and peaks are shades of grey. The beak is horn colored.
Sexing: They are monomorphic and difficult to determine gender with DNA testing.
Size: About 13 inches in length from head tip to tail when adult. Weight is about 9.5 ounces when grown.
Life Span: 50-60 years
Behavior & Temperament: Yellow Shoulder Amazons are very curious and enjoy investigating anything new in their surroundings. They are agile and are natural acrobats so providing toys and swings are ideal for these parrots. In addition, providing blocks of wood for chewing is advisable to provide exercise and fun for these parrots. Yellow Shoulder Parrots also enjoy bathing and are quieter than other parrots but they can learn to talk and whistle. The yellow-shouldered amazon call is a rolling cur’r’r’k.
These parrots have a good reputation for being a relatively quiet Amazon, but they can learn to talk and whistle.
The Yellow-shouldered Amazon is very active and needs a living space that encourages the parrot to exercise. Cages should be at least a 36”w x 24”d x 36”h cage with no more than 1” bar spacing, and provides enough room for flight. Additionally, an opportunity for an outdoor cage to allow playtime in the fresh air and sunlight is ideal.
Breeding: Breeding season for the yellow-shouldered amazon is between March and May. The yellow-shouldered amazon nests in a tree hole or cliff cavity in the wild and lays 3-4 eggs with an incubation period of 26-28 days.
Diet: A diet consisting of quality seeds, fruits and daily vegetables is advised. Feed approximately 1/4 cup of formulated diet pellets / seeds such as Lafeber’s Avi cakes and 1/4 cup of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Treats could also include cuddle bones and are great for chewing exercise.