Amazon (Yellow-shouldered) / Amazona barbadensis

Did you know...

Like all parrots they are capable of applying great pressure with their bills

They have a curious, inquisitive and playful nature

The yellow-shouldered Amazon, also known as the yellow-shouldered parrot, is a native of northern Venezuela. They live in pairs and when not breeding become highly sociable and will form flocks of up to 100 birds. They roost communally in tall trees or on rock outcroppings.

Distribution is restricted to a small coastal area in Venezuela and the islands of Blanquilla, Margarita and Bonaire where they usually inhabit dry areas with cacti and thorny bush and trees. They feed on the fruits of several trees and bushes, seeds, nectar rich blossoms, cactus tops, and cactus fruit, and sometimes take crops, such as avocado, mango and maize.

During the breeding season (March and August), the birds form pairs which build nests in hollow trees or tree cavities. The female will lay 1-4 eggs which are incubated for around 26 days. The young chicks fledge about nine weeks after hatching. Most parrots are monogamous and so it is likely that they will mate with its partner for life. Pairs remain together constantly and reinforce the pair bond by feeding and preening together.

The yellow-shouldered Amazon is regularly exploited for the trade in exotic birds and nestlings are frequently taken by collectors.