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Blue-Fronted Amazon

Amazona aestiva
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern
South America

The Blue-fronted Amazon also called the Turquoise-fronted Amazon and Blue-fronted Parrot, is a South American species of Amazon parrot and one of the most common Amazon parrots kept in captivity as a pet or companion parrot.  Its common name is derived from the distinctive blue marking on its head just above its beak.

The Blue-fronted Amazon is a mainly green parrot about 38 cm (15 in) long. They have blue feathers on the forehead above the beak and yellow on the face and crown. Distribution of blue and yellow varies greatly among individuals. Unlike most other Amazona parrots, its beak is mostly black. There is no overt sexual dimorphism in plumage to the human eye, but analysis of the feathers using spectrometry, a method which allows the plumage to be seen as it would be by a parrot's tetrachromatic vision, shows clear differences between the plumage of the sexes. Juveniles of parrots are duller and have dark irises.

The Blue-fronted Amazon nests in tree cavities.  The oval eggs are white and measure around 38 x 30 mm.  There are usually three to five in a clutch.  the female incubates the eggs for about 27 days and the chicks leave the nest about 60 days after hatching.  

The Blue-fronted Amazon is commonly seen as a pet, both in South America and other parts of the world.  Their talking ability varies greatly from individual, but some speak nearly as well as the Yellow-headed Amazon group (Yellow-naped, Panama, Yellow-crowned, Double Yellow-headeds.  They seem to have a proclivity for singing.  They require interaction but also can play with toys contently for several hours at a time.  Pets require plenty of toys, perches, and climbing room.  As with some other birds, under no circumstances are Blue-fronted Amazons to eat avocado.  Some individuals, particularly males, can be aggressive in spring, the mating season.

An extremely rare red (or chocolate raspberry) mutation of these species appeared in captivity in 2004, bred by the psittaculturist, Howard Voren.  The mutation results in yellow plumage being replaced by that of a red/pink hue and greens with a chocolate-brown, with the depth and intensity of color varying by location upon the body.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Blue-Fronted Amazon ", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.