Amazon parrots (genus Amazona) are widespread additions to households across the planet, what with their often chatty, bright and friendly dispositions. Amazon parrots exist in 27 different species, all of which hail from the Caribbean and South and Central America. Their captive menus share some similarities to the foods they regularly eat out in nature.
Natural Diets of Amazon Parrots
The natural diet of Amazon parrots generally consists of nuts, vegetables, fruit, seeds and plants. Oil palm trees are often particularly preferred sources of fruit for these parrots. When they scour for food up in trees, they don't fly between the limbs. They instead climb from one section to the next. Amazon parrot diets aren't 100 percent restricted to plant matter. They sometimes feed on insect larvae, too.
Across the Species
The foundations of Amazon parrot diets are largely similar across the species, although certain varieties are especially partial to specific foods. Yellow crowned parrots (Amazona ochrocephala) in nature, for example, dine on lots of leaf buds and blossoms, among other things. Blue-fronted parrots (Amazona aestiva) gravitate to agricultural crops and leaf sprouts. They even have reputations as major nuisances to citrus fruit. Cuban Amazon parrots (Amazona leucocephala) are drawn to cones of trees such as Caribbean pines (Pinus caribaea).
Diet in Captivity
If you're an Amazon parrot owner, don't just try to copy the exact natural feeding plans of these birds. Instead, talk to a veterinarian regarding which types of foods are beneficial for your parrot's specific species. Commercial pellet blends that cater to your Amazon's species often work well for managing their full nutritional demands. Diets that are composed exclusively of seeds generally lack protein, vitamin A and calcium. Plan your Amazon parrot's daily meals with the assistance of your vet, and don't make any decisions until you receive her enthusiastic approval.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are natural foods that frequently appear in captive Amazon parrots' diets. Although commercial pellets generally are effective as the cores of their feeding plans, they also appreciate fruits and vegetables. Always diligently wash and chop produce into tiny bites beforehand. Some of the fruits and vegetables that are suitable for Amazon parrots include blueberries, peas, apples, zucchini, kale, bananas, papayas, carrots, broccoli, cabbage and grapefruit. Avocados are toxic to parrots, so keep them far away from your bird. Don't feed your parrot any fruits or vegetables unless you have veterinarian confirmation of their safety. Discuss with your vet appropriate portions for fruits and vegetables, too.
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Amazona Ochrocephala
- Avian and Exotic Animal Care: Amazon Parrot Facts
- Barrier Animal Care Clinic: Amazon Parrots
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Amazona Aestiva
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Amazona Leucocephala
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Amazon Parrots - Feeding
- BirdChannel.com: Top 10 Pet Amazon Parrot Questions Answered
- Lafeber Vet: Basic Information Sheet for the Amazon Parrot
- Chewelah Veterinary Clinic: Amazon Parrots
- The Cockatiel Handbook; Mary Gorman