Amazons are stocky birds, and depending on the variety, can be medium or large in size. The smallest are the white-fronted spectacled amazons, while the largest are the double-yellow-headed and mealy amazons.
Amazons have mostly green plumage, accented by splashes of color: red, blue, lilac, and yellow. These colors are usually found on their wings, tail, napes, heads and necks.
When they are first hatched, Amazon parrots have dark brown eyes, but the color can change within the first 3 years, from a deep chestnut to a bright red orange.
It’s difficult to tell the gender of Amazon parrots. You’ll need to bring it to the veterinarian, who can perform a DNA test using a sample of blood or some of their feathers. (These methods are generally seen to be less invasive than endoscopies or surgical probes.)
Amazons can be quite aggressive, especially when they are bored. In the wild, they build nests in holes in the trees, so they have a strong instinct to chew wood, paper, and even their cages. Without enough toys or stimulation, this instinct can easily be channeled into destroying something in their environment.
While Amazons don’t have a tendency to pluck their feathers, they can do this if they feel abandoned or if they are stuck in a small cage for extended periods of time. Feather plucking is a sign of depression or frustration.
Amazons are known for their ability to mimic human speech. The best ones are the double yellow heads, the blue fronts, and the yellow napes. Some of them can actually learn to sing, like feathered Pavarottis.
Others may learn a few words, but be more adept at learning tricks. Amazons are very sociable and confident birds and will put up quite an interesting performance even for strangers. This is one reason why they are often trained for bird shows or special zoo exhibits.
Amazons need gentle dominance training, however, to curb tendencies to bite or nip.