The Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva), also called the Turquoise-fronted Amazon and Blue-fronted Parrot, is a species of Amazon parrot and one of the most common Amazon parrots kept in captivity as a pet or companion parrot. Its common name derives from the distinctive blue marking on its head just above its beak.
The Blue-fronted Amazon was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus
in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae
. Its specific epithet is the feminine form of the Latin
, "of the summer". Two subspecies are recognised:
- A. a. aestiva is found in Eastern Brazil.
- A. a. xanthopteryx occurs from northern and eastern Bolivia southwards through southwestern Mato Grosso in Brazil, to Paraguay and Argentina. The red on the wing is partly or wholly replaced by yellow plumage.
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. The extent of the blue feathers is variable. Male and female are identical in external appearance. Juveniles are duller and have dark irises.
Distribution and habitat
The range of the Blue-fronted Amazon extends over Bolivia
and northern Argentina
. It is found in forests and palm groves.
A small feral breeding population is also present in the greener regions of Stuttgart in Germany.
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 status of this species is evaluated as Least Concern by BirdLife International. However, there is evidence of a population decline, and this species has been heavily traded: since 1981 when it was listed on CITES Appendix II, 413,505 wild-caught individuals have been recorded in international trade (UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database, January 2005).
The Blue-fronted Amazon is commonly seen as a pet, both in South America and other parts of the world. Their talking ability is ranked third among birds when compared to African Grey Parrots
and Yellow-naped Amazons
. These birds are not only excellent talkers but are proficient singers as well. They are not normally shy and will perform for strangers. Although they tend to be very interactive, blue fronts also tend to play with toys contently for several hours at a time. Pets require plenty of toys, perches, and climbing room. As with other birds, under no circumstances are blue front parrots to eat avocado
. Blue-Fronted Amazons, particularly the males, can be aggressive in spring, the mating season.
- Forshaw, Joseph M. and Cooper, William T. (1978). Parrots of the World. 2nd, Melbourne: Landsdowne Editions.