July 15, 2018 PetGuide
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Mexican Red Headed Amazon

  • Size: 13 inches
  • Lifespan: 50-75+ years
  • Bird Species: Amazon Parrot
  • Colors: Green
  • Sounds: Vocal, Talkative, Mimics, Natural calls
  • Interaction: Social, Cuddly, Fun, Energetic
  • Comparable Breeds: Double Yellow Headed Amazon, African Grey Parrot

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In the large and diverse family of Amazon parrots, the Red crowned parrots, or more commonly called the Mexican Red Headed Amazons, stand out as a highly threatened breed of social, energetic and intelligent birds. Although endangered in the wild, these parrots are relatively common as pets and are loved for their funny, outgoing, and mischievous personality. Sharing a lot of similarities with their close cousins, they have plenty of traits you can expect from an Amazon, but a few tricks up their sleeve as well. Let’s meet the Red Headed Amazon!

Social, energetic and talkative – the Red Crowned parrots are the Amazons we know and love.

As the name suggests, the natural home of these birds is found in the forests that sprawl in the northeast of Mexico. Their large and noisy flocks can be spotted in the tree canopies in the morning and sundown when they are most active. A few feral populations exist outside the natural habitat – mainly in California, Florida, Texas, and Hawaii. Sadly, the wild population numbers only around 2000 birds, and this breed is officially endangered. Destruction of the forests in Mexico, illegal trapping, and smuggling, have all caused this critical decline.

Mexican Red Headed Amazon shares many physical similarities with the rest of their family.  But a few crucial details in both their looks and personality make them stand out. The adult birds reach an average length of around 13 inches (33 centimeters) and can weigh up to 10 ounces (270 grams). They also have a large wingspan – up to 16 inches (40 centimeters).  Roomy cage and plenty of space are mandatory. These parrots are not sexually dimorphic – this means that males and females are identical.

We all know that the biggest pride of all the Amazons is their great ability to talk, sing and mimic. It should not come as a surprise when your pet develops a substantial vocabulary or displays its great arsenal of memorized melodies and common sounds. They are certain to be at the center of attention, showing off their mimics in a goofy voice. They also have loud and often harsh natural calls, but these are usually heard only twice a day in short periods. Still, an Amazon parrot is best kept as a house pet, to avoid noise complaints.

Most Amazons share a generally similar image. The Mexican Red Headed Amazon displays striking tropical colors and is almost entirely green, with slightly darker shades on the wings and back. The distinct details that give them the name are based on the head. The forehead is bright red, with prominent purple or blue streaks just behind the eyes.  Their cheeks are also green, but much lighter than the rest of the body. This simple coloration with prominent head details draws the attention to their pretty faces and their striking eyes.

These brightly colored, tropical parrots are a cheerful and a vibrant presence. Their best detail is their pretty face.

In the wild, these parrots subside on a variety of seeds, fruits, flower nectar and tree blossoms. As pets, the first and best choice should be the commercial seed mix designed and prepared just for Amazons. This has all the necessary bits and pieces to offer them an enjoyable and healthy diet. But you’ll need to add some much-needed vitamins in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables. Being larger parrots, your Amazons should enjoy an occasional meal of cooked rice, corn or chicken.

These hardy parrots are noted for their ability to adapt and endure most temperate conditions. Like a lot of larger birds, they can be prone to some feather loss due to neglect, loneliness, stress and bad hygiene. To avoid this, you must offer regular baths. This can be achieved by bathing dishes, regular showers, mist sprays or baths in the standard kitchen sink. Either one of these will be a treat for your Mexican Red Headed Amazon – they adore it!

Regular baths are a great treat for an Amazon parrot and serve as a good protection against skin related disease.

For anyone who is looking for an energetic, intelligent parrot that will bond with their owner, an Amazon is always the best choice. You can always rely on their fun personality to entertain you. With all the talking, the mimics, the silly tricks or simply their cuddlier side, a Mexican Red Headed Amazon will always prove a great pet parrot. As they have an astounding lifespan of up to 75 years or more, these friendly parrots are not just a loving companion but a lifetime commitment, as well. 

Photo credit: Tracy Starr/Shutterstock; fivespots/Shutterstock

Comparable Breeds

Go to Double Yellow Headed Amazon

Double Yellow Headed Amazon

  • Size: 17 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 80 years
  • Bird Species: Amazon Parrot
  • Colors: Green with yellow details
  • Sounds: Vocal, mimicking, talkative, chatterer
  • Interaction: Social, affectionate, energetic, playful
  • Comparable Breeds: African Grey Parrot, Military Macaw
Go to African Grey Parrot

African Grey Parrot

  • Size: 13 inches
  • Lifespan: 60 years
  • Bird Species: African Grey Parrot
  • Colors: Grey, Red, White
  • Sounds: Vocal, Loud, Mimics, Talkative
  • Interaction: Social, Fun, Friendly, Cuddly, Affectionate, Playful
  • Comparable Breeds: Timneh African Grey, Hyacinth Macaw