Mini portrait: Orange-winged Amazon

Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica).

The Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica) is nowadays one of the most frequently occurring Amazon parrot species in human care (meaning captivity). It may resemble the Red-shouldered Blue-fronted Amazon, aka Turquoise-fronted Parrot, (Amazona aestiva aestiva), but differs among other things from this one in being somewhat smaller and with a fainter colored plumage and its light bill.

The popularity of the Orange-winged Amazon seems to have waned over recent years as other, often much more brightly coloured - and rarer - species from the same genus have become available to a wider circle of aviculturists.

The species is seen - together with a number of other common Amazon parrot species - offered at almost spot prices, as there is apparently no longer much prestige in keeping this species either. It is a shame, as it in many ways is a typically representative, but also sometimes noisy, species for this genus. The Orange-winged Amazon is almost "given away for free" these years, which is why it is an obvious first choice for a less experienced aviculturists who wants to try his hand at a medium-sized parrot species.

For an unheard low amount, you can acquire a pair, but you have to look carefully, as unfortunately, you often see specimens of this species which are not in good condition and can seem paltry. The funny thing is that several of these birds can appear to have a slightly "vulture-like" counterfeet due to the anatomy of the head and beak.

Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica).

Its range is northern and eastern Colombia to Venezuela, including Isla Margarita and south of Rio Orinoco throughout Amazonas and the Guianas and Amazon River basin, south in Brazil to Mato Grosso, Sao Paulo and eastern Bolivia to Ecuador and Peru.

In the wild, the Orange-winged Amazon is quite widespread in its huge distribution area in northern South America, which at the same time means that there can be significant differences in both size, colouration and intensity depending on where the birds come from. Yet science (the leading taxonomies) nowadays only recognizes a single species. According to BirdLife International, it is categorized as being a species of "Least Concern", which means that it is in no way threatened with extinction in the wild, but the number of individuals in the wild is decreasing as a result of man's continued destruction of its habitat and intensive trapping.

The species prefers all kinds of lowland forest and wooded country, near water, including tropical rainforest, savanna and other seasonal woodlands, cultivated areas with trees, mangroves, and gallery woodlands. Though it primarily is a lowland bird, It can also be found up to 1,200 m.

Orange-winged Amazons eat different kinds of palm fruits, flowers and other food plants. In cultivated areas it also takes oranges and mangoes when other food is scarce.

Over the years, there has been an extensive trade in the Orange-winged Amazon, and since 1981, when the species was listed on CITES Appendix II, there has been officially registered trade in 268,510 wild-caught Orange-winged Amazons per year. January 2005 (compiled under the auspices of the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database).

Orange-winged Amazons (Amazona amazonica).

Photos from the internet.

Jorgen Petersen


Conceived/Updated: 31.03.2012 / 11.01.2024