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April 21, 2018  |  Login

Puerto Rican Amazon
Amazona vittata

What Are They Like?

The boisterous Puerto Rican Amazon is the only remaining parrot native to Puerto Rico. Their plumage is primarily green with dark blue edges. When in flight, it is possible to see the bright blue feathers on the underside of their wings. Puerto Rican Amazons are a little smaller than other Amazon parrots, and measure 11-12 inches (28-30 cm) in length and weigh about 9.7 ounces (275 grams) on average.

Where Do They Live?

Puerto Rican Amazons are found in small isolated areas of the Loquillo Mountains, and Rio Abajo State Forest in Puerto Rico.

Did You Know?
Males and females are so similar in appearance that the only way to tell what sex they are is through DNA testing.

How Are Babies Made?

Puerto Rican Amazons mate for life, and will only change partners if one dies or abandons the nest. They hide their nests in deep cavities within trees, and a female will typically lay 3-4 eggs at a time.

What Do They Eat?

Puerto Rican Amazons are herbivores and eat a variety of flowers, fruits, tree bark and leaves. They don't exactly have the best table manners. They tend to eat very slowly and use their feet to pick up food.

Did You Know?
They nest in deep cavities inside tree trunks. Due to rapid deforestation, all nesting now takes place in artificial cavities.

What Do They Do?

Puerto Rican Amazons lead a very calm and private life when in the safety and comfort of their own nests. However, once they leave the nest, they lose their inhibitions and become very vocal and loud. They have a wide range of calls, from whistles to squawks, and have two specific calls for flight. During take-off, they make a series of squawking noises, and during flight, they make very loud bugling sounds.

How Concerned Should We Be?

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which keeps a "Red List" of species in danger worldwide, lists the Puerto Rican Amazon as "critically endangered." Right now the biggest threat to the Puerto Rican Amazon is the loss of its natural forest habitat. They are among the most endangered bird species in the world. Current estimates indicate that about 50 Puerto Rican Amazons exist in the wild, and 200 in captivity.

What's Being Done?

Puerto Rican Amazons are completely protected in the Caribbean National Forest. Captive parrots at Rio Abajo and the Luquillo Aviary are being managed to preserve as much genetic diversity as possible. At a certain age, the captive parrots are released into the wild in hopes that they will mate and repopulate the diminishing community.


Puerto Rican Parrot: Part II

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