Red-lored amazon

Species of bird

Red-lored amazon
Amazona autumnalis -Xcaret theme park -Riviera Maya-8a.jpg
At Xcaret Eco Park 22, Mexico
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Amazona
A. autumnalis
Binomial name
Amazona autumnalis
Amazona autumnalis map.svg

Psittacus autumnalis Linnaeus, 1758

A. a. salvini at Cana Blanca Wildlife Sanctuary, Costa Rica
A captive-bred red-lored parrot chick at the age of 6 weeks

The red-lored amazon or red-lored parrot (Amazona autumnalis) is a species of amazon parrot, native to tropical regions of the Americas, from eastern Mexico south to Ecuador where it occurs in humid evergreen to semi-deciduous forests up to 1,100 m altitude. It is absent from the Pacific side of Central America north of Costa Rica. Not originally known from El Salvador, a pair - perhaps escaped from captivity - nested successfully in 1995 and 1996 in the outskirts of San Salvador[2] and the species might expand its range permanently into that country in the future.[3] This species has also established feral populations in several California cities.[4]


The red-lored amazon was formally described in 1758 by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae. He placed it with all the other parrots in the genus Psittacus and coined the binomial name Psittacus autumnalis.[5] Linnaeus based his description on the "lesser green parrot" that had been described and illustrated in 1751 by the English naturalist George Edwards in the fourth volume of his A Natural History of Uncommon Birds.[6] Edwards mistakenly believed his specimen had come from the West Indies. The type locality was later designated as southern Mexico.[7] The red-lored amazon is now one of around thirty species placed in the genus Amazona that was introduced by the French naturalist René Lesson in 1830.[8][9] The genus name is a Latinized version of the name Amazone used in the 18th century by the Comte de Buffon. The specific epithet autumnalis is Latin for "autumnal".[10]

Three subspecies are recognised:[9]

  • A. a. autumnalis (Linnaeus, 1758) – east Mexico to north Nicaragua
  • A. a. salvini (Salvadori, 1891) – north Nicaragua to southwest Colombia and northwest Venezuela
  • A. a. lilacina (Lesson, R, 1844) – west Ecuador - the lilacine amazon

The lilacine amazon is considered by some authorities (such as BirdLife International) to be a distinct species, Amazona lilacina.[11]

The diademed amazon (Amazona diadema) is sometimes considered conspecific with this species.


The red-lored amazon is 32–35 centimetres (13–14 in) in length, with a weight of 310–480 g. The plumage is primarily green, with a red forehead and, in some subspecies, yellow cheeks (sometimes with red spots). The crown is blue. Adult males and females do not differ in plumage. Juveniles have less yellow on the cheeks, less red on the forehead, and dark irises.


Food and feeding

Their food includes fruits,[12] nuts and seeds. Like all parrots, red-lored amazons need a varied diet consisting of high quality pellets, a quality seed mix, and daily servings of fresh, bird-safe fruits and vegetables.


The red-lored amazon nests in tree cavities. The eggs are white and there are usually three or four in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about 26 days and the chicks leave the nest about 60 days after hatching.[13]


In some areas, notably parts of Mexico and Venezuela, the red-lored amazon has become rare through trapping for the cagebird trade. On the other hand, it seems to be able to adapt to human-altered habitat to a considerable degree.[3]


Red-lored amazons are fairly common pet parrots in the Americas. They can be devoted pets and some make fairly good talkers. Like most amazon parrots they often have a tendency to vocalize loudly, and sometimes to bite. Their behavior ranges from being quiet and curious to being aggressive, this can all be changed by basic training when the bird is of a young age. Red-lored amazons can grow up to 13 inches in length. While they largely feast on seeds, fruits and nuts, avocados and eggplants are poisonous to them and can kill them. Their average life span is up to 80 years.


  • Vocalizing


  • Head plumage of adults is characteristic, but the cheek color varies among subspecies, with this, A. a. autumnalis, being the only with a bright yellow patch

    Head plumage of adults is characteristic, but the cheek color varies among subspecies, with this, A. a. autumnalis, being the only with a bright yellow patch

  • A. a. lilacina is local within its already small range, leading to concerns about its status

    A. a. lilacina is local within its already small range, leading to concerns about its status

  • A. a. salvini in flight, Panama

    A. a. salvini in flight, Panama

  • A. a. salvini feeding in the wild, Panama

    A. a. salvini feeding in the wild, Panama

  • A pet juvenile in Costa Rica

    A pet juvenile in Costa Rica


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2018). "Amazona autumnalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22728292A132031668. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22728292A132031668.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ At San Jacinto Hill, 13°42'N 89°08'W: Herrera et al. (2006).
  3. ^ a b Herrera et al. (2006)
  4. ^ "Flock Information". California Flocks. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  5. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 102.
  6. ^ Edwards, George (1751). A Natural History of Uncommon Birds. Vol. 4. London: Printed for the author at the College of Physicians. p. 164.
  7. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1937). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 3. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 219.
  8. ^ Lesson, René (1831). Traité d'Ornithologie, ou Tableau Méthodique (in French). Vol. 1. Paris: F.G. Levrault. p. 189.
  9. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2022). "Parrots, cockatoos". IOC World Bird List Version 12.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  10. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 44, 63. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  11. ^ "Species factsheet: Amazona lilacina". BirdLife International. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  12. ^ E.g. of Cymbopetalum mayanum (Annonaceae), Gumbo-limbo (Bursera simaruba), mango (Mangifera indica), figs (Ficus spp.) and palo de hule (Castilla elastica): Herrera et al. (2006), Forster (2007).
  13. ^ Alderton, David (2003). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Caged and Aviary Birds. London, England: Hermes House. p. 233. ISBN 1-84309-164-X.

Further reading

  • Collar, Nigel J. (1997): 313. Red-lored Amazon. In: del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (eds.): Handbook of Birds of the World, Volume 4 (Sandgrouse to Cuckoos): 469–470, Plate 54. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-22-9
  • Donegan, T.; Verhelst, J.C.; Ellery, T.; Cortés-Herrera, O.; Salaman, P. (2016). "Revision of the status of bird species occurring or reported in Colombia 2016 and assessment of BirdLife International's new parrot taxonomy". Conservación Colombiana. 24: 12–36.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. (2007): The potential of fruiting trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico. Bird Conservation International 17(1): 45–61. doi:10.1017/S0959270906000554 PDF fulltext
  • Herrera, Néstor; Rivera, Roberto; Ibarra Portillo, Ricardo & Rodríguez, Wilfredo (2006): Nuevos registros para la avifauna de El Salvador. ["New records for the avifauna of El Salvador"]. Boletín de la Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitología 16(2): 1-19. [Spanish with English abstract] PDF fulltext

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amazona autumnalis.
  • Species profile - World Parrot Trust
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