The Red-Lored Parrot is found in North, Central and South America, particularly from eastern Mexico thorugh western Ecuador. Most Red-Lored Parrots are found in Panama. One subspecies, A. a. diadema, is restricted to northwestern Brazil and occurs only between the Upper Amazon and Negro Rivers. They live in the canopy of tropical rainforests. (Forshaw 1977, Hogle Zoo 1999)
- Terrestrial Biomes
Like all parrots, red-lored amazons have a large head and a short neck. This parrot is about 34 centimeters long. The feathers are mostly green, but the forehead and lores are red, hence the name, red-lored parrot. The red area on its forehead is very hard to see making this species of parrot hard to identify. Because of this they are often confused with other species of Amazona. Feathers on the top and back of the head are tipped in lilac-blue. The wing feathers often also bear bright red, yellow, black, and white hightlights. The upper cheeks are yellow and the largest wing feathers are also often mostly yellow. They have short wings, but can fly powerfully. The tail is green, square, and tipped with yellowish green and blue. The countour feathers are sparse, hard and glossy with powderdown in between them. The bill is grey with a yellowish horn on the upper mandible. Above the upper bill they have a fleshy, often feathered projection called a cere. The iris of its eye is orange. Its legs are greenish grey. Sexes are monomorphic. Like all parrots, this parrot has very strong zygodactyl feet. ("Encyclopedia Americana", 2000; Campbell and Lack, 1985; Forshaw, 1977; Ridgely, 1981; Utah's Hogle Zoo, 1999)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes alike
- Average length
- 34 cm
- 13.39 in
These parrots nest in hollow trees and usually lay 2-5 eggs. The egg shells are white. They hatch in 20 and 32 days. Hatchlings are blind and naked. The female parrot feeds and broods them for the first 10 days and later the male aids her in the care. After three weeks the young are ready to leave the nest. Some parrots stay with their parents until the following mating season. ("Academic American Encyclopedia", 1983; Ridgely, 1981; Utah's Hogle Zoo, 1999)
- Key Reproductive Features
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Range eggs per season
- 2 to 5
- Range time to hatching
- 20 to 32 days
- Average fledging age
- 3 weeks
- Range lifespan
- 27 (high) years
- Range lifespan
- Average lifespan
- 27 years
- Average lifespan
These parrots are often sedentary. This means that they live in the same place all year long. Daily they move around between roosting and nesting places. They are gregarious, meaning that they live in flocks. During the mating season they live in pairs. They probably mate for life and are often seen flying in pairs. Along with mating, the pair engage in mutual preening, or cleaning each other's feathers, and partner feeding. The parrot's calls are screeching, loud, and unmelodic. They are the strongest calls of Panama's three species of Amazona. They are often noisy, unless resting or eating. These parrots are highly intelligent. They fly with shallow stiff wing-strokes that make this particular species very easy to recognize in the air. These parrots are good mimics, though only in captivity. They use their beaks and feet to climb trees and husk seeds. They will also test new surfaces using their beaks. Although destruction of their habitat, and capturing for pets are causing these species to deteriorate, there are also many predators of this bird. Other than man, monkeys, snakes, and raptors also hunt the Red-Lored Parrot. (Ridgley 1981; Campbell and Lack 1985; Hogle Zoo 1999)
- Key Behaviors
Communication and Perception
The Red-Lored Parrot is vegetarian. It enjoys eating seeds, fruit, nuts, berries, greens, blossoms and buds. The parrot has a very strong mandible that is curved to fit over the lower mandible. With this beak, the parrot is able to crack nuts with ease. The parrot's tongue is also very powerful. The tongue along with the beak and jaws are used to husk seeds before they are eaten. The zygodactyl foot is helpful in manipulating food as it eats. When it eats it is usually up in trees and is unusually quiet for its nature.
(Campbell and Lack 1985; Brooke and Birkhead 1991; Hogle Zoo 1999; Encyclopedia Americana 2000)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
The Red-Lored Parrot, like other parrots, is a very popular pet. In captivity, it can live up to 80 years. From youth, they are very easily tamed. Their antics are fun to watch, and this makes their demand as household pets higher. The Red-Lored Parrot has been compared to the African Grey Parrot, as both are very successful at mimicking the human voice. This is the main reason there is a demand for these parrots.
(Encyclopedia Americana 2000; Brooke and Birkhead 1991)
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
These parrots do not live in settled areas around humans. Therefore they do not frequently come in contact with humans. When they do, it is because humans are hunting them. There is more damage done to the parrot population by humans than damage done by parrots to human populations.
Although the Red-Lored Parrot is not endangered, it is on its way to being endangered. The forests that this parrot live in are slowely being destroyed. People also hunt this parrot for a food source and for its colorful feathers that are used in ceremonial dances. The high demand for these animals as pets has also threatened them. In order to conserve these animals, the rainforest must be maintained.(Brooke and Birkhead 1991)
There are approimately 50 species of Amazon parrots. (Hogle Zoo 1999)
Meghan Ritter (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
1983. Academic American Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Groiler Incorporated.
2000. Encyclopedia Americana. New York, NY: Groiler Incorporated.
Brooke, M., T. Birkhead. 1991. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ornithology. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Campbell, B., E. Lack. 1985. A Dictionary of Birds. Philidelphia, PA: Buteo Books.
Forshaw, J. 1977. Parrots of the World. Neptune, NJ: T.F.H. Publications.
Ridgely, R. 1981. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Utah's Hogle Zoo, 1999. "Red-Lored Amazon Parrot" (On-line). Accessed March 12, 2001 at http://www.hoglezoo.org/birds/redlored.htm.