Talking Green Parrot - Information for those who live with Amazons

Welcome to Talking Green Parrot

Talking Green Parrot is dedicated to improving behavior, care and health of Amazon parrots by providing their owners with the knowledge needed to achieve this goal. The name resulted from our origin as Talking Green Parrot Aviary, but "aviary" was dropped when we discontinued breeding Amazons.

Quick Time Movie
See Gumbi & The Countess during a singing lesson

Here is an example of quite a large and lengthy Quick Time Movie ( of me giving my Yellow Nape Amazon's singing lessons. It is 11.3MB so you'll probably have to save it to your computer in order to view it. To do so, right click on the link to the movie and select Save Target As... A Save As box will pop up after a File Download box begins. Save it to your Desktop (or anywhere you will be able to find it). Once it's saved, open your Quick Time Player and select File> Open Movie then choose the file This should start the movie.

Time to make those spring-time adjustments to your bird's schedule!
Yellow Nape Amazons Gumbi and The Countess on their play stand.  Gumbi is the highest.

This is the time of year when many male Amazons will begin to feel the raising of hormonal signals which prepare them for their breeding cycle. If there doesn't happen to be an appropriate mate available to them, they may try to entice their favorite human into a poor substitution. While this is perfectly normal, it has a distinctive down side for the humans who share their home with these little feathered Romeos. There aren't many folks who truely appreciate birdy vomitus, no matter that this is the ultimate form of flattery which can be offered up by their smitten buddy. Nor will many people really appreciate the hormonal bites or screaming fits that can accompany their parrot's hyped up sex drive. Let's face it, we just aren't USED to a companion that can do a Dr. Jekle / Mr. Hyde impersonation!

In order to deal with these spring-time hormonal cycles effectively, we must first realize that they are NORMAL YEARLY CYCLES that are hard-wired to give these little green Don Juan's the best chance to pass on their genes to the next generation. The male Amazon is the one who seeks out the nest site, cleans it out and evicts any occupants that might have staked a claim to the nesting hole. Once his hen has begun sitting inside their nesting cavity, he takes on the tasks of feeding and protecting her. In order to ensure that a minimum of attention is attracted to their nest site, he will attack and drive away all perceived threats within his self determined territory of about a square mile. So how does this translate into misbehavior in the home? The most common complaints are cage territoriality, hormonal biting, repetitive screaming and a change in behavior to include sudden restless, uneasiness with sudden aggressive mood swings.

In order to address any hormonal related misbehavior, one needs to understand that Amazon's hormonal activity increases during the spring of each year, when the days slowly become longer. This increased daylight is going to produce the same effect in our companion Amazons, and addressing this one factor will give us a good head start to controlling all of the misbehaviors produced by surging hormones! In fact, many people unknowingly are imitating the long days of spring throughout the year by allowing their feathered companions to stay up far into the night. When their companion is permitted to live in a perpetual state of spring and summer the effect can be a bird in a constant state of hormoniality. Of course this can be remedied through daylight management by reversing the process which released the feathery Mr. Hyde in the first place.

Bluefront Amazon, Jake on a cage top playstand - to see a larger view of this photo click on it

A good rule of thumb would be to monitor the light cycle of your male Amazon to allow for 12 hours of both daylight and nighttime. His sleeping quarters should also be in an area where he can actually sleep. A bird covered with a television blaring nearby isn't going to receive the full benefit of a good night's sleep, nor is your companion going to rest well if someone suddenly flips on a bright light. There are many options available and you need only try the ones that seem likely to fit into your situation. Of course the best option is a "bird room" or to press a guest room into service with a small sleeping cage. A sleeping cage can be as simple as a travel crate or as elaborate as second free standing cage. I have used both and they work equally well for the purpose of allowing my two companions to get adequate rest. If you haven't a spare room, you can press a large walk-in closet, an extra bathroom or any nook or cubby that can be kept dark and quiet into service.

The 12 hour length of night-time can be increased in cases where you are just beginning to make changes, or if you have maintained the 12 hour schedule and it isn't working. Bumping up the length of night in half hour increments each week will simulate the coming of winter, but I would hesitate to pass the 14 hour mark. At this point, if progress hasn't been made there is a possiblility that the misbehavior has become habitual misbehavior because it has been allowed to continue for an extended period. In this article we are just discussing the change of schedule to help alleviate hormonal behavior, but there are additional steps that can be taken listed in our Enhancing Behavior section to help with habitual misbehavior and individual misbehaviors.

Go directly to the page for both books

From Joanie Doss on Amazon Behavior and Body Language!

Buy Book 1    Buy Book 2

Joanie is one of the foremost authorities on Amazon behavior. Her 7 male Amazons have taught her the many intricacies of dynamics and interpersonal relationships within her flock. Her troup of "The Amazing Amazons" performed for the public for many years, allowing even small children to hold them after each show. These experiences have taught her what her little green charges are saying with their postures and behaviors and she is now sharing this knowledge with us in her two books.

The first of her two books explains how to read the body language of Amazon parrots with drawings to show each posture. The second deals with the hormonal or aggressive Amazon. Many years of research and observation have gone into Joanie's books in order to help you to understand what your Amazon is telling you with his posturing. These two books are a "must have" for any Amazon owner.

Read articles by Joanie Doss
Buy book one!
Buy book two!

2001 -2007 by Talking Green Parrot Aviary