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)
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); neotropical (Native )
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.
Average length: 34 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike
These parrots are arboreal and live primarily in rainforests. They prefer to live in wild areas.
Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest
Habitat and Ecology
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)
Life History and Behavior
Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
Status: wild: 27 (high) years.
Status: captivity: 27 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
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.
Range eggs per season: 2 to 5.
Range time to hatching: 20 to 32 days.
Average fledging age: 3 weeks.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Amazona autumnalis
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Amazona autumnalis
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
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)
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: appendix ii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
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.
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)
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 and the species might expand its range permanently into that country in the future. This species has also established feral populations in several California cities.
The red-lored amazon is 32–35 cm (13 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.
- Amazona autumnalis autumnalis (Linnaeus, 1758). Caribbean coasts from eastern Mexico south to northern Nicaragua.
- Amazona autumnalis salvini (Salvadori, 1891). Northern Nicaragua south to Colombia and Venezuela.
- Amazona autumnalis lilacina (Lesson, 1844), the Lilacine amazon. Western Ecuador.
Food and feeding
Their food includes fruits, 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.
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.
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.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Amazona autumnalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- At San Jacinto Hill, 13°42'N 89°08'W: Herrera et al. (2006).
- Herrera et al. (2006)
- "Flock Information". California Flocks. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.004)". www.zoonomen.net. 2008-07-05.
- 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).
- Alderton, David (2003). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Caged and Aviary Birds. London, England: Hermes House. p. 233. ISBN 1-84309-164-X.
- 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
- 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