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What is an Orange-Winged Amazon?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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The orange-winged Amazon has the distinction of being the only one of the Amazon parrots with orange feathers on its wings, giving the breed its name. It is native to Trinidad and Tobago and tropical regions in South America, and shares its natural habitats with a variety of Amazon parrots. The bird is also known for being a friendly, social parrot; intelligent and easy to train, it can make an excellent pet.

A relatively small parrot when compared to other Amazons, the orange-winged Amazon is only about 12 to 13 inches (about 31 to 33 cm) in length, with some subspecies reaching a mature size of only about 10 inches (25 cm). Most of the plumage is green, with a blue spot on the forehead and yellow patches on the cheeks and on top of the head. The orange feathers on the wings are only a small patch, a coloring called a speculum. The beak of the orange-winged Amazon is the same color as a bull's horns at the base, with a gray tip. Male and female birds have the same coloring.

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Easily bred in captivity, female birds will lay between two and four eggs in the spring. After about 28 days the eggs will hatch, and the young birds will remain in the nest until they are between eight and 10 weeks old. While the female takes care of the young, the male will double the food that he eats so he can return to the nest to regurgitate for his mate and offspring. When they finally emerge form the nest, young birds are mostly green with a speckling of yellow, orange, or blue feathers.

Whether domestic or wild, the orange-winged Amazon is a social bird that enjoys company. In the wild, they can be found living in flocks of up to hundreds of bird. When kept in captivity as pets, they enjoy being near people and in the center of activity.

While they can be temperamental, orange-winged Amazons are intelligent, adaptable, and quick to learn. Many can be taught to mimic human speech, but they can also be challenging to owners who do not know what to expect from them. They can be aggressive chewers, and those allowed out of their cages will regard anything in the house as a toy meant for them. Supplying these playful birds with plenty of their own toys is a necessity for happy, healthy, and well-behaved parrots.

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