A lot of variation exists between individuals in the amount of yellow covering the cheeks. Pox and Pacheco’s viruses are a problem with imports. One door, opening into a little vestibule, which is closed before the main room is entered. This arrangement also allows discarded food and droppings to pass through the wire bottom and out of the reach of the parrot: a most hygienic arrangement which allows easier cleaning by keepers. An outgoing personality, excellent talking ability, beautiful coloration and general hardiness gives this species the qualities that lay people think all parrots have. By nature they are very affectionate and two individuals of the same sex can act as a true pair, indicating the need for sex identification markers. Veterinarians appear to be charging about the same for both procedures so the extra information from endoscopy (e.g. February to June is the breeding season. Mexico recently joining CITES and may, as a public relations gesture, propose to list it on Appendix I. There may be a relationship between vitamin D3, calcium, and protein to energy levels, and kidney stress. We felt strongly that the virus was spread via the water droplets in the air contaminated from the faeces soiled cage wire and floor waste. weight and check for cloacal papillomas. Years ago, diseases directly and indirectly caused by dietary deficiency were very common in captive birds. This may include more colony type of housing with more chances to defend territories to the opposite, more privacy in very quiet environments. The brilliant plumage of a parrot has a special built-in defense against disease: Psittacofulvins, a pigment that resists bacteria and only present in parrots is responsible for their red, green and yellow colors. HARI is presently studying this by the long term feeding of exactly known amounts of these nutrients while monitoring kidney health by regular biopsies to look for morphological changes and blood tests. Yellow-headed amazons are monogamous and during the breeding season live in pairs which mate for life. Serology confirmed the presence of Pacheco’s herpes virus anti-bodies in all birds that were sick and recovered. The Yellow-headed amazon, also known as the Double Yellow-headed amazon, seems to be the best known of the Amazon parrots. Babies are sweet, begin to talk early and thus sell well. It was literally raining broken pieces of these nuts under a tree that a group of Scarlet Macaws were eating from. Amazons going through that stage are difficult to handle for many but the most experienced amazon owners. These wild-caught but hand-fed parrots are a mixed blessing. Parent raised birds would of course be better than hand-raised but in Amazons I don’t think it makes too much of a difference (cockatoos are a different story). Based on previous experiences I believe we may have yellow-napped and/or yellow-winged Amazon carriers who are intermittent shedders of some host adapted virus. Our Amazons were set up in one long row of 76 cm wide x 152 cm high x 320 cm long split cages with very little space, about 10 cm between each set of two cages. Nicaragua is presently exporting baby Blue Crowns taken as nestlings from the wild. Mexico is where most of this species lives, with additional, small populations living in the north east of Guatemala as far as the Honduras border, as well as in Belize. All our yellow-napped Amazons have come from quarantines where significant (about 25 %) acute mortality had occurred, but to which the federal lab in Ottawa could not identify the causative agent, although we believed that disease outbreak was caused by an Amazon poxvirus. At HARI most of our birds are housed indoors most of the year, similarly to many northern breeders. Aviculturists should use as many of the resources available as possible to prevent and monitor disease. Also, when we look at what parrots eat in the wild, it is not sweet high moisture fruits or vegetables. Placing at least four mature birds (two of each sex) of the same species into a large cage should result in at least one compatible pair. We vaccinate all new world birds against Pacheco’s Herpes Virus but have not started testing for polyoma virus. This entrance is used for inspection of eggs and chicks and for adding nesting material. If disease is present in carrier birds, it is activated by poor nutrition, over-crowding, sudden environmental change or other stress. Unsatisfactory breeding in Amazons may be corrected with by re-pairing or changing the environmental conditions. Well the bird was a male and there was apparently a mix up in paper work between the lab, vet and owner! Studbooks for this species should be set up ASAP both in Canada and USA. Edwards, T.A. Several of the old pets we obtained were so imprinted on people that we could not pair them up and had to resell them to the pet trade; others we have are arthritic or are so old they may never breed. The Lilac Crown is in the worst situation out of all the species listed here. Our winter heating costs were high due to our cold winters. Once you have noticed this territorial behavior of your parrot it is best that you respect your bird’s mindset and let it be that way until the mating season ends. Marek’s disease in poultry is also caused by a herpes virus and egg transmission has not been demonstrated. Birds to be used for breeding are available from importers (wild caught birds), pet owners (long term captives which are mostly imports but now increasingly could also be domestic), breeders (babies, proven pairs or unpaired stock) and pet shops (a combination of many sources). In the long term, captive-bred birds that are later pair bonded will be the main source of breeding stock and hopefully the most efficient breeders. Another Amazon parrot behavior concern is noise; they can be very raucous, particularly in the morning or evening. Usually there are two to three eggs per clutch, and incubation is by the female for a period of 26 to 28 days. However, surgical sexing revealed two males; no wonder the breeder had no success with this “pair”! Choosing birds that will become the best breeders continues to be a challenging task. Leg banding is commonly done by most clinics surgically sexing. These birds are herbivores (frugivores and granivores), they feed on fruit, nuts, blossoms, berries and leaf buds. They use their stout hooked beak for cracking seeds and nuts, and also for grasping and climbing. When building artificial nests, it is important to try to simulate the nest conditions found in the wild. Vaccination of all healthy birds within even closed breeding collections should be performed in advance of exposure. If present trends continue, it could become endangered in the wild although enough are in captivity to establish a strong avicultural program. There is a small shortage of females. But many parrots including those we are concentrating on here have reared young indoors, often in circumstances which might be thought far from ideal. Last year I bought a “pair” Double Yellow Heads which had major differences in body size and head size. TRAFFIC/WWF. There are about 353 different species of parrots. The easiest birds to switch onto a formulated diet are recently imported parrots as they have not yet developed a taste for the sweet domestically grown fruits and vegetables. As soon as a second pair breeds for us we will first offer unrelated pairs of domestic babies to other breeders before selling any to the pet trade. Captive bred birds are usually not sub-clinical carriers of pathogenic organisms especially Pacheco’s disease which is a major problem with imported birds. This species has a yellow nape as well as a yellow crown, which is why it has "double-yellow" in its name. Young birds are also a better value because it can seldom be certain that adult birds have not been sold because they failed to pair up and breed or are very old. If babies are to be used for future breeding minimize human contact during hand-rearing, other than that required for care, and have several conspecifics in the same container. They do provide an excellent vehicle for supplements, which are required by birds eating such a variety of pseudo natural (for an exotic bird) food. Mate selection and pair bonding should be carefully monitored to produce compatible pairs and not lead to aggressiveness between birds. This species is now on Appendix 1 of CITES which bans the commercial trade in wild caught specimens. Increasingly the birds being exported from the wild are babies removed as nestlings out of trees and hand-fed in quarantine stations. Thus, this Amazon is now one of the commonest of the large parrots in captivity. This is a brief account of his journey. By changing the conditions under which any species has not bred after many years, we may find the right conditions to finally stimulate reproduction. Amazon parrots also have a tendency to be more aggressive toward other species than their own when in a breeding cycle, something to consider if you keep other species of birds. However, female birds are able to retain sperm in glandular regions of the uterovaginal junction, which are slowly released, explaining their ability to maintain fertilizing sperm for long periods. Parrots are unique amongst birds in being able to bring their food up to their beak in one of their feet so they can eat it. Every effort was made to save each one.

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