Blue-fronted Amazon, Amazona aestiva

The Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva), also known as the Turquoise-fronted Amazon and Blue-fronted Parrot, is a species of parrot that is found in eastern Brazil, northeastern Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina. Its preferred habitat is forests (except dense humid forests), woodlands, savannas, and palm groves. There is a small feral population of this species in the greener parts of Stuttgart in Germany. Two subspecies are recognized.

The adult is about 15 inches long and has blue forehead feathers, and a yellow face and crown. The beak is mostly black. Sexes are alike in appearance. The young are duller than the adult. There are significant variations in both the facial pattern and amount of coloration to the shoulder in individuals.

The Blue-fronted Amazon nests in trees in an existing cavity. The female lays three to five white, oval eggs and incubates them for about 27 days. The chicks leave the nest about 60 days after hatching.

Though this species is fairly common throughout its range, there has been evidence of a decline in population, partly due to its popularity in the pet trade. Since 1981, an estimated 413,000 birds have been captured for trade as pets. It has been introduced accidentally to areas that are not natural parts of its range as well. This species is one of the most popular pet birds in South America and around the world. It is popular largely due to its talking ability (ranked third among birds). It also has a beautiful singing voice. It is typically not shy and will perform for strangers. It also tends to be an active species and will play with toys for several hours at a time.

Image Caption: Blue-fronted Amazon in a tree in Brazil. An individual from the feral population in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Credit: Snowmanradio/Wikipedia (CC Attribution 2.0)