Double Yellow-Headed Amazon

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Species Name
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Classification
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Aviculture
Noise level Can be very loud
Skill level Intermediate?
Size Mid-sized bird usually from the 400-600g range
Price Depends, they are very popular which drives up the price.
Maintenance Nothing out of the ordinary, but they do need a large cage, so that can extend the process. They don't have powder down and their poo is usually solid. However they are big wood chewers and can get pieces of wood every where and when out of their cages they may chew on just about anything, shredding and ruining curtins, walls, wallpaper, chairs etc.
Talking The Double Yellow Amazons are usually great speakers and are some of the best of all the amazons, they often excell at singing as well. Please remember though that not all parrots learn to talk even the ones known for being good speakers, like African Greys may never speak.

Description

I will leave the minute details to someone else, but here is a general description. Please note that there a few different locals for Double Yellow Amazons and their colours vary a little between the locals. I will not go into a detailed description of each local, this description is of a general nature. Amazons as a whole are solidly built, with Double Yellows almost looking pear shaped. Their base colour is green, their beaks are horn coloured as well as their feet. Sometimes their nails will be a mix of black and horn coloured. Their eyes are orangy red and the skin of their nares is white as are their nare hairs. Double Yellows are born with a little yellow on their crown (forehead) and as they get older it moves past their eyes and down their neck in some locals. The general adult look is with a fully yellow head or almost fully yellow. There is a red patch on the outside of their wing bend, which looks like they have red armpits. Sometimes that red is mixed with yellow as well, but usually more to the underside of the wing and isn't always visable when the parrot stands normally. They have yellow on their leg feathers as well. their tail is short and wedge shaped. The tips of the tail feathers are a lighter, lime green.


In the wild

How does this species live in the wild? What are its habits (feeding, breeding, social, etc)?


As companion pets

Double Yellow Amazons are considered one of the "hot 3" This term is applied to the Double Yellow and it's closet relatives, the Yellow Nape and the Yellow Crown Amazons. The reason for this name is that these three species often become quite hormonal and agressive as they mature and can be hard to handle. There are methods to help aliviate this behaviour which are beyond the scope of this description. The name Double Yellow comes from the idea that the Double Yellow is a mix of the colours of both the Yellow Nape and Yellow Crowned - The Yellow Crown obviously has yellow on it's crown and the Yellow Nape has Yellow on the back of it's neck, hense the double yellow, because it has yellow on both crown and nape, but filled in inbetween. The Double Yellow is not necessarily a basic mix as there are colour difference between all three.
I wish to stresss that as companions Double Yellows are not for everyone. They can have very strong preferences for certain people and have a tendancy to be one person birds, again this can be tempered with training and socializtion which is again beyond the scope of this description. They can be very strong willed and indipendant. Amzons in general Double Yellows can sometimes go through a moody, behavioural period at about 2 yrs old, and they tend to mellow out at about 10 years old.
They are comical and usually gregarious, loving to show off and be adored by a crowd. They are very smart and I strongly suggest a variety of toys that are rotated regularily and toys that challenge them are great, like foraging toys and games.
When in the mood Double Yellows can be very cuddly and affectionate. Their body language like most amazons is easy to read, so hormonal behaviour aside they are ok for newer bird owners who may miss the more subtle language of some other parrots. You can almost always tell how an amazon is feeling. Because amazons are not generally cuddle bugs and can be quite indipendant they really need an owner who understands and respects that. The problem is a lot of people don't and so they get bitten, usually really hard and the bird get banished from the family, religated to a back room or basement. Amazons are also not prone to plucking so it's easier to think that a neglected amazon is doing ok. An amazon ingnored can often turn to screaming. While I don't find Double Yellows the loudest amzon and their call isn't as piercing as some other amazons it's still loud enough.


As aviary birds

What is this species like in an aviary? Can it be mixed with other birds? Any special requirements, etc?


Diet and health

A formulated extruded kibble is best. Extruded kibble differs from pellet in the method of preperation and pressing. Supposedly pellets often lose a lot of nutritional value through the process of pelleting where as extruded kibble is able to maintain that nutritional value while being heated and pressed. Hari's Tropican extruded kibbles are noted to be the best. Their reseach facilities have a good track rec


Breeding

Is this species easy or difficult to breed? How long does it take for eggs to hatch and how many? Dietry needs? Housing requirements? Handrearing requirements?


Mutations

I believe there is a lutino mutation, but I doubt that it is available to the public yet. As mentioned above there are different locals of Double Yellows, but these don't technically qualify for mutations.


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See also

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lories-and-lorikeets


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