A Profile Of This Bird Species: Green-Cheeked Amazon (Mexican Red-Crowned) Parrot

 Funny and attractive, green-cheeked Amazon parrots can make great pets for the right owners. Also known as the Mexican Red-headed Parrot, they are intelligent, affectionate and playful, and some learn to be excellent talkers. These parrots have a gentle temperament compared to other Amazons. More than anything, they want to be around you or their human herd.

Green-Cheeked Amazon (Mexican Red-Crowned) Parrot
Green-Cheeked Amazon (Mexican Red-Crowned) Parrot

  • COMMON NAMES: Green-cheeked Amazon, Mexican red-headed parrot, red-headed Amazon, red-crowned Amazon.
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Amazona viridigenalis.
  • ADULT SIZE: 11 to 13 inches in length, with a wingspan of 15 to 16 inches.
  • LIFE SPAN: 50 years with proper care, and occasionally as long as 70 years.

This is an informative article. Nodisk One is not permitted to make a diagnosis or recommend any form of veterinary care. If your pet is in pain or ill, we recommend that you take him to the vet.


Profile Of  Green-Cheeked Amazon

Origin And History

 Northeastern Mexico is the natural habitat of the green-cheeked Amazon. The birds mainly live in the woods and lowland forests of the region. Social animals, their flocks can reach more than 100 birds. You can often hear that a herd is nearby before you can see it; it utters loud calls in flight.

 In the wild, green cheeks are an endangered species with only 3,000 and 6,000 remaining. The decline in its population is mainly due to illegal trapping for the pet trade as well as the destruction of its habitat. This species also lives in urban areas of Southern California, and feral herds exist in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico.


 Playful and gentle, hand-fed green-cheeked Amazon parrots make good pets that love to interact with everyone. They are gentle and seem content when spending time with their owners. They can join you while watching television or at the table and are fans of manipulation and petting.

 Curious and nosy, they are more prone to mischief than some other Amazonian species. They can gnaw on electrical wires around the house. Positive supervision and distractions are needed when out of the crate. While green-cheeked Amazons are known as comical, good-natured birds, some may go through a phase of hormonal bluffing during their teenage years. This period can last up to two years; birds can get a little skittish during this time. Be patient; it will pass.

 Green-cheeked Amazons aren't as independent or feisty as other Amazons, but they will have times when they want to be left alone. Signs to look out for include the bird's feathers fanning out and pupils constricted by a "flaming eye". Very intelligent, they can quickly learn fun bird tricks, as well as words and phrases. They are also very loud.

Speech And Vocalizations

Every morning and evening, a booming 10-minute announcement is to be expected. At those times, it is natural for the bird to call out to its flock. With consistent practice, many green-cheeked Amazons can improve their communication skills. They can mimic very well. Just be cautious because some people can be sassy and owners have sometimes heard some backtalk.

Green-Cheeked Amazon Parrot Colors And Markings

Dark green dominates the Green-cheeked Amazon's appearance, and a bright red blaze covers their beak and forehead. Some have a streak of brilliant blue that runs down the neck from behind their eyes. Lime green or yellow can be seen on the underside of the tail feathers. Their legs are flesh-colored, and their beaks are made of horn.

It is incredibly difficult to tell males from females. You might notice that a male is slightly larger and that the red and blue patches on its face are more noticeable if you can place two side by side. Having said that, only DNA testing or surgical sexing can determine the sex of the birds with certainty.

Caring For A Green-Cheeked Amazon Parrot

 The green-cheeked Amazon parrot, like all other parrots in the region, requires social interaction. Lack of affection and handling can lead to destructive behavior and depression in birds. Emotional distress can lead to self-mutilation such as feather plucking and skin picking.

 Unlike other pets, parrots need a few hours of daily one-on-one time.This activity preserves the bird's wellbeing while it is housed in captivity and fosters a fulfilling bond between the owner and the pet.

Caring For A Green-Cheeked Amazon Parrot
Caring For A Green-Cheeked Amazon Parrot

 Due to its medium size, the green-cheeked Amazon requires a large cage. Since they like to climb, they should have room inside to spread their wings. The best amount of space to provide is at least two feet by three feet and up to three or five feet in height.

 Inside the cage, provide ladders, a range of toys, and perches for the bird at various heights. To keep its feathers from drying out, your bird will benefit from a bath at least once a week. The birdbath has given your bird a new space to play in. A handheld mister or spray bottle is acceptable for enjoyable bird-bird companion interaction.

Common Health Problems

 When stressed, most parrots will pluck their feathers out of boredom or a lack of interaction. Feather plucking may also be brought on by toxic exposure, infections, and inadequate nutrition.

 Amazons are typically vulnerable to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections like aspergillosis and psittacosis. Additionally, if this species does not get enough exercise or does not eat a well-balanced diet, it will gain weight and may get fatty liver disease.

Diet And Nutrition

 The primary components of a green-cheeked Amazon's diet in the wild are seeds, fruits, berries, flowers, and nectar. Green-cheeked Amazons kept as pets should eat high-quality pelleted food augmented by a seed mix and daily portions of fresh fruits and vegetables safe for birds. Make pelleted food 75 percent of your bird's daily food intake because it is specially formulated to provide the majority of the bird's nutritional needs. At least 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pellet food should be given each day. In accordance with your bird's appetite, you can give more or less.

 Fruits and vegetables that have been chopped offer a stimulating, varied mix of nutrients. At least 20% of the bird's diet needs to consist of this "chop." These birds have a reputation for wasting fresh food, a behavior they picked up from their time spent in the wild. They will select a fruit, nibble on it briefly, and then toss it to the ground. This unclean behavior can make a huge mess inside the cage. Food shouldn't be kept in your bird's enclosure for too long. After an hour or two, remove any fresh foods that you had put in your Amazon's cage.

You can give the bird a seed mixture occasionally or rotate it every other day, or you can give it some nuts. Though most Amazons enjoy seeds and nuts, you should only feed them a small amount of these high-fat foods.


 Due to their propensity for obesity, Amazon parrots require 3 to 4 hours of daily exercise. The bird can thus stretch its muscles and burn off extra calories. Additionally, it offers critical mental stimulation. These birds are incredibly playful, so a schedule of activities will be ideal for them. Interacting with them through training is enjoyable.

A play stand will allow your bird to watch your family's activities outside of its cage from a secure perch. This perch can deter mischievous behavior, particularly if it contains toys that are more engaging than the items in your home. Green-cheeked As much as they enjoy climbing, amazons also enjoy chewing. Toys should be arranged in the cage and on the play stand at various heights. The bird can amuse itself if you create an engaging play gym environment. Replace any toys that are too worn and rotate them frequently. Boredom is less likely if there is always a supply of wood, leather, rope, bells, and other safe toys for birds.

- Pros

  • Intelligent, can talk and learn tricks
  • Affectionate, likes petting and holding
  • Long-lived species

- Cons

  • needs daily activity of at least three to four hours and social interaction
  • Can be noisy
  • Requires a large cage

Only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, are used by Nodisk One to substantiate the information in our articles.