The lilac crowned amazon is also called the Finsch’s Amazon.
Lilac-crowns are on the small side, compared to other Amazon parrots, averaging 12 to 13.5 inches (30.5 – 34.5 cm) from head to the tip of the tail. They weigh about 11.3 oz (325g).
The plumage is mostly green, except for yellow-green face, the red / maroon band across the forehead and the extensive wash of violet-blue on the top of the head (crown) and collar. The feet are bluish. In flight, a red patch of red can be seen in the wings. The outer tail feathers are yellowish-green, except for the central tail feathers which are entirely green.
They resemble the Red Crowned Amazon (Amazona viridigenalis), however, can be differentiated by the following:
- The Red crowned amazon has a bright red forehead and forecrown and blue markings that are restricted to the sides of the crown.
- The Lilac-crowned Amazon has a dusky or dark grey cere (fleshy skin above the upper beak); while this area is flesh-colored in the Red crowned amazon.
- The plumage of the Lilac-crowned Amazon is less vibrant.
- The Lilac-crowned Amazon has a longer tail.
- Their vocalizations are similar, except for the distinctive squeaky upslurred whistle of the Lilac-crowned Amazon and the downslurred whistle of the Red crown amazon (Hardy, 1973).
Care and Feeding of the Lilac crowned Amazon
Amazons in general can be challenging and temperamental birds, though some individuals are quite yielding. However, that’s not the norm, and a guardian has to understand that this self-directed animal is going to want to have its way all of the time. It can be trained to perform behaviors, but it’s more likely to teach a guardian to do “tricks” rather than the other way around. The guardian has to learn Amazon body language to be able to predict behavior. For example, if the tail is fanned out, the irises pinning, the feathers at the neck standing on end, and the bird is strutting around like a model on a runway, that means to get out of the bird’s way! Amazons are likely to change homes several times in a lifetime due to this kind of intimidation, which is often just bluffing.
This species is a hardy chewer, so it’s critical that it have a variety soft wooden toys to play with, along with sturdy perches and foot toys. “The more toys the better” is a good motto for this curious bird. This bird needs a lot of mental stimulation to keep from becoming bored and neurotic. Keep all valuables and furniture out of the bird’s reach.