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The lilac-crowned Amazon is a sweet and compelling character, often fearless to a fault, like many of the Amazons, but is full of personality and is a loyal companion when socialized properly. This medium-sized parrot, also called the Finsch’s Amazon, isn’t among the superstars of the Amazons, like the yellow-naped and the double yellow-headed Amazon, because it lacks the dazzle and size of these other birds, but it makes up for it in companionability.
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.
At sexual maturity, this species can get cranky and nippy, even unpredictable and sometimes vicious or protective of its territory, just like many of the other Amazons. This is typical behavior and shouldn’t last long, though it can be insulting and daunting for sensitive owners. For this reason, the Lilac-crowned is a good choice for the seasoned bird-keeper rather than the novice. Teaching the bird to step up reliably and to step onto a stick will prove invaluable for springtime, when hormones can run amok.
In typical Amazon style, the lilac-crowned Amazon is gregarious and unreserved, and isn’t shy about making noise and defending its territory. It isn’t as noisy or loud as some of the other popular Amazons, but noise is relative, so those with sensitive ears will not make good companions for this bird. A cage cover is a good idea so that owners won’t be woken up early in the morning. This species is good at whistling, and some individuals can amass quite a vocabulary.
The lilac-crowned Amazon is one of the smaller Amazon species and tends to have a smaller voice compared to the larger, more boisterous yellow-crowned and double yellow-headed Amazons. Lilac crowns can be loyal companions and, like most Amazons, have hearty appetites.