The Mealy Amazon or Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinosa) is one of the largest Amazon parrot species.
Range, common names and races
The Mealy Parrot occurs in tropical Central America and South America. It frequents humid to semi-humid forest (only rarely in deciduous forest) and plantations. In regions dominated by open/dry habitats it is restricted to gallery forest or completely absent.
Several subspecies have been described and these have alternative common names that are used frequently in aviculture:
Nominate (A. f. farinosa): Found in SE Colombia, S. Venezuela, the Guianas, Brazil and N. Bolivia.
inornata: Found in E. Panama, W. and N. Colombia, NW Venezuela and W. Ecuador. Also known as the Plain-colored Mealy Amazon.
chapmani: Found in SE Colombia, E. Ecuador, E. Peru and NE Bolivia. Also known as the '''Chapman's Mealy Amazon'.
virenticeps: Found in Nicaragua to W. Panama. Also known as the Costa Rican Mealy Amazon or the Green-headed Amazon.
guatemalae: Found in SE Mexico to Honduras. Also known as the Blue-crowned Mealy Amazon or the Guatemalan Amazon.
OBS: Exact distribution limits between nominate, inornataand chapmaniare unclear.
It has a total length of 38-40 cm (14.96-15.75 in) and weighs 540-700 g (19.01-24.64 oz). Captives commonly are heavier. It is among the largest parrots in the Americas, mainly being surpassed by a the large macaws. As the other members of its genus, the Mealy Parrot has a relatively short, squarish tail.
The Mealy Parrot is mainly green. The back and nape often have a whitish tinge; almost as if it had been covered in a thin layer of flour . The distal half of the tail is paler and more yellow than the basal half, thus resulting in a distinctly bi-coloured look. In flight it shows a bluish-black trailing edge to the wing and a conspicious red speculum. Occasionally a few yellow feathers are apparent on the top of the head and two subspecies, virenticepsand guatemalae, have a bluish-tinged crown. The maroon to orange eyes (typically appear dark from a distance) are surrounded by a relatively broad white eye-ring of bare skin.
The Mealy Parrot is social and can be found in pairs or in large flocks. They are even known to interact with other parrots, such as macaws. They are usually quiet but can be loud at dusk and dawn. In captivity, they are know as one of the gentlest and calmest of all amazons.
When Mealy Parrots reach sexual maturity they usually form monogamous relationships with a single partner.
Courtship usually begins in early spring. The hen will usually lay three eggs, which she incubates for 28 days. The male will eat for both himself and the female during the incubation period. He will regurgitate the food for the female and chicks to eat.
The diet of the Mealy Parrot consists mostly of fruits, seeds, berries, nuts, blossoms, and leaf buds.
Status and Conservation
It is fairly common in most of its range, but has declined locally due to habitat loss and trapping for wild parrot trade. Trafficking of the birds (as for exotic pets) is illegal in many nations, but the species are still smuggled into the United States from Mexico. In some areas Mealy Parrots are hunted as food. The Mealy Parrot sometimes feeds on human crops (especially corn) and may be considered a crop pest.
The Mealy Amazon is commonly bred in captivity.
Sholty, Kathleen. "Amazona farinosa(mealy parrot)." Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. 2006. [*]
Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
A Guide to the Parrots of the Worldby Juniper & Parr (1998) ISBN 90-74345-16-6
A Guide to Birds of Mexico and Northern Central Americaby Howell & Webb (1995) ISBN 198540132
Birds of Venezuelaby Hilty (2003) ISBN 0691092508
The Birds of Ecuador vol. 2'' by Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) ISBN 0713661178
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Mealy Amazon