GREEN-CHEEKED AMAZONAmazona ventralis
» A slim-bodied Amazon about 13" from beak tip to tail tip.» Endangered in the wild because of trapping for the pet trade and habitat destruction in North eastern Mexico. They are still smuggled into to the United States» Feral population are breeding throughout the southern areas of the United States particularly in southern and central California, Texas, and Florida.Commonly known as Mexican Red-heads in the pet trade, well-socialized birds are generally mellower when compared to several other Amazons. They are less likely to show as much territorial behavior. These thin-bodied Amazons can be very friendly, playful and acrobatic. They can have a slight attitude but it is not usually overbearing. While they are not known as a great talker, I have known several with decent vocabularies.
This is one of several Amazons that were commonly smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. Green-cheeks used to be more popular as companions but are more difficult to find now. There are not as many people breeding them because they are not a 'big money" bird. The red color on their heads often becomes more extensive and richer as they mature. I don’t see the Green-cheeked or Mexican Red-headed Amazon nearly as often as I used to. While many Amazon species have a stocky body, the Green-cheek is a slim-bodied bird. I met my first Green-cheek over thirty years ago and he was a very sweet wild-caught bird. They were commonly imported and also commonly smuggled because they are from Mexico. Well-socialized birds are generally mellow compared to other Amazons and less likely to show a great deal of territorial aggression. I tamed several of these imported Amazons and all of them were pretty easy as far as winning their trust. I don’t ever remember being bitten by any of the Green-cheeks I worked with. Generally speaking, I have found these Amazons to be friendly, cuddly, loyal, playful and acrobatic. The hens seemed to be less adventurous than the males but I doubt if that is always true. Some Green-cheeks have a slight attitude, but they are not usually overbearing or aggressive. They are not known as great talkers yet I have known individuals with decent vocabularies. One of my favorite Green-cheek is a bird named Sophia. She is a very loquacious and, perhaps a bit, narcissistic Amazon who continually tells herself how “beau-TI-ful” she is and I agree with her. With her bright red, violet-blue and various shades of vibrant green, she is indeed a beauty. Her only problem is that she is generally loyal to just one person and can be aggressive to anyone else in her favored person’s life. I don’t think that this is a particular trait of Green-cheeks, especially hens, but more a condition of her early life with a single caregiver. Many of the Green-cheeks I have met were pretty agreeable to several people in their lives.