Mealy Amazon

 MEALY AMAZON  
Amazona farinosa

» Largest Amazon kept as a companion 15 to 16"
» Still relatively common in their tropical forest range in Central and South America - the northern countries to Ecuador South America.
» Populations are considered to be stable in the wild at this time.
» Besides the nominate A. farinosa farinosa, there are 4 subspecies.
» The Blue-crowned Mealy A. farinosa guatemalae is the sub-species that I have seen most commonly in the pet trade. 


The Mealies are the largest of the Amazons who are kept as companions and one of the most gentle. They are truly the “baby Hueys” of the parrot world and that is a compliment. Their most incredible physical feature is their huge soft eyes. As far as personality is concerned, these are one of the most underrated Amazons. They are not commonly bred in captivity.  They are a solid, robust parrot and can be playful, acrobatic, and curious. They are certainly not the sedentary parrot that is often presented by the stereotypes. I think that their most incredible physical feature is their huge soft eyes that can easily make you fall in love with them; especially with the babies. Some people are afraid their size, perhaps equating size with aggression. Actually they tend to be the calmest and steadiest of all of the Amazons. These wonderful and often gentle Amazons are declining as companions; most likely because their beauty is more subtle than and not as flashy as the more popular Amazons. Maybe they aren’t flashy but when they are on a good diet and bathed regularly, their feathers have a gorgeous sheen. 

  

 Hand-fed birds have a generally steady personality for an Amazon. They are very loyal to their human flock and most of the people who live with these parrots adore them. They can be accomplished talkers and whistlers. Along with the size and talking ability comes a potential for loud and raucous noises. Some compare their call with the braying of a donkey. Working with them makes a difference and noise can often be channeled into talking, whistling and mimicking the sounds they hear.  A Mealy Amazon was the first wild bird I ever tamed. She was so large compared to my Double yellow-head babies that I was a bit threatened, but it was so easy to win her trust.
 

I have worked mostly with the Blue-crowned Mealy Amazons (A.f.guatemalea) but have known a few of the other subspecies. Over thirty years ago, I had a friend with an older imported A.f. farinosa who had an incredible amount of yellow and red on the top of his head. I have never seen a Mealy with so much color since. He was one of the most charming and agreeable Amazons I have ever known. His name was Chauncey and I often thought of him as being my friend’s English butler although his accent was more from Wichita than London. He was also quite a gentleman and would greet you with the words, “So nice to know you.” When you left, he would wave good-bye with his left foot and exclaim, “It’s been a pleasure!” I’ve read that Mealies can talk as well as any Yellow-nape, and from my experiences, I certainly would not argue the point. 


Although there are probably exceptions with Mealies who have not received proper care and guidance, I have always found Mealies to be the most gentle and responsive Amazon that I have worked with. The very first Amazon I ever tamed was a Mealy and it was so easy, I mistakenly thought all Amazons would be that easy to tame. Hand-feds havea generally steady personality for an Amazon and these large Amazons are extremely loyal to the people in their lives. The people I know who have both wild-caught and domestic Mealies and Blue-crowns absolutely adore them. Mealies can be accomplished talkers, whistlers, mimickers, etc. Perhaps they can be a bit less active than some of the more excitable Amazons but with interaction with the people in their lives, they can be very enthusiastic, playful, acrobatic, and curious. 


The downside is that they have a potential for loud and raucous noises. Some compare their call with the loud braying of a donkey. Working with their vocalizations can make a difference and noise can often be channeled into talking, whistling, and mimicking sounds. I would certainly include Mealy Amazons near the top of my list of underrated Amazon companions!




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