Bodinis Amazon Parrot

Amazonz festiva bodini 
Subspecies of the Festive Amazon

by Sally Blanchard

» At this point the populations and habitats of these parrots in several Northern South American countries is stable. It is found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Venezuela. 
»  A medium to large stocky Amazon at 13 to 15"
» They tend to like forested or wooded areas 
» When they were first discovered by Europeans, the Festive Amazon was not classified as an Amazon and were called the Tavoua parrot.
» The Bodini's has more red on the forehead.

 Unfortunately, these gorgeous Amazons are uncommon as companions. Their most notable feature is the intense patch of red feathers on their backs. I think they are one of the best kept secrets of the parrot world. I have met about a dozen of these unique parrots and most of them have been very good talkers. I have read that they aren't good talkers but all the ones that I have known have been excellent talkers. In the 1800's in Europe, they were valued for their talking abilities. 

Since they can be a bit shy, it is important for the people in their lives to keep them interested in new adventures. They are not just fun to be around but can also be extremely humorous. Until the last few years all of the Festive/Bodini’s I met were parrots that were over thirty but I have seen several babies in the last decade. I have yet to hear much of a complaint when I talk to someone who lives with a Festive or a Bodini’s. One older re-homed Festive had a hysterical vocabulary. He said some of the funniest phrases I have ever heard a bird speak. He was very tame to the man but could be a bit aggressive towards his wife. I came within a heartbeat of buying a baby a few years ago. If I was 20 years younger, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have a Bodini’s or Festive Amazon in my life.

These Amazons were one of the most common imported parrots in Europe during the 1800s, but the Festive and Bodinis Amazons are still uncommon in the United States. About 14 inches in length, they are stocky birds with a wide postural stance. Although they are considered to be one of the best talking parrots, they are not well-known in aviculture or commonly kept as companions. This is most likely because they are not as flashy as some of the better known Amazons. They have a rather flat head with a band of red to maroon on their forehead that runs to their eyes. This may make some people perceive that they have a “fierce or ticked-off” expression. To me they look pensive as if they are contemplating the world situation. They also have a bluish color on their cheeks and above and behind the eyes. Their most distinguishing feature is their red back and rump that is most apparent from above during flight.

The Festive and Bodinis’ caregivers I have talked with all brag about their Amazon’s talking ability — even with their breeding birds. Many are exceptional talkers both in number of words, cognition, and talking in front of people. Several people I talked with describe these Amazons as being determined and stubborn, although the ones that I have met have not been aggressive except in rare situations. Although one was not the best talking parrot I have ever met, he certainly was the most amusing with such exclamations of “You’re a bad duck”  (sometimes he would add multiples of both the words duck and bad) and “wanna fight.” While the companion Festives and Bodinis I have met have mostly been older parrots in their 30s or 40s, I have met several charming and absolutely gorgeous youngsters. When the babies are fed a nutritious diet, their coloration is stunning. I have seen rough looking babies at bird fairs that didn’t have the sheen of babies on a good diet. I wouldn’t have given them a second glance if I didn’t know how beautiful they can be.




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