Green Cheeked Amazon

Amazona 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. 




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