Tucuman Amazon

Amazona tucumana

» Also referred to as the Alder Amazon
» It is a smaller Amazon at about 12" long
» Its range is woodlands in Argentina and Bolivia
» Threatened by habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade. Considered Near Threatened

The Tucuman is quite different from many of the other Amazons species. Males can often be told from females due to the fact males have six or more red feathers in their coverts and females have five or less. The males are more common as companions because of their endangered status, most ethical breeders keep the rarer hens for breeding. The Tucuman has a very small beak for an Amazon and at about a foot long, these slim-bodied parrots are one of the smaller Amazons. The head and upper body feathers of the Tucuman are scalloped in black, which makes them quite unique and handsome. The chicks hatch out with long white down, which again, makes them quite unusual for an Amazon parrot, since they usually hatch naked. They are still uncommon as companions. For awhile, it seemed as if they were becoming more popular but I rarely hear anything about them now and even information on the Internet is quite incomplete.

Because they are relatively uncommon, I have only met a half a dozen or so Tucumans and they have all been young birds who were very busy and sweet. Although the ones I have met have been delightful little birds, I have not had enough experience with Tucumans to write in depth about their personality. Those who have spent time with these more delicately featured Amazons declare them to be superb companions and steadier than most Amazons. One of my clients told me that her Tucuman can become readily overexcited by many different situations in her household, especially with the dog barking. She said all she has to do is to walk over to him and take a few slow deep breaths and he calms right down with her. Despite their size, some caregivers have described them as being quite opinionated in need of a caregiver who is as determined as they are. I have also been told that they can be very affectionate with the cuddle ratio small cockatoo, while another caregiver says her “Tukie” doesn’t like to be cuddled at all. They can have a high pitched shriek but people can work with that with distractions. As far as talking ability, they usually do learn some words with a caregiver who takes the time to provide associations and labels for different objects and situations. 

Males can be told from the hens due to the fact that they have six or more red feathers in their coverts and hens have five or less. The Tucuman has a very small beak for an Amazon. These little Amazons are quite uncommon as companions. I have only seen a few of them.

Some people who have spent time with these more delicate Amazons declare them to be superb companions and steadier than most Amazons. In her article on Tucumans from PBR #16, Bonnie Zimmerman refers to hand-raised Tucumans as being “calm, affectionate, talking, and friendly with the cuddle ratio of a small cockatoo. Their gentleness sets them apart from most of the Amazon species.” However, one woman told me that her Tucuman was a “nasty little devil.” Perhaps the difference was early socialization. 




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