On the island of Dominica, they are very satisfied to have what could be the largest bird belonging to the Amazon family, the one known as the Imperial Amazon.
An imposing bird
It is native to the island of Dominica (in the Lesser Antilles) and is commonly known by the name of Amazona Imperialis. Its name is because it is considered a national bird on the island, which is why it appears on the shield of the flag, as happened in the past with the imperial eagle of Julius Caesar.
It is a highly protected bird, as it is in danger of extinction and is on the IUCN red list. Among the most common causes are illegal hunting and loss of habitat, but also natural phenomena such as hurricanes that hit the island from time to time.
And what is this bird like?
It is a large bird, the largest of the Amazon genus, reaching 45 centimeters in length and its weight can reach one kilogram.
The color of its fur is dark green, while the neck welcomes a purple hue. Its tail mixes red with green, but the bottom is purple. Its beak is very strong and the color of its iris has a prominent reddish hue. Because it does not present sexual dimorphism, it is really difficult to distinguish between the male and the female without performing the proper DNA test.
Much is unknown about this bird, although it seems that it is a fairly calm bird and that it has not shown many problems when found next to a human being. No subspecies have been recognized at the moment.
It is not to be kept as a pet
Although many would like to have an imperial amazon in their homes, it is not a bird that can be kept as a pet. Many are trying to find out why, but this bird usually dies within a few months of being imported. The reason? It may be due to the drastic change in weather, food, or how rough the journey can be.
Few specimens live in cages in caretakers’ houses, which have to be 10x3x3 meters so that the bird can move well through it and very resistant, as it is not only the largest specimen of the Amazon family, it is also the stronger, and this means that the cage has to have special protection to prevent it from escaping by gnawing the bars of the cage with its beak.
The details about its reproduction are a total mystery, even among the most expert Amazon breeders. It seems that the ideal conditions for their reproduction cannot be created, because 97% of the eggs laid by the females are infertile. Also, since not much is known about the process of “courtship” of this bird, it is not known very well how to pair a male and a female.
Because it is a bird that is in danger of extinction, in some countries, it is illegal to have it as a pet, so to obtain it, you have to do it through a hatchery with the appropriate certificate and obtain a series of permits to your import. Otherwise, you would be committing a very serious offense that could lead to a fine or even go to jail. Efforts to protect this species do not stop, but it seems that every year there are fewer specimens.
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