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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mealy Parrot, Amazon Rainforest, Peru

The Mealy Amazon or Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinosa) is one of the largest Amazon parrot species.

The Mealy Parrot occurs in tropical Central America and South America. It frequents humid to semi-humid forest (only rarely in deciduous forest) and plantations. In regions dominated by open/dry habitats it is restricted to gallery forest or completely absent.

It has a total length of 38-40 cm (14.96-15.75 in) and weighs 540-700 g (19.01-24.64 oz). Captives commonly are heavier. It is among the largest parrots in the Americas, mainly being surpassed by a the large macaws. As the other members of its genus, the Mealy Parrot has a relatively short, squarish tail.

The Mealy Parrot is mainly green. The back and nape often have a whitish tinge; almost as if it had been covered in a thin layer of flour ("meal"; hence its name). The distal half of the tail is paler and more yellow than the basal half, thus resulting in a distinctly bi-coloured look. In flight it shows a bluish-black trailing edge to the wing and a conspicious red speculum. Occasionally a few yellow feathers are apparent on the top of the head and two subspecies, virenticeps and guatemalae, have a bluish-tinged crown. The maroon to orange eyes (typically appear dark from a distance) are surrounded by a relatively broad white eye-ring of bare skin.

The Mealy Parrot is social and can be found in pairs or in large flocks. They are even known to interact with other parrots, such as macaws. They are usually quiet but can be loud at dusk and dawn. In captivity, they are know as one of the gentlest and calmest of all amazons.

When Mealy Parrots reach sexual maturity they usually form monogamous relationships with a single partner.

Courtship usually begins in early spring. The hen will usually lay three eggs, which she incubates for 28 days. The male will eat for both himself and the female during the incubation period. He will regurgitate the food for the female and chicks to eat.

The diet of the Mealy Parrot consists mostly of fruits, seeds, berries, nuts, blossoms, and leaf buds.


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