Saint Lucia Amazon - Amazona Versicolor - Vulnerable
The Saint Lucia amazon (Amazona Versicolor) also known as the Saint Lucia parrot is a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is endemic to Saint Lucia and is the country's national bird.
Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist mountain forest. It is threatened by habitat loss. The species had declined from around 1000 birds in the 1950s to 150 birds in the late 1970s. At that point a conservation program began to save the species, which galvanized popular support to save the species, and by 1990 the species had increased to 300 birds. Although the population in Saint Lucia is small it is still expanding.
Identification - This beautiful bird is the only parrot in Saint Lucia. In the darkness of the forest it blends into the green leafy world but, in sunshine, its red, green and blue feathers light up splendidly. Its Latin name, versicolor, means 'of many colors'; indeed it is, with green wings, a blue face and forehead, a red breast, and maroon and mottled colouring nearer the belly. The primary feathers are dark blue, and the tail bears a yellow tip. This parrot's appearance is unmistakable in Saint Lucia, not least because it is the only parrot present. It can also be distinguished by its noisy and raucous screeching, cackling and honking noises.
Captivity - The St Lucia Amazon parrot is rare in captivity. Not much is known about their breeding requirements. It has been recommended that pairs are isolated in the breeding season because they tend to get aggressive towards other birds during this time. Breeding activities usually start in March and go on until August. The hen lays 1 to 2 eggs which she incubates for 24 days. The young fledge when they are 70 to 77 days old.
The current only known place in which there are St Lucia Amazon parrots captive is Jersey Zoo, the headquarters of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. It was here that there was also the first successful captive breeding of the bird. The two children were returned to Saint Lucia.
Psittaciformes, The Parrot Index, a part of Phoenix Feathers © 2016 - 2023
Page last updated: 1/1/2320