The Red-lored Parrot also known as Primrose-cheeked Amazon or “loro cariamarillo” is endemic to the tropical regions of the Americas, from eastern Mexico south to Ecuador. A disjunct population exists in central Brazil, where it occurs in humid green to semi-deciduous forests up to 1,100 m altitude. Not originally known to belong to El Salvador, a pair who probably escaped from captivity nested successfully in 1995 and 1996 on the outskirts of San Salvador and the species might have expanded in population permanently into the country.
Red-lored Parrots are gregarious creatures i.e. they live in flocks. These birds are often noisy, unless they are sleeping or eating. Their call is screechy, loud, and anything but melodious. They are highly intelligent birds who will use their beaks to probe new surfaces, climb, and husk seeds. Flying with with shallow and stiff wing-strokes makes them easy to distinguish in flight.
Similar to other parrots, the red-lored amazons have a big head and a small neck. This parrot is about 34 centimeters in length. The feathers are mostly green, but the forehead and lores are red, hence the name, red-lored parrot. The red area on its forehead is hard to spot making this particular species of parrot hard to recognize. Owing to this they are often confused with other species in the Amazona. Feathers on the top and back of the head are shaded in beautiful lilac-blue. The wing feathers often also bear bright red, yellow, black, and white hightlights (now that’s something to give your hair color a complex, isn’t it?). The upper cheeks are vivid yellow and the biggest wing feathers are also often mostly yellowish. They have short wings, but can fly with a lot of strength. The tail is green, square, and pointy with a yellowish green and blue. The nature of its feathers are sparse, rough and shiny with powder in between them. The bill is grey with a yellowish horn on the upper side. Above the upper bill they have a thickset, often feathered projection called a cere. The iris of its eye is orange, while its legs are greenish grey. Like most parrots, this parrot species also possess very strong zygodactyl feet. Their crown is a vivid blue. Adult males and females do not differ much in plumage. Juveniles have less yellow on the cheeks, less red on the forehead, and darker irises.
Their diet primarily consists of fruits, nuts and seeds. Like all parrots, Red Lored Amazons need a varied diet consisting of high quality pellets, a quality seed assortment, and daily servings of fresh, fruits and vegetables.
Red Lored Parrots are highly perceptive and alert creatures, and often quite anxious, spooking boisterously at the approach of intruders. Recent research has confirmed that one of the most predominant factors adding to the breeding success of this species is its overall shyness and coldness, and in particular, its absence around the nest area. These behavior patterns reduce the chances that a nest will be ever be discovered and later destroyed by predatory creatures.
The Red Lored Parrots’ nests are usually located in cavities high up in the trunks of lofty, generally dead palm trees. The usual brood size is 3-4 eggs which are incubated for about 26 days. Normally, the female-parent is solely in charge of caring for the young for the initial 10 days post hatching; thereafter, the male-parent also helps with the upkeep of the brood. The age of maturity in this species is about five years. Their lifespan can reach up to 75 years.
Group roosting is a distinguishable behavior pattern of this parrot, and recent research confirms a high degree of fidelity to partners, who are selected on account of their safety features. Some roosts can host about 800 of these birds. A study confirmed that pairs are much less likely to use their regular roost-sites during the nesting, but that in the non-breeding season, counts at roost-sites can offer a fairly accurate estimate of the local red-lored amazon number.
Where To Spot Them
In Costa Rica, these parrots are kept as household pets. They are treated more like family members and are often seeing roosting in the family living area. These birds are rarely confined to cages. Anamaya guests can often hear the chirping and moving around the property. The best time for guests to spot them is early mornings, when they are at their chirpiest best flying in small groups or perching in treetops for their daily dose of fruits and seeds in and around the resort. As such these creatures prefer relatively open areas, forest peripherals and flourishing agricultural land and stay away from pockets of huge, dense forest.
These social birds are often spotted in large flocks by bird watchers in the Montezuma area, the groups sometimes numbering more than 100 creatures at a time. There have been sightings where more than 500 Red-lored Parrots have been spotted at a time nesting at one site. These birds are monogamous for life and sometimes you can watch pairs of parrots sitting romantically together conversing and grooming each other. Guests can take memorable pictures of these birds in flight or sitting in groups on treetops.
These are social and gregarious birds who move around in large groups, invading fruit trees, or chatting and squawking boisterously in front of your hotel bedroom as soon as you wake up. Our guests can sometimes spot a pair of red lored parrots sitting lovingly together, communicating and grooming each other. They can be indentified with their red fronts or peculiar sounds which have a “cling cling” type ringing quality to it that sounds more pleasant than the noisy squawking of other parrots. Our guests can opt for a bird watching trip led by knowledgeable bird guides in and around the forests and national parks of Montezuma to watch the red lored parrots and other fascinating bird species.