also by its scientific name of Amazona imperialis, this
Caribbean parrot is also referred to as the Sisserou
Express, which is after the Imperial Amazon’s local name.
While many parrots are beautiful, the Imperial Amazon
Parrot is truly spectacular.
As the largest of the Amazona species, it is also one
of the rarest parrots in the entire world.
the male and female look similar in appearance. For example, they both have a dark maroon/purple coloring on
the head with green/blue feathers.
The ear coverts are a red/brown color and the cheeks
maroon. The upper portion of the Imperial Amazon Parrot is green but
the edges of the feathers are red.
Interestingly, when this parrot takes off in flight,
the red color shows up as a purple/blue.
Then on the underside of the feathers are black
the tail, this is red with a green/blue tip.
some other species of parrots, the young Imperial Amazon
Parrot looks much like the mature bird.
The only real difference is that the younger bird has
more green in the head color.
In addition, the real, young parrots have brown
plumage that changes as they mature.
For the call of the Imperial Amazon Parrot, it sounds
much like that of a trumpet.
This sound is made during flight while when not in
flight, the parrot makes other noises to include whistles
the Imperial Amazon Parrot is found only in the slopes of
the Morne Diablotin volcano and central forests.
Over the years, we have seen a dramatic decline in
the number of these parrots with just 80 to 100 being
counted for 10 years ago.
The terrain where the parrot lives is very rugged.
Typically, the nests are found in trees on steep
food supply is short, meaning the birds have to travel great
distances to forage.
little is known about the ecology of the Imperial Amazon
Parrot. We do
know that the nests are built in tree cavities, much like
other parrots, with the exception that the cavities are
often concealed with plants or vines.
Breeding of this species occurs between February and
June, the dry season. During
the entire year, the Imperial Amazon Parrots will strongly
defend their territory and in some cases, the birds will
only breed every other year, producing just one or two eggs.
the decline of natural habitat, many forests now being
converted to plantations, coupled with hurricanes and pet
trade, we see the number of Imperial Amazon Parrots going
with new education programs, we have begun to see the threat
of foreign “collectors” also going down.
While much still needs to be done to get the Imperial
Amazon Parrot out of risk, some positive steps have been
process will be slow and painful but if people and programs
continue being supportive, we feel relatively, confident the
Imperial Amazon Parrot will survive and someday, thrive.