Feeding Ecology of the Blue-fronted Amazon

On the first part of my PhD dissertation, I analyzed the feeding behavior of the Blue-fronted Amazon. Once a month, from July 2005 to Dec 2007, my team and I used trails in different environments in Pantanal to observe the parrots.

I registered 1,349 Blue-fronted Amazon eating flowers, fruits, and seeds from 48 different plant species. The high seed consumption indicates that this parrot is mainly a graminivore of canopy trees. In general, the Blue-fronted Amazon is a generalist, with a very diverse diet, in response to the intense variety of resources in a seasonal and heterogeneous environment, such as Pantanal. Our next step will be to evaluate the nutritional composition of the Blue-fronted Amazon diet, with the collaboration of researches from different institutions.

Papagaio e as flores do paratudal

Parrot eating flowers of the Caribbean Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia aurea).

Vandir and I monitoring the trees

Vandir and I checking the trees.



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2 respostas para Feeding Ecology of the Blue-fronted Amazon

  1. Hello,

    I just read your very interesting article on “Feeding Ecology of the Blue-Fronted Amazon”. I am a parrot behavior consultant and writer myself, and I just finished an article for a Dutch animal Magazine, where I take care of the material about parrots. This aticle is about natural behavior and food. I have five parrots here, among them a 35-year old female Blue-fronted Amazon. You wrote about the diversity in the diet of Blue-fronted Amazons, I observed that my BFA has a preference for food like meat, fish, eggs etc. Do they also eat insects in their natural environment? Because she sufered from arteriosclerosis, she is now on a strictly vegetarian diet. I also observed that she, more than my other parrots, loves to dig in flowerpots and gardens. According to the former owner, she did this all her life long. Is this also a natural behavior of Blue-fronted Amazons?

    Kind regards,

    Nina Hollenberg.


  2. Dear Nina,
    I’m glad you enjoyed this brief summary of the feeding ecology of the Blue-fronted Amazon in Pantanal. I’ll soon have an English version of the entire article; as I said, this is part of my PhD research. If possible, I would like to receive a copy og the article you were working on behavior and feeding that you wrote for the Dutch magazine. As you can imagine, I am interested on everything that has to do with the parrots!
    In regards to the feeding behavior of free-ranging parrots, I have noticed that they are mainly graminivorous. But they get to eat other items as well, such as fruit (pulp), flowers (nectar and petal), and leaf (petiole). I have never seen this species of parrot eating insects. The consumption of insect larvae is described as a seldom event for a few psittacines species. Disturbed behavior can occur in some captivity parrots due poor/unbalanced nutrition, deficient in some nutrients such as proteins. With a poor nutrition these birds are more susceptible to some diseases, such as atherosclerosis. For this reason it is very important to keep captivity parrots in a balanced nutrition, as close to its natural nutrition as possible (graminivore, frugivore). The available commercial pelleted food for psittacines is the best option, and there are several brands in the market. These foods supply the necessary nutrients for captivity birds, and help to keep their life quality as best as we can provide in captivity.

    I appreciate your interest in our project! Keep an eye in our blog, as we are going to keep posting news about the parrots! Please feel free to contact me (glauciaseixas@hotmail.com) if you have any question!

    Glaucia Seixas


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