Scaly-naped Amazon

General Information about Amazon Parrots


The Scaly-naped Amazon (Amazona mercenaria mercenaria) is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela; where it inhabits subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.



  • Mercenary Amazon (Amazona mercenaria mercenaria) – Nominate Species
    • Range: Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia
    • Average Length: 34 cm / 13.6 in
  • Grey-naped Amazon (Amazona mercenaria canipalliata)
    • Range: Andes Mountains of Colombia
    • Average Length: 34 cm / 13.6 in



The Scaly-naped Amazon parrot averages 13.5 ins (34 cm) in length. The plumage is generally green. The forehead, cheeks, upper and under tail-coverts are light green. The crown and nape have a faint blackish edging to the feathers. The edge of the wing is yellow with a reddish tinge. The primary coverts and primaries (= longest wing feathers) are turning violet-blue towards the tip. There is a red wing-speculum (= distinctive wing patch) on three outer secondaries (shorter, upper “arm” feathers). The tail is green with a greenish-yellow tip. The outer tail feathers have a red band. The bill is dark grey with a lighter base. The irises are red and the feet are grey.

Immatures look alike, except they have darker irises.


Amazon Parrots as Pets



Species: Scientific: Amazona mercenaria mercenaria … English: Scaly-naped Amazon … Dutch: Schubnekamazone, Soldatenamazone … German: Soldatenamazone … French: Amazone militaire

Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: canipalliata, mercenaria


Grey-naped Amazon

The Grey-naped Amazon Parrot is native to the Andes from Ecuador, Colombia and mountains of northwest Venezuela. They prefer open forests, open areas with woodland, wooded mountain ridges, edges of cloud forest or wooded valleys in P ramo region between 4,800 ft (1,600 m) and 10,800 ft (3,600 m); also in localities from 2,400 ft (800 m). Only few of these beautiful parrots can still be found in their natural habitat.

Description: They are about 13.5 ins (34 cm) long. The plumage looks similar to that of the Scaley-naped Amazon Parrot featured above, except they don’t have the red wing-speculum (= distinctive wing patch). They have maroon markings on the base of three outer secondaries (shorter, upper “arm” feathers), which are only visible when the wings are spread.

Breeding has not yet been achieved in captive situations.

Other Relevant Web Resources

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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