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Imperial Parrot - BirdForum Opus

Photo by njlarsen
Location: Dominica

Alternative names: Imperial Amazon; Sisserou

Amazona imperialis


At 46-50 cm (18-20 inches) the largest Amazon parrot. Male and female very similar. Mainly green with purple feathers on the underside and at the head, producing a scaly impression in most of this area; the purple looks dark when seen in flight. Red area on wing, visible in flight and sometimes when perched. Legs are grey and bill is relatively dark. When flying, uses relatively slow wing movement mostly limited to movements of the hand.

The pre-fledging young has less green and eyes are darker greyish-brown instead of bright reddish in the adult.

The only other parrot in Dominica is Red-necked Parrot which has yellow in the tail and a different distribution of red in the wing. In addition, red-necked parrot has horn-colored bill.

For the latest conservation info (and pictures) for the Imperial Amazon, see www.rarespecies.org. The Rare Species Conservatory Foundation has been working with this species on Dominica for several years now.


Only found in Commonwealth of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic).


This monotypic species is closer related to the St. Vincent Parrot than to any other living parrot species.


Wet forest considerably above sea level.

Conservation issues: Imperial Parrot is a specially protected bird under the laws of Dominica. It would be an obvious victim of the illegal pet trade unless vigilance is kept up. Hurricane David in 1979 wiped out the population in half of Dominica, and it took 15-20 years before the forest was mature enough for the bird to resettle these areas. A second strong hurricane during such a period would have the potential to wipe out the species. Hurricane Maria in 2017 did even more damage to the habitat in Dominica - it is at this time unknown how the population will come through this challenge.


Nests in natural cavities in the larger forest trees. In 2008, it was for the first time observed that one nest occasionally can produce two fledging offspring (instead of one which is the rule).
More restricted to native plants/less likely to eat commercial fruits than the Red-necked Parrot.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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