Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Scaly-naped Amazon (Amazona mercenarius)


French: Amazone mercenaire German: Soldatenamazone Spanish: Amazona mercenaria
Other common names: Scaly-naped Parrot

Psittacus mercenarius


, 1844,



Majority of individuals of this species in Ecuador appear intermediate between nominate race and canipalliata, or possibly represent an undescribed race#R#R. Specific name as originally described must be treated as a noun, and is therefore invariable#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. m. canipalliata (Cabanis, 1874) – Santa Marta Mts (N Colombia), Sierra de Perijá and Andes of Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.
  • A. m. mercenarius (Tschudi, 1844) – E slope of Andes of Peru and Bolivia (to W Santa Cruz); one record from Argentina.
  • Descriptive notes

    33–34 cm; 340 g. Mainly green, darker above, hindcrown, nape and mantle with dark edges to feathers giving slight scaled effect; small whitish bare orbital ring; tail-... read more


    A variety of screeches and rolling barks. Calls in flight also quite variable, but often... read more


    Subtropical and temperate cloud forest and other montane formations, often in broken, part-open... read more

    Food and feeding

    Apparently no information.


    Mar–May in Colombia. Nest and eggs undescribed. Incubation 25–26 days.


    Some seasonal elevational movement or semi-nomadism noted in W Andes of Colombia; probably true... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Generally a low-density species and nowhere common; has suffered from deforestation in N of range, notably in Colombia, although still... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2020). Scaly-naped Amazon (Amazona mercenarius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).