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A green Amazona mercenaria with white around the eye perched on a tree branch
Amazona mercenaria
Amazona mercenaria (Scaly-naped Amazon)

The Scaly-naped Amazon, is a parrot species with a rather discreet profile in the avian world. Its range is split between two subspecies: Amazona mercenarius mercenarius, found in the mountains of northern Bolivia, north to northern Peru and western Ecuador, and Amazona mercenarius canipalliata, which inhabits the Andean slopes of western Ecuador to western Colombia, possibly extending to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and other mountain regions in northwestern Venezuela. This species prefers habitats that range from hill and mountain forests in upper tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas, to open woodlands with large trees and open forests on ridges up to the treeline in wooded valleys and ravines within the paramo zone, at altitudes between 2624 and 5248 feet​​. The IUCN Red List classifies it as Least Concern. However, it is listed in CITES Appendix II, indicating that trade must be controlled to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. They are noted to have a low population density and are threatened by deforestation​​.
Behaviorally, the Scaly-naped Amazon is a very shy bird that is not well understood. They are usually found in pairs or small flocks, and larger groups can be seen moving to and from communal roosts to feed, primarily in the morning and afternoon. There's little information on their diet, but they have been observed consuming figs and various unidentified fruits in Colombia, and may also feed on maize​​. Photographed in the department of Risaralda, Colombia.

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