Birds of the Amazon

Birds of the Amazon: Macaws, Toucans, Parakeets & Parrots

The Amazon Rainforest’s Feathered Friends

Over 1,500 bird species reside in the Amazon Basin. The birds of the Amazon Rainforest are colorful, intelligent and social, making it a bird-watcher’s paradise. Home to ⅓ of the world’s birds, South America, and the Amazon Rainforest specifically, have incredible diversity when it comes to our feathered friends. Tropical species like macaws, toucans, parakeets and parrots densely populate this region.

Making their home in the rainforest canopy, deforestation and extinction threatens many bird species in the Amazon. Protecting these areas is a priority because of the flora and wildlife that lives within it.

Learn About the Exotic Birds of the Amazon:

Birds of the Amazon

Macaws of a Feather, Flock Together


The largest breed of parrot, macaws are famous for their colorful plumage and long tails. Their unique appearance and intelligence makes them incredibly popular for birdwatchers. They are even known to mimic human voices. Sadly, domestication and deforestation have negatively impacted their population, making several macaw species endangered.


Gracing the covers of cereal boxes and frequent characters in cartoons, toucans appear in pop culture often. With a colorful beak and black plumage, they have such an exotic appearance that it’s hard to believe they’re real. For native Amazonian tribes, the toucan holds special significance as a channel between the spirit world and the earth.


Small but outgoing, parakeets are common worldwide, though the largest diversity is found in South America. This bird is a small-medium parrot variant, ranging from 7”-18”. Living in monogamous pairs or small groups, this social bird frequently congregates at clay licks in the rainforest.


A big family of over 350 sub-species, parrots come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Differences aside, all parrots have the same curved beaks and feet (two toes facing forward and two toes facing backward). Their communication, intelligence and colors make them appealing to a wide audience. Some subspecies are endangered, kept as pets, or become feral in foreign ecosystems. In rare instances, they are even traded illegally.

See Birds of the Amazon in Ecuador

On the Amazon Awakening Ecotour, guests have the opportunity to see these tropical birds in many different environments. On hikes, boat rides and bird-watching outings, a professional Achuar naturalist will point out the native birds as we explore the rainforest. Perhaps the most unusual birdwatching happens at a clay lick. There, thousands of exotic birds literally lick the clay cliffs to acquire nutrients that help them digest seeds. Looking for parakeets, macaws, parrots and toucans will keep guests entertained and amazed.

Learn More About Birdwatching in the Amazon!

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