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Welcome to
the oratrix project

The Yellow-headed Amazon Parrot, Amazona oratrix
or*at*rix - (latin) she who speaks

While visiting this site, please check out the sounds of wild parrots; see images from the field; browse the links for more information from other sites; and take a look through the cool products I've put togther to put you in touch with the lives of free-living parrots (videos, t-shirts, audiotapes).

Your involvement helps to make this research possible!
Harvard biologist Mike Schindlinger introduces you to the parrots he studies, as individuals, as they move through their daily lives - singing, cavorting and playing as they explore their environment; doing chores, like eating, roosting, and caring for young - with an intelligence not dissimilar, in ways, to our own.
The power to imitate, for which parrots are famous, are used by the Yellow-headed Amazon to learn its population's complex and varied vocabulary, and learn it accurately. By the time they are only two months out of the nest, they are practicing the complex vocal patterns they will use to socialize with others of their species.

Different species of parrots - and sometimes even different groups of a single species - have their own "language," a set of sounds shared in common, which they use to communicate amongst themselves. They learn this "language" as they grow, and the "oral traditions" of a population are passed down for many years, generation to generation.

Yellow-headed amazon parrots form long-term bonds with their mates

Poached parrots languish in terrible conditions

The variation in vocal traditions among populations has an important consequence for their conservation: through the study of their oral traditions, we can learn about which populations are "talking" to each other both vocal and genetically, since populations which have been separated from each other for a very long time will develop different vocabularies. And these languages of the wild parrots may even help us to determine from where parrots are being poached and smuggled illegally.

Wild about the video

"Dynamite video! Incredible footage; great narration! Educational, and very vocal ! Berry gave it two thumbs up. Very interactive for her. "
--Carole Wenerowicz

"I watched the video this weekend and I absolutely love it. Someday, I know, I will have the opportunity to see the parrots in their native habitat and observe them in the wild."

--Arlene Levin
"It's a remarkable visual and acoustic study of the life of these parrots. What a field work you had to endure!!! But it certainly yielded quite nice results. Not to mention the music support, which enhances the artistic value of the video (my wife and I relished "Fly Parrot Fly.....")."
--Esteban Fernandez
"Just finished my first viewing and, as an amazon breeder (DYH, YN and Mex RH), am so impressed with the essence you have captured. Thank you for the outstanding product!"
--Tad Foringer

(Courtesy Marianne Thompson)
Hundreds of wild parrot images!
click here for access...

stalking the

See the video that puts you in touch more closely than ever before with the lives of wild amazon parrots, as they laugh, love, live and grow. Three years of fieldwork went into this first-hand look at these marvelous, intelligent parrots in their own element, in their own way, and in their own voice.

You'll go down a hollow tree into the nest, and watch as parents care for their nestlings


You'll come to know them and the animals and birds who share their environment, on the Gulf Coast of Mexico.
And you'll help to continue the research into their lives and languages.









Thinking of
buying a parrot?
Click here first







Video, 1 hour VHS

Available Now!  

to order...


Check out our sister site for news and info about conservation, rescue and adoption, and ecotours. http://www.freeparrots.net


Visitor number since Nov. 28, 1997

You should also check here for additional sources of information about parrots:

Amazon Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications Budgerigar Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications Cockatiel Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications Cockatoo Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications Read BEFORE You Buy or Adopt a Bird!
Macaw Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications Avian Medicine: Principles and Application (Abridged Edition) by Dr. Branson Ritchie, Dr. Greg Harrison, Linda Harrison & Dr. Donald W. Zantop Quaker Parrot Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications African Grey Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications Lovebird Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications