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Old 01-30-2019, 08:41 PM
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Do Amazons have a good sense of smell

I tried searching online and I am getting answers all over the map. Some birds have good sense of smell but parrots do not. Some parrots have a good sense of smell, others do not.

I am asking here in the Amazon forum if anyone knows the answer with certainty?
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:39 PM
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Re: Do Amazons have a good sense of smell

That's a very good question. I wish I had a good answer.
I don't think they have the long range sense of smell like say a vulture.
But my guess is they have a fairly good sense of smell for close up. It would help them determine how ripe something is for eating.

I know my amazons seem to be able to tell when I am fixing one of there special foods in the kitchen. I don't know if it's because of smell of something else
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:51 PM
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Re: Do Amazons have a good sense of smell

Quote: Originally Posted by texsize View Post
That's a very good question. I wish I had a good answer.
I don't think they have the long range sense of smell like say a vulture.
But my guess is they have a fairly good sense of smell for close up. It would help them determine how ripe something is for eating.

I know my amazons seem to be able to tell when I am fixing one of there special foods in the kitchen. I don't know if it's because of smell of something else
So very true. Up-close fairly good.
Remember, if it adds weight, mass, or limits flight, it is minimized.
Also, they are designed to move air in and out of their air sacks with easy.
Smell is enhanced when the scent can linger or held for extended periods of time (additional seconds improve the ability). Birds do not have that luxury.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:12 AM
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Re: Do Amazons have a good sense of smell

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Smell is enhanced when the scent can linger or held for extended periods of time (additional seconds improve the ability). Birds do not have that luxury.

Since the airsack-system is far more efficient than our lungs when it comes to extracting oxigene from the air - why not the same with smell?
(air passes through the lungs to the hind airsacs first -then back again to the front airsacs and then out into the open.
2 breaths for one
(scientists have been wrong about the 'birdbrain' a lot already, so maybe the olfactorypart is also more dense and intense than we know ...)


my thoughts: if prey animals have a strong smell about them -> they get caught easier.
(it is easy -for a human- to smell a fox hiding in the bushes near you but sniffing out a bunny is nearly impossible)
but... most parrots have a rather distinctive odeur about them, some are quite strong.
That you see with animal that communicates (partly) by smell.


My macaw is weird (in my experience! It might be normal macawbehaviour- I do not know. She is my first close-up&personal bird of that sort.) that she wil release that certain oversweet aged flowery smell on certain occasions...
just before a bath, when she is busy impressing a friend of mine etc.etc..
(Since she loooves the bathing it is not a fear response but it happens when she gets excited.)
Evolutionary speaking that would be unwise (releasing strong smells alerts anything around you, friends and foe) but as a form of communication - spot on!


I have not been lucky enough to be able to smell amazons longterm, but if they also "whiff on occasion" I think they may be communicating that way too.
(that implies their sense of smell is pretty good and probably is also used in the other areas as foodgathering and gnawing out nests)

Last edited by ChristaNL; 01-31-2019 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 01-31-2019, 05:44 AM
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Re: Do Amazons have a good sense of smell

Actually, that is not weird. My BFA also emits that sweet flowery scent at different times. Usually when he is happy or excited or sleepy. We call him honey bird because of it.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:27 AM
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Re: Do Amazons have a good sense of smell

Good points.
Not sure about other Parrots, but Amazons choose when to release and that provides a safe cushion of protection.

Smelling on the other hand require a place for the scent to linger and that structure is just that much larger with Humans. The Tracking Hounds not only have the larger structure they also have the larger ears that help to trap and enhance the scent around them. As they work and area, the scent continues to reside around the nose. As it falls away, the every small amounts set the Hound into a slower search pattern, as it increases a faster more direct path.

With Parrots, they require that the scent lingers in the air around them. Like activities in a Kitchen and their being stationary. In flight, the smells of a larger fruit field places a very large scent zone that over time as the Parrot flies into the zone, they are provided the scent over a much longer time period.
Remember that with Birds its all about weight and mass savings. Flight is primary.
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Last edited by SailBoat; 01-31-2019 at 06:29 AM.
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