We fitted radiotransmitters to 68 lilac-crowned parrot (Amazona finschi) fledglings from 1996 to 2003 to determine the survival and development of juveniles during their first year after leaving the nest. Overall, first-year survival was 73% (CI = 53–94%) and all mortalities occurred within 5 weeks of fledging, with highest mortality in the first week postfledging. Survival varied between years, influencing recruitment of independent young in the population. Nesting lilac-crowned parrots produced 0.70 independent young per egg-laying pair during 1996–2003. Lowest productivity of 0.25 independent young per pair occurred in 2003, with 40% postfledging survival. Juvenile development after fledging was characterized by variations in mobility, distance from the nest, and separation distance between siblings. Mobility and distance of young birds from the nest increased linearly with months postfledging. The first 2–3 weeks after fledging were characterized by low mobility and survival of young parrots, making this the most critical phase postfledging. The dependency period for young parrots extended to 4–5 months postfledging and was characterized by increased mobility and low separation between siblings, as juveniles traveled in family groups. Independence occurred in month 5 and was marked by a significant increase in mobility and separation between siblings, indicating the break-up of family groups. The first weeks after leaving the nest were crucial for survival and highlight the need for secure habitats where fledglings can improve flight and locomotory skills. The 4–5-month dependency of young parrots may be a key period for development, enhancing survival, and establishment in the breeding population. Release programs need to replicate learning and development acquired during the postfledging dependency phase to enhance survival of captive-reared psittacines. Researchers should conduct surveys of parrot group sizes during the dependency period 1–4 months after the end of nesting to provide reliable demographic data on annual recruitment of wild populations.
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Vol. 71 • No. 1