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Yellow-headed Amazon

 (Amazona oratrix)

Also known as: Levaillant's Amazon, Mexican Yellow-headed (fronted) Amazon, Double Yellow-headed (fronted) Amazon (oratrix and tresmariae), Tres Marias Amazon (A.o. tresmariae), Belize Yellow-headed Amazon (A.o. belizensis)

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Yellow-headed Amazon, Palmitos Park
© William Warby | Wikimedia Commons

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Related publications: Amazona oratrix

Species Profile

Genus: Amazona | Species: oratrix

Size:

36-38cm (14-15cm)

Weight:

500g (17.5oz)

Races including nominate:

four: A.o.oratrix, A.o. tresmariae, A.o. belizensis, A.o. hondurensis

Colour Adult:

A.o. oratrix : Both adults in general green with lightly dusted black neck, back and breast to abdomen feathers; yellow head and neck, occasionally with scattered green feathers in neck area; yellow thighs; orange/red bend of wing and lesser wing coverts mixed with yellow; yellow carpal edge, sometimes mixed with orange/red; bases of secondaries 1-5 red, the remainder green; green tail with red at base. Bill pale yellow/horn in colour. Eye ring white, eye orange. 
A.o. tresmariae: Both adults as in oratrix, but yellow of head paler and reaching to foreneck and upper breast; paler green upperparts; blue wash on underparts. 
A.o. belizensis: Both adults different from oratrix by the restriction of the yellow of the head to the lores, forehead, crown and around eyes to ear coverts and upper cheeks; yellow patch on nape to hindneck in yellow-naped morph and none in yellow-faced morph; yellow absent on carpal edge. Eye ring grey/white. 
A.o. hondurensis: Both adults have varying plumage, differing from belizensis by having only the forehead and crown yellow, with or without yellow patch on nape to hindneck; red mixed with yellow on bend of wing; carpal edge green.

Colour Juvenile:

Juveniles have yellow only on crown to lores. Bill grey at base. Eye brown.

Call:

Raucous screaming and deep, rolling vocalizations; also hoarse calls.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2

More Information:

Avibase
AvianWeb
Handbook of the Birds of the World

Content Sources:

CITES
BirdLife International
Internet Bird Collection
Lexicon of Parrots
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2010
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998.
Vanished and Vanishing Parrots, Forshaw, 2017.
ML Media Collection Catalogue 8434, Yellow-headed Parrot Amazona oratrix, Guion, William, Belize, April 16 1961, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Site
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.
Psittacine Aviculture, Schubot, Clubb and Clubb, 1992.
Avian Pediatric Seminar Proceedings, various authors, 1988.

Click photo to visit gallery

Yellow-headed Amazon, Palmitos Park
© William Warby | Wikimedia Commons

Programs & Projects

WPT has worked with numerous partners to help save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Amazona oratrix

Species Care

Captive Status:

Fairly common in US; elsewhere somewhat common.

Longevity:

50-60 yrs

Housing:

Aviary or suspended cage, minimum length 3m (9.8 ft). Temperature no lower than 50C.

Diet:

Fruit such as: apple, pear, orange, cactus fruits, pomegranate, banana, forming about 30 percent of diet; fresh vegetables such as: carrot, celery, green peas, beans, fresh corn and green leaves. Cooked/sprouted beans or pulses. Spray millet, mix of small seeds, limited sunflower; complete kibble.

Enrichment:

Bathing using overhead misters or shallow water bowls; foot toys, destructible (non-toxic) wood block or vegetable tanned leather toys, non-destructible (non-toxic plastic) toys, food-finder toys, preening toys, different texture and size hanging perch toys; fir, pine, willow or elder branches, push-and-pull toys (sliding up and down).

Nest Box Size:

12" x 12" x 24" (30.5cm x 30.5cm x 61cm) vertical box.

Clutch Size:

2-4, usually 3

Incubation Time:

26 days

Fledging Age:

9 weeks

Hatch Weight:

15g (0.5oz)

Peak Weight:

500-550g (17.6-19.4oz)

Weaning Weight:

450-500g (15.8-17.6oz)

Click photo to visit gallery

Yellow-headed Amazon, Palmitos Park
© William Warby | Wikimedia Commons

Programs & Projects

WPT has worked with numerous partners to help save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Amazona oratrix

Species Wild Status

World Population:

Less than 7000.

IUCN Red List Status:

Endangered

CITES Listing:

Appendix I

Threat Summary:

Heavy trapping for wild bird trade, hunting and persecution, extensive habitat loss (80% of the Tamaulipas lowlands cleared for agriculture and pasture).

Range:

A.o. oratrix: Pacific slope of C Mexico, and Caribbean slope.
A.o. tresmariae: Isla Tres Marías, off coast of W Mexico.
A.o. belizensis: C Belize and El Petén, N Guatemala; isolated populations NE Guatemala and NW Honduras.
A.o. hondurensis: Valle de Sula, NW Honduras.

Habitat:

Deciduous or riparian forest, clearings, savanna woodland, Pinus woodlands on ridges (Belize), dense gallery woodland; in Guatemala, mangroves or coastal swamp forest and cultivated areas with scattered trees.

Wild Diet:

Reported to consume buds, new leaves, palm fruits and flowers. Items include monkeypod Pithecellobium dulce, mango flowers, and seeds of glassywood Astronium graveolens, garlic-pear tree Crataeva tapia and tempisque tree Sideroxylon capiri. Also Ficus fruits.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Birds are found in pairs or flocks with larger gatherings at communal roosts and feed areas.

Clutch and Egg Size:

2 to 4 ovate eggs, 37.0 x 30.0mm (1.4 x 1.2 in)

Breeding Season:

March-April

Related Links:

Wikipedia
California Parrot Project
Cornell Lab of Ornithology Neotropical Birds

Click photo to visit gallery

Yellow-headed Amazon, Palmitos Park
© William Warby | Wikimedia Commons

Programs & Projects

WPT has worked with numerous partners to help save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Amazona oratrix

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