Learn about the

Yellow-Headed Amazon

KINGDOM:  Animalia
PHYLUM:  Chordata
CLASS:  Aves
ORDER:  Psittaciformes
FAMILY:  Psittacidae
GENUS:  Amazona
SPECIES: Amazona oratrix

POPULATION SIZE:  Under 10,000
LIFE SPAN:  80 YRS
WEIGHT:  800 G
LENGTH: 42 CM
WINGSPAN:  20 CM

Where to find the

Yellow-Headed Amazon

Mexico is where most of this species lives, with additional, small populations living in the north east of Guatemala as far as the Honduras border, as well as in Belize. They like habitats which include subtropical and tropical forests, savannah, mangrove swamps, coastal scrub and land under cultivation, where there are trees available for nesting.

How the

Yellow-Headed Amazon

lives

here is little information available regarding the social behavior of these birds. They are diurnal and are social parrots, living in flocks as large as several hundred individuals. They are beautiful, very intelligent and imaginative, and are easily tamed because they enjoy human company. These parrots are considered very good singers and talkers and are generally known as noisy birds. As with most parrot of this size, they can destroy many things unless they are redirected to chewing toys and natural, non-toxic branches, and learning tricks.

GROUP NAME: flock, company, pandemonium

What does the

Yellow-Headed Amazon

eat?

These birds are herbivores (frugivores and granivores), they feed on fruit, nuts, blossoms, berries and leaf buds. They will also raid cultivated crops like maize.

Yellow-Headed Amazon

Relationships

Yellow-headed amazons are monogamous and during the breeding season live in pairs which mate for life. Their nests are in hollow tree cavities. February to June is the breeding season. Usually there are two to three eggs per clutch, and incubation is by the female for a period of 26 to 28 days. Like many parrots, the male feeds the female by regurgitation while she carries out the incubation or feeds the young. The chicks leave the nest when they are 8 to 12 weeks old, and are reproductively mature after three to four years.

MATING BEHAVIOR: Monogamy
REPRODUCTION SEASON:  April – May
INCUBATION PERIOD:  28 days
INDEPENDENT AGE:  12 weeks
FEMALE NAME:  hen
MALE NAME:  cock
BABY NAME:  chick
BABY CARRYING: 3-4 eggs

How many

Yellow-Headed Amazon

are there?

Population threats

The main threats facing this species are habitat destruction and also the pet trade, with too many of these parrots being collected, many thousands having been exported illegally each year from Mexico and also some from Belize. The Yellow-headed amazon is also popular in domestic markets. It is also hunted and persecuted in Belize because it is a crop pest. Extensive deforestation has cleared large areas for agriculture, pasture, lumber and settlements, with nesting and foraging habitats being lost. Nest poaching adds to habitat loss, as nesting trees are often cut down to reach the nestlings, thus destroying critical nest sites.

Population number

The IUCN Red List reports that the estimated global Yellow-headed amazon population size in 1994 was 7,000 individuals. This is approximately equivalent to 4,700 adult birds. Currently this species is classified as Endangered (EN) and its numbers today are decreasing.