Yellow-crowned or Yellow-fronted or Yellow-headed Amazon Parrot

The Yellow-crowned Amazon Parrot aka Yellow-fronted Amazon (Amazona ocrocephala ocrocephala) is native to the rainforest areas of Northern South and Central America.

Distribution / Range:

They are found in the Amazon Basin and Guianas – Northern Brazil, Venezuela, Middle Amazonia, Eastern Andes, Colombia and Trinidad.

Localized populations exist in north-western South America and Panama.

It is mainly a lowland bird, but has locally been recorded up to 800 m (2600 ft) along on the eastern slopes of the Andes.

These Amazon parrots favor tropical forest areas (both humid and dry), woodland, mangroves, savanna and may also be found on cultivated land and suburban areas.

Sub-species / Taxonomy

There are several subspecies of Yellow-crowned Amazons, including the Yellow-naped Amazon.

There is a lot of controversy about the taxonomy of the Amazona ochrocephala complex. Some authorities consider it to be a single species, while others split it into three species:

Yellow-crowned Amazon Parrot aka Yellow-fronted Amazon (Amazona ocrocephala ocrocephala)
  • Yellow-crowned Amazon – A. ochrocephala – nominate group – East-central and south-eastern Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and the northern and eastern Amazon Basin in Brazil.
    • Amazona o. xantholaema:Marajó Island, in the Amazon River delta of north-eastern Brazil. Amazona o. nattereri: Far south-eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, northern Bolivia and south-western Amazon Basin of Brazil (east to around Mato Grosso). Often included in A. o. ochrocephala.
    • Panama Amazon Amazona o. panamensis: Western Panama to north-western Colombia
  • Yellow-naped AmazonA. auropalliata-Southern Mexico to north-western Costa Rica.
    • Amazona a./o. parvipes: Mosquito Coast in eastern Honduras and north-eastern Nicaragua.
    • Amazona a./o. caribaea: Bay Islands, Honduras.
  • Yellow-headed Amazon Amazona oratrix oratrix: Pacific and Gulf slopes of Mexico.
    • Tres-Marias Amazon Amazona oratrix tresmariae, previously Amazona ochrocephala tresmariae: Tres Marias Islands (Islands off the west coast of Mexico)
    • Belize Yellow-headed Amazons Amazona oratrix belizensis, previously Amazona ochrocephala belizensis: Belize.
    • Amazona oratrix hondurensis: Sula Valley, Honduras – Only recently described, while the population in north-western Honduras and adjacent eastern Guatemala (near Puerto Barrios) resembles belizensis and commonly is included in that subspecies, but may actually represent an undescribed subspecies. It has sometimes been referred to as guatemalensis, but until officially described, the name remains provisional.
    • Greater Yellow-headed Amazon Amazona oratrix magna – previously A. ochrocephala magna – Carribean Side of Mexico. Most authorities consider this sub-species invalid, instead including this population in oratrix.

The splits are mainly based on:

  • the amount of yellow in the plumage, the color of the legs and billthe close proximity of the oratrix group and auropalliata group in Oaxaca, Mexico, without apparent interbreedingthe presence of members of both the nominate group and the auropalliata group in northern Honduras

However, the taxonomy is extremely complex and future changes / clarifications are anticipated.

Yellow-crowned Amazon - Lorenzo - 2/1/2 yrs old

Description

This parrot averages 13 – 15 inches (33 – 38 cm) in length, including its short squarish tail.

Like most Amazons, its plumage is mostly green; There are rainbow markings in many areas. Yellow markings can be seen at the crown, lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird’s head), and thighs, and can occasionally be seen in the areas around the eyes.

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    The amount of yellow to the head varies, with nominate, nattereri and panamensis having yellow restricted to the crown-region, although occasionally a few random feathers can be seen around the eyes.

    However, the subspecies xantholaema has most of the head yellow. The yellow on the forehead is far less yellow than that of the Double Yellow-head parrot (Amazona oratrix).

    The wings are spectacular, as the primaries exhibit a lovely violet-blue, with secondaries (shorter, upper “arm” feathers) also possessing this striking violet-blue at the tips and outer webs; and there are red markings appear at the bend of the wing, while a yellowish green color marks the edges.

    The red and dark blue markings are often difficult to see when the bird is perched.

    The tail has a yellowish green base with red tail feathers. They have a light bone beak and light gray feet. The cheeks and ear coverts (feathers covering the ears) are green. The eyes are marked by orange irises and white eye-rings.

    They have a dark bill with a large horn or reddish spot on the upper mandible except panamensis, which has a horn colored beak.

    Sexing: Males and females look alike. DNA sexing is recommended for breeder birds.

    Immature Yellow Crowns exhibit the same colors as the mature adults, but they are typically more muted, and the yellow is not as developed, except at the lores and crown. Except for the wing speculum (= distinctive wing patch), juveniles have little yellow and red to the plumage.

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      Yellow-crowned Amazon or Yellow-crowned Parrot

      Personality / Pet Potential:

      The Yellow-crowned Amazon parrots are known for their playful antics and excellent talking abilities.

      This being said, talking ability will vary between birds and even though many of them are excellent talkers, some may never learn to talk.

      They are handsome and generally affectionate. Their friendly and playful nature make them excellent pets.

      They are easily tamed and trained and are known to be very active – which makes them more suitable to an environment that allows them to fly and move around, such as an aviary or flight.

      Provided they are given sufficient daily exercise, they can adjust to indoor cages and indoor living as well.

      They are known for their loud voices, which is said to be the loudest of all Amazon Parrots. People who are not tolerant to noise, will not do well with this parrot.

      Like most larger parrots they can also be very destructive and their need to “customize their environment” needs to be redirected by providing them plenty of chewing toys and branches.

      Their longevity should also be a consideration. These parrots can live to the old, ripe age of 60 to 80 years

      Panama Amazon

      Diet / Feeding

      Their diet includes a variety of fruits, nuts, seeds and berries. These parrots are normally found in pairs or small flocks up to 30, but larger groups may gather at clay licks.

      Breeding

      The Yellow-crowned Amazon parrots mate for life. The breeding season commences in early spring. In their natural habitat, they are cavity nesters.

      They typically nest in a hollow in a tree, palm or termite mounts, where they lay two to three eggs. The incubation time is about 26 – 28 days, and the chicks leave the nest about 60 days from hatching.

      Status / Conservation

      The Yellow-crowned Amazon is fairly common throughout a large part of its range and occurs in numerous protected areas, although they

      This species is currently considered to be of least concern by BirdLife International, and, consequently, also by IUCN.

      Although populations are believed to be in decline they do not yet approach the threshold specified by BirdLife International to rate the species as Near Threatened. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

      Taxonomy:

      Species: Scientific: Amazona ochrocephala ochrocephala … English: Yellow-crowned Amazon, Yellow-fronted Amazon … Dutch: Geelvoorhoofdamazone, Surinaamse Amazone … German: Gelbscheitelamazone … French: Amazone à front jaune, Perroquet à front jaune

      Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate: oratrix, tresmariae, auropalliata, parvipes, belizensis, panamensis, nattereri, xantholaema, ochrocephala


      Yellow-crowned Amazon Parrot

      Sub-species:

      Belize Yellow-headed Amazons:

      Species: Scientific: Amazona oratrix or ochrocephala belizensis aka Amazona belizensis … English: Belize Yellow-headed Amazon … Dutch: Beliza Amazone … German: Gelbkopfamazone … French: Amazone de Belizensis – CITES II – Endangered Species

      Distribution: British Honduras

      Greater Yellow-headed Amazons:

      Species: Scientific: Amazona oratrix magna, previously Amazona ochrocephala magna … English: Greater Yellow-headed Amazon … Dutch: Grote Geelkopamazone … German: Großer Gelbkopfamazone … French: Amazone de Magna – CITES II – Endangered Species

      Distribution: Carribean Side of Mexico

      Marajo Yellow-headed Amazons:

      Species: Scientific: Amazona ochrocephala xantholaema … English: Marajo Yellow-headed Amazon … Dutch: Marajo Amazone … German: Marajo Amazone … French: Amazone de Marajo – CITES II – Endangered Species

      Distribution: Marajo Island Para (Mouth of Amazon River), Northern Brazil

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        Average Length: 35 cm / 14 in

        Natterer’s Amazons:

        Species: Scientific: Amazona ochrocephala nattereri aka Amazona nattereri … English: Natterer’s Amazon … Dutch: Natterer’s Amazone … German: Nattereramazone, Grüne Amazone … French: Amazone de Natterer – CITES II – Endangered Species

        Average Length: 35 cm / 14 in

        Distribution: Southern Colombia, Ecuador, Eastern Peru, Northern Bolivia, Brazil

        Tres Marias Amazons:

        Species: Scientific: Amazona oratrix tresmariae, previously Amazona ochrocephala tresmariae … English: Tres-Marias Amazon … Dutch: Tres Marias Amazone … German: Tres Marias Amazone … French: Amazone de Tres Marias – CITES II – Endangered Species

        Distribution: Tres Marias Islands (Islands off the west coast of Mexico)

        Average Length: 38 cm / 15.2 in


        More Amazon Parrot Information

        Yellow-headed Amazon Parrots

         

        Double Yellow Headed Amazon Parrot called “Killer”

        The Double Yellow Head or Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix aka Amazona ochrocephala oratrix) is probably the best known of all the Amazon Parrots.

        Differentiating it from other related amazon parrots, this amazon possesses both the yellow nape and yellow crown – hence a “double-yellow” head and the origin of its name.


        Useful Webpages:

        General Information about Amazon ParrotsAmazon SpeciesPhotos of the Different Amazon Parrot Species for Identification …. Common Health Problems / Diseases of the Amazon ParrotsAmazon Nutrition / Diet for Optimal HealthAmazon Parrots as PetsAmazon Parrot Incubation Data


        Yellow-headed Amazon

        This parrot is endangered in its natural habitat in Central and South America. In the wild, they generally form large, noisy flocks.

        They reach sexual maturity at 3 to 4 years of age. During breeding, they live in monogamous pairs and nest in hollow tree limbs. They lay an average of 2-3 eggs, which are incubated for 26 – 28 days. Their lifespan ranges from 60 to 80 years.

        Alternate (Global) Names

        Czech: Amazonan velký, amazo?an velký … Danish: Gulhovedet Amazone … Dutch: Geelkopamazone … Estonian: kuldkiird-amatsoonpapagoi, kuldpea-amatsoonpapagoi … Finnish: Keltapääamatsoni … French: Amazone à raie jaune, Amazone à tête jaune, Amazone de Levaillant … German: Gelbkopfamazone, Große Gelbkopfamazone, Surinamamazone … Italian: Amazzone testa gialla del Messico, Amazzone testagialla … Japanese: kibitaiboushiinko … Norwegian: Gulhodeamazon, Gulhodet amason, Gulhodet amasonpapegøye … Polish: amazonka zóltogardla, amazonka ?ó?togard?a … Russian: ???????????? ?????? … Slovak: amazonan žltohlavý, amazo?an žltohlavý … Spanish: Cotorra Cabeciamarilla, Loro Cabeciamarillo, Loro Cabeza Amarilla, loro cabeza-amarilla … Swedish: Gulhuvad amazon, Gulhuvad amazonpapegoja

        Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix) or Double Yellow-headed Amazon

        Sub-species and Ranges:

        Double Yellow Head or Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix oratrix aka Amazona ochrocephala oratrix) – Pacific and Gulf slopes of Mexico

        • Tres-Marias Amazon Amazona oratrix tresmariae, previously Amazona ochrocephala tresmariae: Tres Marias Islands (Islands off the west coast of Mexico)
        • Belize Yellow-headed Amazons Amazona oratrix belizensis, previously Amazona ochrocephala belizensis: Belize.
        • Amazona oratrix hondurensis: Sula Valley, Honduras – Only recently described, while the population in north-western Honduras and adjacent eastern Guatemala (near Puerto Barrios) resembles belizensis and commonly is included in that subspecies, but may actually represent an undescribed subspecies. It has sometimes been referred to as guatemalensis, but until officially described, the name remains provisional.
        • Greater Yellow-headed Amazon Amazona oratrix magna – previously A. ochrocephala magna – Carribean Side of Mexico. Most authorities consider this sub-species invalid, instead including this population in oratrix
        • Amazona oratrix magna – from the Pacific slope of Mexico. Most authorities consider this subspecies invalid.

        Double Yellow Amazon

        Distribution / Range

        The Yellow-headed Amazons are endemic to Guatemala. They were previously also found along the coastal slopes of Mexico from the Tres Marías Islands and Jalisco to Oaxaca and from Nuevo León to northern Chiapas and southwestern Tabasco, as well as a disjunct area including most of Belize, as well as northwestern Honduras. They inhabit riparian forest and areas with scattered trees, as well as evergreen forest in Belize and mangroves in Guatemala. Introduced populations can be found in Stuttgart, Germany where a population of over 50 individuals resides. Smaller introduced populations are to found at Imperial Beach, San Diego and Santa Anna both in Southern California.

        These parrots occurs in singly or in pairs, in small groups, and occasionally in big flocks.

        Their numbers have been reduced drastically—by 90 percent, to 7,000, from the mid 1970s to 1994, and by 68 percent from 1994 to 2004. The main reason being trapping for the pet trade and habitat destruction.

        Physical Description

        The Yellow-naped Amazon averages 15 – 17 inches (38–43 cm) in length (including tail). When excited all feathers of the neck and crown are raised, making the head appear double in size. They have a robust build, rounded wings, and a square tail. The body is bright green, with yellow on the head, dark scallops on the neck, red at the bend of the wing, and yellow thighs.

        The flight feathers are blackish to bluish violet with a red patch on the outer secondaries (shorter, upper “arm” feathers). The base of the tail also has a red patch, which is usually hidden. The outer tail feathers have yellowish tips. The bill is horn-colored, darker in immatures of the Belizean and Honduran subspecies. The eye ring is whitish in Mexican birds and grayish in others. Male and female look alike.

        Immatures have less yellow than adults; they attain adult plumage in 2 to 4 years. ‘

        Mutations: Lutino and blue mutations and myriad variations have been produced in aviculture. Below is a photo of Tommy – a beautiful and rare mutation double headed amazon. According to his owners, he is a great pet. He likes attention and wants to be close to the action. He can be very vocal screaming “come here, come here!” Like just about all parrots, he likes to discipline by biting from time to time. Training is recommended to prevent undesirable behavior.

        Tommy

        Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix) or Double Yellow-headed Amazon

        Personality / Pet Potential:

        These beautiful parrots are very intelligent and imaginative birds that are easily tamed as they enjoy human company. Therefore, they have grown to be very popular in the pet bird trade. They are considered very good talkers and singers.

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          Some become nippy and they may not be the right pet for the casual owner who doesn’t want to take the time to learn about parrot behavior and training. They are generally known to be noisy, thus they may not be suitable for individuals who are intolerant to noise. As is the case with most mid-size to large parrot, they can be destructive unless their energy is redirected at chewing toys, natural and non-toxic branches, and training of tricks.

          Amazon Parrots as Pets

          Double Yellow Head or Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix aka Amazona ochrocephala oratrix)
          Immature Double Yellow-headed Amazon / Parrot

          Tres-Marias Amazon Amazona oratrix tresmariae, previously Amazona ochrocephala tresmariae

          If you are considering one of these magnificent parrots as pets, please visit the following websites for information:

          Taxonomy:

          Species: Scientific: Amazona oratrix aka Amazona ochrocephala oratrix … English: Yellow-headed Amazon … Dutch: Dubbele Geelkopamazone … German: Doppelgelbkopfamazone … French: Amazone de Levaillant

          Double Yellow Head or Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix aka Amazona ochrocephala oratrix)

          Beauty Of Birds strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information or even submit an article or pictures, please contact us. THANK YOU!!!

          Singing Parrots or Yellow-headed Parrots

           

          yellow headed parrot

          The Singing Parrot (Geoffroyus heteroclitus) or “yellow headed parrot” is endemic to the subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests of Lavongai Island, Lihir Group, New Ireland, New Britain and Solomon Islands.

          Geoffroyus – Long-winged Parrots
          Singing Parrot

          Description:

          The Singing Parrot averages ~9.75 to 10 inches (~25 cm) in length, from head to the tip of the tail; and weighs around 5.6 to 6.8 oz (160-195g).

          Male: The general plumage is green. His head is yellow, edged with a greyish-mauve collar around the neck. The breast, abdomen, upperside of tail, upper and under-tail-coverts are yellowish-green.

          The lower back is green and there is a reddish-brown patch to the median wing-coverts. The under wing-coverts are violet-blue.

          The tail underside is dusky yellow. He has narrow grey periophthalmic rings and pale yellow irises. The feet are grey and the upper beak is pale horn-colored.

          The lower beak is dark grey.

          Female: Hens look like males, except they have a greyish-brown head that is variably tinged blue. They lack the blue collar of the male. Her cheeks are more olive-grey and the upper and lower beaks are brownish-grey.

          Young birds look like adult females, except the crown and nape has a bluish-grey tinge, washed with green. The upper and lower beaks are brownish-grey with dull yellow at base. The cere flesh is pink instead of grey. They have white eye rings and dark grey irises.

          Voice / Call

          Their calls are described as raucous and loud, both perched and in flight. They emit high-pitched whistling songs consisting of two notes.

          Yellow-headed or Singing Parrot

          Taxonomy:

          Species: Scientific: Geoffroyus heteroclitus heteroclitus … English: Singing Parrot, Yellow-headed Parrot … Dutch: Zangpapegaai, Geelkop Papegaai … German: Gelbkopfpapagei … French: Perroquet Geoffrey à tête jaune … CITES II – Endangered


          Sub-species

          Rennell Singing Parrots (Geoffroyus heteroclitus hyacinthinus)

          Distribution: This parrot is endemic to the Rennell Island in the Solomons, which explains its name.

          Description

          Male: The Rennell Singing Parrot looks like the nominate form – the Singing Parrot (Heteroclitus) – described and featured above; except it has a greyish/blue-mauve collar band that extends to the back and upper breast, occasionally as far as sides of body and abdomen. Thebend of the wing is bluish. There is a bluish tinge to the primary coverts. The Rennell Singing Parrot is generally larger than the nominate form, averaging 10.5 inches (27 cm) in length (from head to tip of tail).

          Female: The female looks like the nominate hen (featured above), but her crown and nape is a darker greyish-blue and reaching to neck and cheeks. Herprimary coverts have a bluish tinge and she is also generally larger than the nominate hen.

          Species: Scientific: Geoffroyus heteroclitus hyacinthinus … English: Rennell Singing Parrot … Dutch: Rennell Geelkoppapegaai … German: Rennell Gelbkopfpapagei … French: Perroquet Geoffrey de jacinthe … CITES II – Endangered

          Photo of author

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