Facts about this animal
This is a large amazon with a total lenght of 35-38 cm and a body-weight of up to 500g.
Juveniles have yellow only on crown to lores. Their iris is brown.
Outside the breeding season, yellow-headed amazons have communal roosts and may congregate in large flocks, in which pairs are evident. During the day, they are seen in small parties of up to ten birds, foraging quietly in the crowns of trees.
Yellow-headed amazons begin exploring nest sites in March. Like all amazons, they are cavity nesters, and may start chewing out a hole in a tree trunk that had been previously nested by a woodpecker. The clutch of two to four eggs is incubated for 25–26 days by the female alone. The male remains near the nest entrance and feeds the sitting female.
Yellow-headed amazons feed regularly on the large green nut that is produced in abundance by the Ebano tree, and the small, not very sweet fruit of the Strangler Fig tree, as well as other nuts, seeds, fruits, buds and flowers. They are also fond of maize and cultivated fruit.
Did you know?
that, until a few years ago the yellow-headed amazon was considered to be a subspecies of the yellow-crowned amazon (Amazona ochrocephala) ? The species-complex "ochrocephala" was then split into several species, including oratrix comprising the subspecies oratrix, belizensis (with "guatemalensis") and tresmariae.
|Name (Scientific)||Amazona oratrix|
|Name (English)||Yellow-headed amazon|
|Name (French)||Amazone à tête jaune|
|Name (Spanish)||Loro cabeciamarillo|
|Local names||Mexico: Loro cabeza amarilla|
|CITES Status||Appendix I|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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|Range||Central America: Belize, Guatemala, Mexixo|
|Habitat||Various types of habitat, inclkuding dry forest, moist forest, mangroves, shrub, and arable land|
|Wild population||This species has undergone a dramatic population decline, and was estimated at 7,000 birds in 1994. There are no current global data, however|
|Zoo population||196 reported to ISIS (2008), including tresmariae|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 11D of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
Find this animal on ZooLex
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Why do zoos keep this animal
Amazons are conspicuous and attractive birds, which are good ambassador species for the conservation of neotropical forests. They have an interesting anatomy and behaviour, are intelligent birds able to mimic human speech and even to associate words with their meanings, and are thus also of educational interest. Zoos may keep amazon parrots also for animal welfare reasons as they may have to take care of confiscated birds, or former pet birds.
Although the species is rated "Endangered" since 2004, there are no coordinated ex situ-breeding programmes yet.