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Cuban Parrot
Amazona leucocephala

Cuban Parrot




28-33 cm.. length and 260-301 g. of weight.
The Cuban Parrot (Amazona leucocephala) has a plumage rather variable, a main color ranging from bright green to olive color,, some birds feathers yellow dispersed in wings and in the back.

Forehead, fore crown, lores and area around eyes, white; lower cheeks and throat, red-pink; feathers the back of the crown and nape, bluish-green with black margins, giving the whole a heavy barred effect; similar pattern on the sides of neck but with the bluish tint absent; ear-coverts charcoal grey. Feathers of the back and the mantle, green with black distal margins but less intense than in the nape and head; rump and uppertail-coverts, dark green with weak margins to some feathers rump.

Cuban Parrot

Alula, greater coverts and flight feather, blue on the outerweb, gray on inner; remaining coberteras green with dark margins, showing most distinct barring on lesser coverts. Under the wings, green with dark margins, flight feather grey. Breast green with dark margins to most feathers; feathers on belly with vinaceous base showing green at margins forming a patch variable-sized, barely noticeable in some birds, striking in other; the thighs green or with some vinaceous feathers; undertail-coverts green. feathers tail green with red at base. Bill yellow-horn: irises reddish brown; legs yellowish brown.

Both sexes are alike, but males of the subspecies caymanenis reportedly larger and brighter than females. Usually, the immature show less black borders on the body feathers and less red wine in the belly.

  • Sound of the Cuban Parrot.

Description 4 subspecies:
  • Amazona leucocephala bahamensis

    (Bryant,H, 1867) – Larger that the nominal species, with slate blue on the back of the crown and more extensive white color head. Pens red wine in the belly, reduced or absent and red at the bottom of the tail less extensive.

  • Amazona leucocephala caymanensis

    (Cory, 1886) – It differs from other subspecies by the turquoise dye in the chest and in the rump and rosacea suffusion (sometimes yellowish) in white feathers head. Plumage Barred yellower and less thick than the nominal species (especially below and on upperwing-coverts), with less white in the head and much less pronounced the patch red wine belly.

  • Amazona leucocephala hesterna

    (Bangs, 1916) – Smaller and darker than the nominal species and that the subspecies caymanensis, most individuals with the red color confined to a point under the eye and patch smaller target in the crown, it lacks the rosy tint of the subspecies caymanensis. Patch red wine in the larger belly than the subspecies caymanensis.

  • Amazona leucocephala leucocephala

    (Linnaeus, 1758) – Nominal.


Cuban Amazon Video

The Cuban Parrot They inhabit in different habitats in different islands. In Cuba They inhabit dense forests; in the Bahamas, in native broadleaf forests and pine forests, and in the Cayman Islands, in dry forests in the plateau ridge and on nearby farmland (Bond 1979, King 1981, Sibley y Monroe 1990). Usually in small groups but forages while forming larger groups in places where food is plentiful; couples or family groups in flocks discernable. More usually in pairs during breeding. They sleep communally outside the breeding season.


The Cuban Parrot make their nests in cavities or palm tree hollows created by termites or woodpeckers. The population of Abaco It is particularly interesting because nests in natural holes in substrate limestone in the soil (O'Brien et al., 2006); over there, chicks and adults are completely isolated from the frequent fires in the pine forests They are forming their habitat. Breeding March until mid-summer Cuba and Abaco. The laying usually it comprises between 2 and 4 eggs, the incubation period hard of 26 to 28 days and the chicks remain in the nest between 56 and 60 days.


The diet It includes yema Leaf Roystonea, the cones and new shoots tender the Pinus caribea, sea ​​grape uvifera and Conocarpus erretis, fruits and seeds of Smilax, Sabal, Durant, Exothea, Ernodea, Tabebuia, Acacia, Metopium, Tetrazygia, Swietenia, Cupania and Lisiloma. Sometimes they are persecuted for damage cultivated fruits like Mango (Mangifera) and grain.

Distribution and status:

Size of its range (breeding/resident): 590.000 km2

The Cuban Parrot live in Cuba, Island Pines, Bahamas and Cayman Islands. Formerly observed throughout the island Cuba but now it is difficult to see or is extinct in much of the island. They are still locally distributed throughout the provinces but they are still only common in a few redoubts, including the peninsulas of Zapata and Guanahacabibes and in Sierra de sewage.

You can see in the Isle of Pines (Isle of youth) which dropped dramatically in the twentieth century, especially during the sixties, with most of the population surviving on Lanier Swamp National Park.

Formerly distributed by all the major islands of the Bahamas, but currently extinct, Except in Gran Inagua (spread south, east and north) and Abaco (especially in the southern third). You can visit Little Inagua from Great Inagua.

Mainly in the central and eastern parts of Grand Cayman where habitat loss is less severe. A residual population persists Cayman Brac but it became extinct in little Cayman about 1932.

Mainly resident, but with some seasonal movements, for example in the Isle of youth, where birds possibly (at least once) moved to the coast from the dry interior in the non-breeding season.

The decline across the range is due to the habitat destruction and capture of birds Vivas (for use as pets locally and for export).

Poor breeding success in Grand Cayman in the seventies it was due to mosquito attacks against the pups. Birds that nest on the ground in Abaco attacked by wild cats. The hurricanes They can cause shortages of food and nesting sites. It is likely that Bahamas are stable, but generally decreasing. You can not be considered safe in most of its range.

Distribution 4 subspecies:


State of conservation ⓘ

Status Near Threatened (UICN)ⓘ

Rationale for the Red List category

The Cuban Parrot It is classified as near threatened because it is suspected to have suffered a reduction in population in Cuba, which has not ceased, mainly due to the capture and destruction of nesting sites.

• Current category of the Red List of the UICN: Near-threatened.

• Population trend: Decreasing.

• Population size : 13600-23000

Justification of the population

Population estimates for Bahamas and Cayman Islands they are as follows: 2.000 in Gran Cayman in 1995 (Bradley 2000), about 450 in Cayman Brac in 2013 (Marsden, 2013), 8.000-13.000 in Great Inagua, 3.000-5.000 in Abaco and around 10 individuals in new Providence (Bahamas National Trust 2016, S. Cant-Woodside in a bit., 2016). It is estimated that the population of Cuba amounts of 7.000 to 14.000 copies based on estimates recorded population density and the fact that it is likely that only a proportion of the estimated extent of occurrence deal. So, the total population It is estimated in 20.460-34.460 individuals, which is equivalent to 13.640-22.973 mature individuals, rounded here to 13.600-23.000 mature individuals.

Justification of trend

It is considered that the species is declining mainly due to the capture and destruction of nesting sites. It is considered that the population of the Bahamas It has remained stable or increased. The population of the Cayman Islands It has increased since the species was protected in 1989 (Bradley 20000). It is believed that the Cuban population has decreased in recent years, mainly due to the poaching (Canizares 2012, M. Canizares in a bit., 2016). Although there is no data on the extent of this decline, the species has been classified as Vulnerable in Cuba (Canizares 2012). So, It is suspected that the total population has decreased 10-20% over three generations.

Conservation Actions Underway

CITES Appendix 1.

• Protected in the Bahamas under the Wild birds Protection Act (Protection).

• Rightfully protected in the Cayman Islands from 1989.

• Los artificial nests a variety of designs are in use in several locations Cuba and they have been used by more than 1.300 birds (Waugh 2006). The facts of artificial materials have proved more durable (Waugh 2006).

• Los volunteers counts in the center of Cuba They have been conducted twice a year since 2009 and more than 1.500 local people are involved in the activity.

• Important plant species are used for parrot feeding for reforestation and forest enrichment..

Conservation Actions Proposed

• Discourage the taking of birds from the wild through public education campaigns.

• Promote better bird-keeping practices to increase the longevity of captive birds and reduce the demand for wild populations.

• In Abaco, protect vital areas of broadleaf forests.

• In Cuba, make and erect more artificial nests.

• Monitor the population trends across its range.

Cuban Parrot in captivity:

Currently international trade Cuban Parrot It is legally prohibited; However, at regional level, the illegal traffic This species is one of the most worrying in Cuba.

Each captive specimen of this species which is capable of reproducing, must be placed in a well-managed captive breeding program and not sold as a pet, in order to ensure its long-term survival.

Alternative names:

bahaman parrot, Caribbean Amazon, Caribbean Parrot, Cuban Amazon, Cuban Parrot, Rose-throated Parrot, White-headed Amazon, White-headed Parrot (English).
Amazone à face rouge, Amazone à tête blanche, Amazone de Cuba (French).
Kubaamazone (German).
Papagaio-de-cuba (Portuguese).
Amazona Cubana, Cotorra (español).

Carl Linnaeus

scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Amazona
Scientific name: Amazona leucocephala
Citation: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Protonimo: Psittacus leucocephalus

Images Cuban Parrot:

Species of the genus Amazona


(1) Avibase
(2) Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
(3) Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr
(4) Birdlife


(1) – Rose-throated Parrot. Amazona leucocephala Long Beach, Zapata N.P. Cuba by gailhampshireFlickr
(2) – A Cuban parrot (amazona leucocephala) in Naturarte Center. santa Clara, Cuba 2011 by lezumbalaberenjenaFlickr
(3) – A Cuban parrot (Amazona leucocephala) Vega de Palma, Camajuaní, Cuba by lezumbalaberenjenaFlickr
(4) – Amazona leucocephala by Ekaterina Chernetsova (Papchinskaya)Flickr
(5) – Amazona leucocephala by Ekaterina Chernetsova (Papchinskaya)Flickr
(6) – Cuban Parrot (Amazona leucocephala) by HeathFlickr
(7) – Cuban Amazon by Eric SavageFlickr
(8) – Two Cuban Amazons in Matanzas, Matanzas Province, Cuba By Laura Gooch (BI110211-174 – Cuban Parrot) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(9) – Cuban Amazon parrot on Grand Cayman Island By Lhb1239 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(10) – Cuban Amazon (also known as the Rose-throated Parrot) at Jungle Island, Miami, USA By Chris Acuna from Miami, USA (Jungle Island-20090823-086) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(11) – A Cuban Amazon in Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. It is in a small round cage on a balcony By Alex Graves (Parrot) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(12) – A Cuban Amazon flying in Matanzas, Matanzas Province, Cuba By Laura Gooch (BI110211-159 – Cuban Parrot) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(13) – Cayman parrot (Amazona leucocephala caymanensis), Grand Cayman By Charlesjsharp (Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(14) – Parrots in captivity /. London :George Bell and Sons,1884-1887 [i.e. 1883-1888] by Biodiversity Heritage LibraryFlickr

Sounds: Hans Matheve, XC256757. accessible www.xeno-canto.org/256757

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