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Yellow-headed Parrot
Amazona oratrix

Yellow-headed Parrot




35-38 cm. in length weighing up 500 g..

Yellow-headed Parrot

The Yellow-headed Parrot (Amazona oratrix) has head and nape bright yellow; sides neck sometimes with scattered green feathers.

Upperparts green grass with ends of darker green in some feathers; uppertail-coverts paler. Wing coverts green, sometimes with paler yellow margins on some feathers; edge front of the wing and carpal area with red marks and / or yellow variables. Primaries and secondaries green at the base (more emerald than coverts), blue at the tips; five base outer secondaries bright red, forming a speculum. Under wings green. The chin is bright yellow, the throat variable green and dark blue suffusion margins in the feathers of some birds; chest and belly green with yellowish suffusion in some birds, bluish suffusion in other; the thighs with yellow feathers in some birds. Tail green with red tips yellow and green at the base of the innerwebs of the lateral feathers. Bill gray horn; bare periophthalmic whitish; irises orange; legs grey.

Both sexes are similar.

Immature It is very green part with little or no yellow in the head without red and yellow in the wings.

  • Sound of the Yellow-headed Parrot.

Geographic Variation:

All birds puerto Barios at the East end of Guatemala show yellow concentrate lores and crown. While it described as near the subspecies belizensis, the birds of puerto Barios at the northwest end of Honduras They may represent another subspecies of oratrix (not yet formally described) provisionally named guatemalensis (see belizensis below). The hondurensis, described below, It was widely regarded as a subspecies of undescribed Yellow-crowned Parrot (Amazona ochrocephala), but now treated at the southern end as a cline (gradual change of phenotypic traits of the same species due to environmental influences and conditions) Yellow decreasing in head Group of birds yellowhead.

Description 3 subspecies:

  • Amazona oratrix belizensis

    Monroe,BL Jr & Howell,TR, 1966) – Less yellow in the head that the nominal species, without yellow on the throat. Cheeks green, bare periophthalmic grayish-white and probably on average smaller. Fowl Guatemala, to the Northwest of Honduras, sometimes show yellow in head as a patch wide in front of the crown and around eyes, and perhaps they represent a species not yet described (known as guatemalensis); although some birds also show yellow feathers on nape (see geographic variation in Yellow-naped Parrot (Amazona auropalliata).

  • Amazona oratrix hondurensis

    (Lousada & Howell,SNG, 1997) – Yellow on head limited to forecrown and in front of the crown, some birds show patch yellow in nape. One bill paler and more extensive yellow on the nape and the head subspecies caribea of the Yellow-naped Parrot. The patch Yellow crown It is also rounded or triangular, against a narrowband subspecies caribea. The subspecies panamensis of the Yellow-crowned Parrot has a bill darker and lacks the patch yellow in nape.

  • Amazona oratrix oratrix

    (Ridgway, 1887) – Nominal.


The Yellow-headed Parrot frequent savannas, Bosques Tropicales deciduous (including clear), dense forests of thorns, marshy forests peaceful, flood forest evergreen, dense gallery forest, forests Pinus caribea (Belice) and cultivated land with trees, mainly in lowlands below 500 m.

Mainly observed in pairs or in large groups in communal roosts and feeding areas favorites. They snuggle into pine-covered ridges in Belice, moving to nearby humid forests to feed. Apparently, only flocks form in Tamaulipas.


The Yellow-headed Parrot put their nests in cavities of trees 6-15 meters and in the holes of the palmeras Roystonea. Along the Pacific coast of Michoacán in Mexico, the Yellow-headed Parrot nests in trees Astronium graveolens, Brosimum allicastrum and at least five other species of trees (T. Monterrubio-Rico et al., In 2007)

In Belice, preferred pines nest. Breeding season in the months of February to May in the south, to June in the north (for example in Tamaulipas). Clutch, usually 2-3 eggs, they are incubated between 27 and 28 days. The young leave the nest at eight weeks.. On average, only 1.2 hatchlings reach adulthood in each clutch.


Food in diet of the Yellow-headed Parrot include outbreaks, leaves news, fruits of Palma, seeds of Acacia, fruits of Macuna, Ficus, Zuelania guidonia, Bumelia laetivirens, Solanum and Pithecellobium flexicaule.

They can cause damage to crops, including corn, mango and green bananas.

Distribution and status:

Size of its range (breeding/resident ): 1.020.000 km2

The Yellow-headed Parrot It is confined to Central America in Mexico, Belice, the east end Guatemala and the Northwest corner of Honduras. They are distributed by the slope of peaceful of Mexico in Colima, Michoacán, Warrior, Oaxaca (two disjunct populations on the slopes of peaceful and of the Gulf on Isthmus region) and Chiapas. also observed in the shed Gulf from the central and southern Tamaulipas, to the East of San Luis Potosi, Puebla, Veracruz, Tabasco and Campeche, as well as in Belice and around puerto Barios at the East end of Guatemala to the northwest corner of Honduras in the Sula Valley.

Distribution in the east of its range poorly documented, with dubious appearances Campeche and in the region of Petén in the North of Guatemala, confirmed only 1993.

Reports Yellow-headed Parrot outside the normal range Mexico (for example, City of Mexico) probably involving leaks. Wild populations Miami (Florida) and Puerto Rico.

local residents, and rare sparsely distributed along most of its distribution (perhaps locally common in parts of Belice) with diminished by the loss of habitat populations and their capture for live bird markets.

The population of Sula Valley survives as remainder. marketed widely both within and outside the species range, being one of the most searched Neotropical parrots pet (reputedly one of the best talkers). The most drastic falls have probably been in the northeast of Mexico, where habitat loss has been more rapid and severe. The wild population is probably less than 7.000 individuals (1994).

Distribution 3 subspecies:



• Current category of the Red List of the UICN: In danger of extinction.

• Population trend: Decreasing.

• Population size: 4700

Rationale for the Red List category

    This species qualifies as in danger of extinction due to demographic decline very fast. The population is now so small that it is likely to fall (but still very significant) rates decrease in the future (Collar et al., 1992).

Justification of the population

    The population It was estimated 7.000 copies in 1994. This is roughly equivalent to 4.700 mature individuals.

Justification of trend

    It is estimated that the population of the species is declining very fast, due to the loss and degradation of habitat and the levels of capture and persecution. On the coast of Michoacán, Mexico, it is estimated that the species occupies the 45.6% its estimated historical distribution (Monterrubio-Rico et al ., 2007 ). Throughout all Pacific coast of Mexico, its historical range has contracted by a 79% (Monterrubio-Rico et al ., 2010). The population of Punta de Manabique It decreased by 30% between 1994 and 2001 mainly due to the Poaching of nests (our man 2003 , Eisermann in a bit., 2007).

• The habitat loss It has been extensive, with the 80% lowlands of Tamaulipas cleared for agriculture and pasture, and growing settlements along the Autopista del Oeste in Belice (Somerville 1997).

• In Belice, where much of the suitable habitat is outside the sistema national protected area, the regions occupied by species remain under heavy development pressure (B. Miller in a little ., 2007).

• Las palm savannas at the only known breeding site in Guatemala They are used for no intensive cattle grazing (our man 2003), who is still a threat here (Fundary et al ., 2006).

• Many thousands of Individuals of this species are exported illegally from Mexico and some from Belice each year, and it is popular in domestic markets (Low 1995b, Miller and Miller 1997, Somerville 1997).

• The illegal internal traffic is intense in Mexico and may represent the 38% of recent species loss distributive (T. Monterrubio-Rico et al., In 2007).

• In the Mexican states of Michoacán, Warrior and Oaxaca, They are mainly pups those taken to the pet trade (T. Monterrubio-Rico et al., In 2007).

• In Guatemala, It is reported that Local military authorities are complicit in the illegal trade of this species, and poachers frequent nest nesting site of the species (our man 2003, Eisermann in some). It also, has reported its hunting for food from local fishermen in Guatemala (our man 2003, Eisermann in some ., 2007).

• In Belice, It is hunted and persecuted by damage to crops (SNG Howell in some 1998) and it remains a victim of the illegal pet trade, whose capture involves logging nesting (B. Miller in a little ., 2007).

• It is estimated that its extension around the coast of Michoacán It has decreased 1.507 km2 , of which 576 km2 can not be attributed to habitat loss and, therefore, They may be due to the poaching for trade (Monterrubio-Rico et al., 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway

CITES Appendix I.

• In Mexico It is distributed in nine protected areas (T. Monterrubio-Rico et al., In 2007).

• The nominal subspecies inhabits Biosphere Reserves of Heaven, Los Tuxtlas, Swamps Centla and Terms Lagoon.

• The species Tres Marias Parrot (Amazona tresmariae), considered by some authors as a subspecies of Amazona [oratrix gold tresmariae], It is protected in Islas Marías Biosphere Reserve.

• The nominal subspecies It is in the Reserva Chamela-Cuixmala, in the Lagunas de Chacahua, in the Huatulco National Park, and in the Biosphere Reserve Zicuirán-Infiernillo in Michoacán (T. Monterrubio-Rico et al., 2007), as well as in seven protected areas in Belice (EC Enkerlin-Hoeflich in some 1994, Miller and Miller 1997, Snyder et to the., 2000).

• The only one breeding population known in Guatemala It was declared Wildlife Refuge in 2005, but effective protection is difficult due to organized crime in the area (Eisermann in some ., 2007).

• There are several awareness campaigns nationally in Mexico (Roberson y Carratello, 1997).

It is bred in captivity, but the reintroduction of captive bred birds is unfeasible (Baja 1995b).

Conservation Actions Proposed

• Carry out surveys for an updated estimate of population size.

Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation.

Monitor hunting levels, catch and trade.

• Apply the trade restrictions.

To protect effectively as key sites Las Colorados Ranch, Soto La Marina / Fishing, Tamaulipas, orange river, focused on Las Abritas (San Luis Potosi) and Punta de Manabique.

• Survey to identify other important sites.

• Investigate habitat use and local movements.

• Continue zooming awareness campaigns.

• Develop structured captive breeding programs and investigate the possibility of future release.

"Yellow-headed Parrot" in captivity:

The Yellow-headed Parrot are popular in domestic markets.

protected by CITES Appendix I (Species that are endangered. Prohibited international trade of specimens of those species, except when the import is non-commercial purposes).

In Mexico It is listed as endangered in both the NAME-059-SEMARNAT-2001, as in the NAME-059-SEMARNAT-2010, and by the Article 60 Bis of the General Law on Wildlife removal of specimens from the environment is prohibited, marketing, tenure, import, export, use of any of its parts. They are up 9 years in prison and fines very high who are surprised by the Profepa with specimens of this species in their possession and do not have papers proving their legal provenance.

Should be avoided in all cases buy this or any of the protected species by different appendices CITES.

Alternative names:

Yellow-headed Amazon, Yellow-headed Parrot, Yellow-headed Parrot (Mainland) (English).
Amazone à tête jaune, Amazone à tête jaune (continentale), Amazone à tête jaune (forme continentale) (French).
Gelbkopfamazone (German).
papagaio-de-cabeça-amarela (Portuguese).
Loro Cabeza Amarilla, Amazona cabecigualda (español).

scientific classification:

Robert Ridgway
Robert Ridgway

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Amazona
Scientific name: Amazona oratrix
Citation: Ridgway, 1887
Protonimo: Amazona oratrix

Images “Yellow-headed Parrot”:

Videos "Yellow-headed Parrot"


“Yellow-headed Parrot” (Amazona oratrix)


– Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
– Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr


(1) – A Yellow-headed Amazon (also known as the Double Yellow-headed Amazon) in an aviary By Ernst Vikne (IMG_4451.JPG) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(2) – Yellow-headed Amazon at Baltimore Aquarium, USA By Christine Schmidt from Laurel, USA (Parrot pair) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(3) – Yellow-headed Amazon, also known as the Yellow-headed Parrot or Double Yellow-headed Amazon, at Lion Country Safari, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Photograph is a close up of head By Duncan Rawlinson from Vancouver, BC (Parrot) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(4) – Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix) playing on his cage by Mbtskysurfer at English Wikipedia [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(5) – Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix) also known as the Yellow-headed Parrot, Double Yellow-headed Amazon. Two parrots on a perch By Gary Denness (originally posted to Flickr as Parrot Portrait) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(6) – Yellow-headed Amazon (also known as the Yellow-headed Parrot and the Double Yellow-headed Amazon) at Vancouver Aquarium, Canada By Lizzy Foulkes (originally posted to Flickr as Hello, Goregous) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(7) – A Yellow-headed Amazon at Palmitos Park, Gran Canaria, Canary islands, Spain By William Warby (Flickr: Parrot) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(8) – A Yellow-headed Amazon in Jungle Island, Miami, Florida, USA By Humberto Moreno (Parrot Jungle, Miami) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(9) – Yellow-headed Amazon (also known as the Yellow-headed Parrot and the Double Yellow-headed Amazon) at Dallas World Aquarium, USA By texas_mustang (Dallas Aquarium 2008 with Meredith) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sounds: Peter Boesman, XC218407. accessible www.xeno-canto.org/218407

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