The Yellow-headed Amazon – Amazona oratrix (Ridgway, 1887) – is a large green parrot with a characteristic yellow head. Compared to the Yellow-crowned Amazon and Yellow-naped Amazon the yellow color on the Yellow-headed Amazon covers a much larger area of the head.
According to IUCN the Yellow-headed Amazon is endangered due to habitat loss and trapping for illegal ; about 80% of their natural habitat has been lost due to agriculture and settlements. It is listed on CITES Appendix I but still many birds are being exported illegally from Mexico each year.
Mostly green plumage with yellow head and neck – sometimes with scattered green feathers in the neck. Orange/red bend of wing and lesser wing coverts. The short broad tail is green, often with a lighter yellow/green near the tip, and red at the base. The bill is pale horn colored. The eyes are orange with a white eye ring.
On juveniles the yellow area covers only the lores and crown. The bill is grey at the base and the eyes are brown.
Size: 36-38 cm
The natural habitat includes southern Mexico, Belize and northern Honduras.
The Yellow-headed Amazon inhabits humid riverine woodland, tall deciduous forest, dense thorn-forest and savanna. In the northern Atlantic lowlands they are usually found in semi-arid regions but further south they prefer more humid savannas.
The Amazona oratrix belizensis sub-species inhabits pine savannas and evergreen forest patches in Belize.
Wild birds feed on buds, fruits, seeds and flowers.
The Yellow-headed Amazon is common in captivity. With proper care they may reach 50-60 years.
The aviary should be at least 3m long and they should not be exposed to temperatures below 10°C/50F
A vertical box about 30x30x60cm is used as nest box.
The clutch usually contains 2-4 eggs, which are incubated for 26 days. The chicks reach fledging age after 9 weeks.
BirdLife International. 2020. Amazona oratrix. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T22686337A179331301. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22686337A179331301.en. Downloaded on 29 December 2020.