Yellow-Headed Amazon

(Amazona oratrix)


The most obvious features of this predominantly green parrot are its yellow head and a red patch, or speculum, on each wing. Young birds lack these distinctive yellow and red markings, which become more prominent with age. The yellow-headed Amazon’s stout, hooked beak is used not only for cracking nuts and seeds, but also for grasping, exploring and climbing. Its feet, with two toes pointing forward and two pointing backward, are highly adapted for grasping.

A Note from the Caretaker

With the intelligence and temperament of a two-to-four-year-old human and a lifespan of 60-to-90 years, parrots make very challenging pets, suitable for only the most experienced and devoted bird owner.

Quick Facts

Did you know, yellow-headed Amazons are endangered by habitat loss and over-collecting or trapping for the exotic pet trade?

Mexico and northern Central America

In the wild, the yellow-headed Amazons consume fruits, nuts, berries, blossoms and leaf buds. They are also known to raid agricultural crops, such as maize.

At the Aquarium, their diet includes fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds and a commercially prepared pellet food.

These parrots grow to a length of about 15 inches from the tip of their beaks to the end of the tails. Females are slightly smaller than males.

Wild populations of yellow-headed Amazons are rapidly declining due to extensive habitat destruction and trapping for the exotic pet trade.

Human activity—specifically, widespread deforestation resulting in the loss of nesting habitat, continued poaching and illegal trade—is the primary threat to this species’ survival.

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