Cuban Amazon (Amazona leucocephala)
Most amazon parrots are predominantly green, with accenting colors that depend on the species and can be quite vivid. They feed primarily on seeds, nuts, and fruits, supplemented by leafy matter.
Many amazon parrots have a remarkable ability to mimic human speech and other sounds. Partly because of this, they are popular as pets or companion parrots, and a small industry has developed in breeding parrots in captivity for this market. This popularity has led to many parrots being taken from the wild to the extent that some species have become threatened. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora treaty has made the capture of wild parrots for the pet trade illegal in an attempt to help protect wild populations.
Taxonomy and Naming
The genus Amazona (to which amazons belong) was established by René Lesson in 1830. It was a Latinized version of the name Amazone given to them in the 18th century by the Comte de Buffon, who believed they were native to Amazonian jungles.
Turquoise-fronted Amazon (Linnaeus, 1758) (Amazona aestiva) Black-billed Amazon (Linnaeus, 1758) (Amazona agilis) White-fronted Amazon (Sparrman, 1788) (Amazona albifrons) Orange-winged Amazon (Linnaeus, 1766) (Amazona amazonica) Red-necked Amazon (Müller, 1776) (Amazona arausiaca) Yellow-naped Amazon (Lesson, 1842) (Amazona auropalliata) Red-lored Amazon (Linnaeus, 1758) (Amazona autumnalis) Lilacine Amazon (Lesson, 1844) (Amazona autumnalis lilacina) Yellow-shouldered Amazon (Gmelin, 1788) (Amazona barbadensis) Red-tailed Amazon (Linnaeus, 1758) (Amazona brasiliensis) Diademed Amazon (von Spix, 1824) (Amazona diadema) Blue-cheeked Amazon (Shaw, 1812) (Amazona dufresniana) Festive Amazon (Linnaeus, 1758) (Amazona festiva) Yellow-billed Amazon (Linnaeus, 1758) (Amazona collaria) Southern Mealy Amazon (Boddaert, 1783) (Amazona farinosa) Lilac-crowned Amazon (Sclater, 1864) (Amazona finschi) Blue-winged Amazon (Silva, Guzmán, Urantówka & Mackiewicz, 2017) (Amazona gomezgarzai) Northern Mealy Amazon (Sclater, 1860) (Amazona guatemalae) Saint Vincent Amazon (Vigors, 1837) (Amazona guildingii) Imperial Amazon (Richmond, 1899) (Amazona imperialis) Kawall's Amazon (Grantsau & Camargo, 1989) (Amazona kawalli) Cuban Amazon (Linnaeus, 1758) (Amazona leucocephala) Scaly-naped Amazon (Tschudi, 1844) (Amazona mercenarius) Yellow-crowned Amazon (Gmelin, 1788) (Amazona ochrocephala) Panama Amazon (Cabanis, 1874) (Amazona ochrocephala panamensis) Yellow-headed Amazon (Ridgway, 1887) (Amazona oratrix) Tres Marías Amazon (Nelson, 1900) (Amazonan oratrix tresmariae) Red-spectacled Amazon (Temminck, 1830) (Amazona pretrei) Red-browed Amazon (Salvadori, 1890) (Amazona rhodocorytha) Tucumán Amazon (Cabanis, 1885) (Amazona tucumana) Hispaniolan Amazon (Müller, 1776) (Amazona ventralis) Saint Lucia Amazon (Müller, 1776) (Amazona versicolor) Vinaceous-breasted Amazon (Kuhl, 1820) (Amazona vinacea) Red-crowned Amazon (Cassin, 1853) (Amazona viridigenalis) Puerto Rican Amazon (Boddaert, 1783) Amazona vittata) Yucatan Amazon (Gray, 1859) (Amazona xantholora)
The taxonomy of the yellow-crowned amazon (Amazona ochrocephala complex) is disputed, with some authorities only listing a single species (A. ochrocephala), while others split it into as many as three species (A. ochrocephala, A. auropalliata and A. oratrix). The split is primarily based on differences related to extension of yellow to the plumage and the colour of bill and legs. Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA do not support the traditional split.
Reclassification of the Yellow-faced Parrot
The yellow-faced parrot (Alipiopsitta xanthops) was traditionally placed within this genus of amazon parrots, but recent research has shown that it is closer to the short-tailed parrot and the species from the genus Pionus, resulting in it being transferred to the monotypic genus Alipiopsitta.