Male Amazona albifrons albifrons
|Common Name||White-fronted Parrot, or by the adopted slang term Spectacled Amazon Parrot|
|Range||Central America and Mexico.|
The White-fronted amazon, also known as the white-fronted parrot (Amazona albifrons), or by the adopted slang term spectacled amazon parrot, is a species of amazon parrot native to Central America. They can imitate a range from 30 to 40 different sounds. Like other large parrots, the white-fronted parrot has a long potential life span, usually around 40 years.
The species is divided into three subspecies with slight differences in color and size:
- White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons albifrons) (Sparrman, 1788): nominate, found from western Mexico to southwestern Guatemala
- Lesser White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons nana) (Miller, W, 1905): found from southeastern Mexico to northwestern Costa Rica
- Sonora White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons saltuensis) (Nelson, 1899): found in northwestern Mexico
The white-fronted amazon, at about 25 cm (9.8 in) long, is the smallest of the amazon parrots. This species is named for the bright white patch of feathers on its forehead, although the amount of white varies from individual to individual. They have mostly green plumage with some blue coloring on their outspread wings. They have bright red coloring around their eyes (in some individuals almost like spectacles) and blue coloring behind the patch of white on their foreheads. Together with the red-spectacled amazon and the yellow-lored amazon, it is the only amazon species in which adult males and females easily can be distinguished by external appearance (sexual dimorphism): Males have bright red feathers on their "shoulders" (alula), while females have green "shoulders". Juveniles have pale grey irises and less red on their face and the white area is replaced with a smaller yellowish area.
Distribution and Habitat
The white-fronted amazon is native to Central America and Mexico; and is most often seen in small flocks of up to 20 birds. They are seen in a variety of different habitats from wet regions such as rainforests, to drier areas such as cactus savannahs. In the wild, they are not shy and people are often able to approach them. Flocks may congregate and people have seen groups that number into the hundreds. These groups may also contain flocks from other species such as the red-lored amazon. A population has been seen in southern Texas, probably escapees, and a small feral population has been observed living in southern California.
The white-fronted amazon nests in tree cavities. Their breeding season is usually in the spring, starting in February and ending in the summer (in June and July in most areas). After breeding, the female will lay an average of three to four white eggs. Eggs are incubated for about 26 days and chicks leave the nest at the age of about 60 days from hatching.