The Yellow-naped amazon is one of the Amazon parrots and is considered by most as a Yellow-crowned parrot subspecies. It has a green forehead and crown with a yellow band across the back of its neck. Yellow-naped amazons are prized for their playful personalities and talking ability. A rare mutation of this species has an entirely turquoise body.
Yellow-naped amazons inhabit the Pacific Coast from Mexico in the south to Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica. They prefer areas such as forests, woodlands and tropical zones.
Habits and lifestyle
These birds are powerful flyers, and they fly at some height when traveling long distances. They are diurnal and extremely social, living in large groups when in the wild. Their call is a repeated screeching “kurr-owk”. They also produce a range of whistling calls and metallic shrieks. They engage in nest-protective behaviors, often causing them to bite, this behavior being particularly common amongst, but not limited to, the male during the breeding season. They do not always manage their emotions well, and they signal when over-excited or stressed by spreading or fanning their tail and contracting and expanding their pupils (eye pinning). As pets these birds are appreciated for their intelligence, clownish personality, and impressive singing and talking abilities, which are enhanced by their very good sense of pitch. When they talk, it sounds amazingly human like.
flock, company, pandemonium
Diet and nutrition
Yellow-naped amazons are monogamous and make strong lifelong pair bonds. Courtship starts in the warm weather, usually around April to May. Typically 3-4 eggs are laid, and they are incubated for about 26-28 days. While incubation and weaning take place, the male bird guards the nest from outside, never entering it. He finds food for his mate as well as himself, causing him to be less particular in this search. On his return to the nest, he will regurgitate food for the female. When the chicks hatch after about 8-12 weeks they can leave their nest, and will reach their reproductive maturity at two years.
The main threat to Yellow-naped amazons is deforestation, which reduces the number of wild parrot populations, as well as capture of young for the illegal pet trade.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total Yellow-naped amazon population size is fewer than 50,000 individuals. Currently this species is classified as Vulnerable (VU) and their numbers today are decreasing.
Fun facts for kids
- Amazon parrots have a distinctive odor that seems to come from their respiratory system. It is not an unpleasant smell, and for those who love Amazon parrots this smell is often associated with something good. It is most noticeable close to their nares. The purpose of this smell is not known; most birds do not possess many receptors for scent.
- An Amazon parrot typically retains a little of its own voice when it speaks, so you can usually identify easily that a parrot is making the sound. An African gray, for example, may copy a sound so perfectly it is difficult to tell whether it is coming from the bird or from the real thing.
- Parrots are some of the most intelligent birds, being able to speak with words and associate them with situations or objects. They can solve problems and use tools. Some scientists believe these birds have a four-year-old’s logic, proving this through various experiments.
- Parrots have very strong feet and are able to cling for a long time to branches and even swing from branches or hang upside down from them.
- Parrot feet are similar to human hands. Parrots do not just perch or walk on them. They are able to use them to pick up objects, including food, to bring it up to their mouths, the only birds that can do this.
- Parrots prefer one of their feet over the other, so just like humans can be right or left-handed, parrots can be left or right-footed.