PANAMA AMAZONAmazona ochrecephala panamensis
» Subspecies of the Yellow-front Amazon that is endemic to Panama.» 14" in length.» Populations declining due to habitat loss and capture for the pet trade. One of the ochrecephala group of Amazons. True Panamas are not one of the more common Amazons as companions. Many of the early Panama Amazons were brought back by Americans who lived in or visited Panama. Similar and often confused with the Yellow-fronted Amazons, Panamas are smaller usually with less yellow on the crown and a lighter beak.
These parrots are sought after for their outgoing personalities and their cognitive talking abilities. I have been really delighted with the Panama Amazons that I have met. One was an excellent singer who knew several short songs but often got the lyrics confused in a humorous manner. They can be very loyal parrots and need to be worked with to form bonds with everyone in the household.This is another wonderful Amazon that is becoming less common as a human companion although some breeders are raising them. Before it was illegal, many Panama Amazons in the United States were brought here by Americans who either resided in Panama or visited the country. The Panama parrot comes from western Panama and its range may extend into northwest Venezuela. Although I know now, I have to admit that over the years it was difficult for me to always remember the differences between the Yellow-front Amazon and the Panama because they are so similar. They both can be very sweet parrots. The Panama is a somewhat smaller parrot usually with less yellow on its head. The yellow is in a V-shape and there is a blue wash on the crown. The beak is primarily horn colored and may have some dark grey on it but not as much as the Yellow-crowned (Yellow-front). To me, the obvious difference is the amount of grey with the orangey-red area on the sides of the Yellow-crown’s upper mandible. I think they have also been interbred, which makes it even more confusing.
The Panamas that I have met have been among the sweetest Amazons that I have ever known. Several Panama caregivers have reported to me that their parrots have a much mellower personality than their more colorful cousins such as the Double-yellow and Nape. They are probably not as popular because they are not as colorful as some of the other Amazons, but I have been told frequently that they easily make up for their lack of colors with a fabulous personality and I absolutely believe this. Like many Amazons, Panamas are loyal to their caregivers but with the proper socialization, they can form a bond with several people. I have met a few remarkable Panama parrots. One such bird was one of the best talkers I have ever known. She was an absolute gem and loved my singing! What more could anyone ask for from a parrot friend?
Being involved with parrots for as long as I have, there are certain moments that remain highlights in my life. One was a visit to a quality Panama breeder who was in the process of fledging seven baby Panama Amazons. Some had flown enough to be proficient, while others were real novices, and at least one had not flown before. The house had a large sun porch off of the living room and it was all set up for fledging. At each end of the porch there were play gyms made from branches lashed together with leather strips. The play gym had a very narrow twig that jutted out about 6 inches above the others. In the past few years, I have heard several people totally dismiss the concept of “height dominance” in parrots, but I will tell you that with these fledglings; the contest was to be on the very tip of that twig. Even the little guy that flew for the first time entered into the competition even though he had not yet accomplished the finesse to land or hang on to the twig. Watching these babies hone their flying skills was an absolute pleasure.