Amazona leucocephala

» 12” (30.5 cm) M/F similar
» Five subspecies with some difference in appearance (A.l.leucocephala, A.l.palmarum, A.l.caymanensis, A.l.hesterna, A.l.bahamensis)
» From Bahamas, Cuba, and other West Indies islands
» Bred in captivity but not common as a human companion.
» CITES II Near-threatened

My personal experience with Cuban Amazons or any of its subspecies is limited to visiting with a few people who keep them as companions and as breeding pairs. I actually don’t know which subspecies I have met in captivity but I am sure that they weren’t any of the rarer ones. Only a few were companions and their caregivers were devoted to them. If I recall correctly, all of the ones I have met were older wild-caught birds. I met the first one many years ago but I remember her inquisitive personality. She had a way of watching me that made me think that she knew the details of every thing I was saying. Her feather condition was immaculate and she looked like she was made from velvet cloth. She absolutely brought out the envy in me. The breeding pairs I met received excellent care and when they are well cared for, Cuban Amazons are stunningly beautiful. I am always surprised that they are one of the smaller Amazons.

Called the both the White-headed and Red-faced Amazon by early aviculturists, one early book refers to the Cuban Amazon as the Red-fronted Popinjay. Because there was a great deal of commerce between Europe and the West Indies, this Amazon was well-known in Europe in the 1800s, although early scholars were not always sure where the birds came from when they appeared for sale in European city markets. 

The Cuban Amazon and four subspecies live on various islands in the West Indies. As with many island bird species, they are rare or endangered. The Abaco Island Amazon is particularly interesting because they nest in limestone cavities in the ground. When a fire swept much of their habitat, it was presumed that the birds had died in the fire, but they were safe in their holes as the fire swept over the land. 

Cuban Amazons are a medium sized Amazon measuring about 12 inches from head to tail. The combination of their white forehead and rosy red throat and upper chest and their wine-colored bellies distinguish them from any other parrot. 

Since Cuban Amazons are being bred in captivity, they are becoming somewhat more common in aviculture and as companions. Cuban Amazons are Cites II parrot which means that people need to have a permit to have one and they can not be transferred from one state to another without a permit.




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