All About White-fronted Amazon Parrots

all about White-fronted Amazon Parrots
White-fronted Amazon Parrots

Meeting: White-fronted Amazon Parrots

There is not doubt that the White fronted Amazon is one of the most beautiful species of Amazon Parrots. They are native to Southern Mexico and Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua), where they frequent dry areas with trees, cactus and thornbush savannah, as well as rain forest areas from sea level to 1,850 m. They are often seen visiting fruit plantations and cultivated areas.

In the wild, they are not shy and people are often able to approach them. They are usually quiet and inconspicuous when feeding or resting in trees. Flocks may congregate and people have seen groups that number into the hundreds. Although they are most often seen in small flocks of up to 20 birds. These groups may also contain flocks from other species such as the Red-lored Parrot (Amazona autumnalis) and the Yellow-lored Amazon (Amazona xantholora).

The species is divided into three subspecies (including the nominate species), differentiated by slight colour and size differences:

• White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons subsp. albifrons) - Nominate Form 
• Lesser White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons subsp. nana) 
• Sonora White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons subsp. saltuensis).

Though the White-fronted Amazon is of average size, it is relatively small when compared to other Amazons at atypical length of only 25cm. This species is named for the bright white patch of feathers which is seen on their foreheads, although the amount of white varies from individual to individual. They have green plumage throughout, red colouring around their eyes (in some individuals almost like a mask) and blue colouring on their outspread wings and behind the patch of white on their foreheads. The beak is light yellow and their feet are light grey / brown-grey.

Unlike other amazon species, males and females can be distinguished by appearance; males have bright red feathers on their shoulders, 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.

The white and blue patches on top of it’s head clearly differentiates the Whitefronted Amazon from the Red-spectacled Amazon.

how to feed White-fronted Amazon Parrots
how to feed White-fronted Amazon Parrots


Diet and Feeding in White-fronted Amazon Parrots

In their natural habitat this specie feeds on a variety of fruits, particularly figs as well as berries. They also eat various seeds, nuts, leaf buds and flowers. They are also considered crop pests as they forage regularly in grain fields causing considerable damage to crops.

In our aviaries a good quality dry food mix should be available at all times that may includes sunflower, safflower, wheat, oats, canary grass seed and various millets. Sprouted seeds should also be available – especially spring and summer. Additionally, a fresh supply of fruits and vegetables should be provided daily, particularly figs, bananas, peaches and apples; as well as half-ripe maize, and green food, such as chickweed and dandelion. They also need regular mineral supplements and soft foods when raising young.

how to breed White-fronted Amazon Parrots
breeding: White-fronted Amazon Parrots

How to Breeding White-fronted Amazon Parrots

Their breeding season is usually in the spring, starting in September and ending in the summer. In their natural range, the breeding season usually starts in November.

The White-fronted Amazon nests in tree cavities. After breeding, the female will lay an average of three to four eggs each measuring 30.3 x 22.7 mm. Eggs are incubated for 24 to 26 days and chicks fledge at an age of 7 to 12 weeks.

It’s best to isolate pairs during the breeding season. They get particularly noisy during the breeding season. With the commencement of nesting, there can be a drastic change in the personality of the males. A bird that once might have been easily intimidated and afraid can now become aggressive, threatening and attacking anyone who approaches the aviary. This behaviour can be continued after nesting had will cease only once the young are removed. The females generally don’t display any drastic behavioural alterations. The females are very protective of their eggs and young and will not allow them to be viewed. Nest inspections can be made only during the female’s brief absences from the nest.

Chicks can be left to be reared by their parents. Once the chicks fledged, similarities and differences in their plumages can be seen. From their first moult, both birds acquired typical adult plumage. Obviously, sexual dimorphism in White-fronted Amazons occurs even in the juvenile plumage. This allows these birds to be visually sexed upon attaining their first feathers.

These lively parrots need a spacious flight (3 x 1 x 2 m) with an adjoining shelter to protect them from the elements (1.5 x 1 x 2 m). As they are heavy chewers, metal construction of the outside flight is recommended.

A suitable nest box would be of the following dimensions: 25 x 25 x 50 cm with entrance hole 6 cm wide.

As Pets

Like most other amazon parrots, the White-fronted Amazon can get noisy -- which should be a consideration for those who are intolerant to noise. Even though talking is not one of their strong points, some individual birds have developed impressive vocabularies.

White-fronted Amazons are lively birds that need plenty of space to exercise. They are initially shy and reserved, but young birds will soon grow confiding. They are very hard chewers, and measures need to be taken to bird proof the area the pet is in to protect furnishings. A regular supply of fresh wood / branches are necessary to redirect their urge to chew.

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