Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-crowned Amazon (Amazona ochrocephala)


French: Amazone à front jaune German: Gelbscheitelamazone Spanish: Amazona real
Other common names: Yellow-crowned Parrot

Psittacus ochrocephalus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,



Treatment as conspecific with A. oratrix and A. auropalliata has been common in recent decades (e.g. in HBW), but becoming increasingly unpopular with (among others) trade-control agencies; separation into three species plausible, but oratrix and auropalliata have problems of diagnosis at the junction of their Caribbean ranges, while the morphological conformity of present species is undermined by extreme E race xantholaema, which has yellow distributed on head in pattern resembling A. oratrix belizensis. Present species otherwise diagnosed by yellow forehead to mid-crown, bicoloured grey/pinkish bill, whitish eyering and moderately strong red shoulder patch; scores for differences from oratrix and auropalliata are given under those species (subspecies xantholaema, being geographically most distant taxon from subspecies grouped under A. oratrix, has to be set aside in these scores; needs study). Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. o. panamensis (Cabanis, 1874) – W Panama to NW & C Colombia.
  • A. o. ochrocephala (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) – E Colombia E through Venezuela, Trinidad (birds of uncertain origin)#R and the Guianas to NC Brazil (Pará).
  • A. o. xantholaema Berlepsch, 1913 – Marajó I, in Amazon Delta (N Brazil).
  • A. o. nattereri (Finsch, 1866) – SE Colombia S through E Ecuador and E Peru to N Bolivia and W Brazil (to Mato Grosso).
  • Introduced (nominate race) to Puerto Rico#R.

    Descriptive notes

    35–38 cm; 340–535 g. Green, more yellowish below; forehead and mid-crown yellow, often with some yellow round eye; cheeks and ear-coverts bright green; hindcrown... read more


    A variety of rolling barks and screeches, most rather low-pitched and nasal-sounding, e.g. a... read more


    Tropical deciduous woodland, tall thorn scrub, humid gallery forest, seasonally flooded (v... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruit and/or seeds and flowers of trees such as Pithecellobium, SpathodeaAcacia, Curatella americana... read more


    Season Feb–May in NE Venezuela; Dec–Jan in W Panama and Colombia; Jan in Surinam; young reportedly fledge in Oct in SE Peru.... read more


    Year-round resident, probably throughout range; however, some birds appear to wander in response to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Locally quite common in Panama and local in Colombia, although numbers apparently much reduced in first-named country, with trapping... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Yellow-crowned Amazon (Amazona ochrocephala). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 December 2019).