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Cuban Parrot Picture

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The Cuban Amazon, Amazona leucocephala, also known as Cuban Parrot or the Rose-throated Parrot, is a medium-sized green parrot found in woodlands and dry forests of Cuba, the Bahamas and Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.

Description Upper body - front

The Cuban Amazon is a medium-sized parrot 28"?33 cm (11"?13 in) long. It is mainly green with some blue feathers on its wings. Its chin, throat and lower face are pinkish and its forehead and eyerings are white. The colours of the head vary between the populations on different islands and between subspecies. Its beak is horn-coloured and the feathers over the ears are blackish. The abdomen of the adult is dull red. The juvenile has little or no red on the abdomen and less pink on the chin, neck, and face.


A. l. palmarum (Todd, 1916) was thought to be a separate subspecies living in western Cuba and Isla de la Juventud (previously called the Isle of Pines) owing partly to the darker green plumage of a collection of specimens, but in 1928 a reevaluation of the same specimens indicated that the colour difference was due to preservation and that they showed no substantial differences to the specimens obtained from the rest of Cuba.


There are four subspecies of the Cuban Amazon:

  • A. l. leucocephala (Linnaeus, 1758), present throughout Cuba and the Isla de la Juventud
  • A. l. bahamensis (H. Bryant, 1867), two populations in the Bahamas; one on the Abaco Islands and one on Great Inagua
  • A. l. caymanensis (Cory, 1886), also called the Grand Cayman Amazon, Grand Cayman Island
  • A. l. hesterna (Bangs, 1916), Cayman Brac and Little Cayman islands

Distribution and habitat

The Cuban Amazon lives in different habits on different islands. It was once found throughout Cuba, but it is now mainly confined to the forested areas of Cuba and the Isla de la Juventud. There are about 10,000 individuals in Cuba including an estimated 1,100"?1,320 on Isla de la Juventud.

On the Cayman Islands the parrot lives in dry forest and on agricultural land. The population living on Grand Cayman numbers about 3,402 individuals (2006 survey), and the population on Cayman Bracre consists of 400"?500 individuals.

The populations were estimated at 3,550 individuals on Abaco and 6,350 on Inagua in 2006.

Behaviour Upper body - side

In the winter Cuban Amazons gather in flocks, and disperse into pairs during the breeding season.

Food and feeding

The Cuban Amazon feeds on a number of fruits and seeds including the fruits of palm trees and mahogany seeds.


The breeding season is from March to September. Cuban Amazons nest in treeholes throughout most of its range, the only exception being that the parrots living on the Abaco Islands nest on the ground in natural holes in limestone, where there is protection from pine-wood forest fires. Two to four white eggs are laid, which are incubated by the female for 26"?28 days.


Due to ongoing habitat loss, occasional natural disasters and hunting in some areas, the Cuban Amazon is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is protected with a listing on Appendix I and II of CITES, which declares that taking parrots from the wild is illegal and prohibits trade of wild-caught parrots.

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