The White-fronted Amazon, Amazona albifrons also known as White-fronted Parrot, or adopted slang term Spectacled Amazon Parrot is a Central American species of parrot. Not to be confused with the Red-spectacled Amazon Parrot. They also can imitate a range from 30 to 40 different sounds. Like other large parrots, the White-fronted Parrot has a long potential life span, usually around 40 years.
The White-fronted Amazon, at about 25 cm (10 in) long, is the smallest of the Amazon parrots. The species is named for the bright white patch of feathers on their foreheads, although the amount of white varies from individual to individual. They have mostly green plumage with some blue colouring on their outspread wings. They have bright red coloring around their eyes (in some individuals almost like spectacles) and blue coloring behind the patch of white on their foreheads. They are the only Amazon species in which adult males and females can be distinguished by external appearance (sexual dimorphism): males have bright red feathers on their shoulders (alula), while females have green shoulders. Juveniles have less red on their face and the white area is replaced with a smaller yellowish area.
The species is divided into three subspecies, differentiated by slight colour differences:
- White-fronted Amazon (A. a. albifrons)
- Lesser White-fronted Amazon (A. a. nana)
- Sonora White-fronted Amazon (A. a. saltuensis)
Distribution and habitat
The White-fronted Amazon is native to Central America and southern Mexico; and is most often seen in small flocks of up to 20 birds. They are seen in a variety of different habitats from wet regions such as rainforests, to drier areas such as cactus savannahs. In the wild, they are not shy and people are often able to approach them. Flocks may congregate and people have seen groups that number into the hundreds. These groups may also contain flocks from other species such as the Red-lored Amazon.
The Blue-fronted Amazon nests in tree cavities. Their breeding season is usually in the spring, starting in February and ending in the summer (in June and July in most areas). After breeding, the female will lays an average of three to four white eggs. Eggs are incubated for about 26 days and chicks leave the nest at the age of about 60 weeks from hatching.