Red-Crowned Parrot: From Native Habitats to Global Urban Aviaries

The Red-crowned Parrot is a medium-sized, mostly green parrot with a red forehead and crown; a rather typical species in the genus Amazona. Its historical range includes a small portion of northeastern Mexico, with historical evidence suggesting occasional movement into southernmost Texas. Current populations occur throughout the historic range, but the species is more rare and localized in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental and ranchlands in Tamaulipas. Naturalized populations, totaling in the thousands of birds, now exist in southern California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and urban areas of Mexico, including Monterrey, all as a result of escaped or released birds from the pet trade. A significant population in southern Texas may be the result of both natural dispersal and released individuals from the pet trade. Alternate names commonly used in aviculture include Mexican Redhead and its direct Latin translation of Green-cheeked Amazon (viridi = green, gena = cheek).

Red-crowned Parrot - eBird

Like most species within the family Psittacidae, the Red-crowned Parrot is threatened by habitat loss and poaching for the pet trade, and as a result, it is considered Endangered by Mexico and the IUCN. Much of its native habitat—subdeciduous tropical forests and Tamaulipan thornscrub—was lost throughout the 1960s and 1970s in Mexico, but over the last four decades the species has begun to occupy a novel niche in suburban and urban landscapes where a mix of native and nonnative vegetation provides sites for foraging, roosting, and nesting. The species’ success in these naturalized populations and aviculture has reduced the urgency of management actions in the native range, but the conservation of parrots and their habitats in northeastern Mexico is still paramount.

Red-crowned Parrot | Audubon Field Guide

Like other Amazona parrots, the Red-crowned Parrot is generally granivorous, but its dietary breadth is extensive and includes flowers, seeds, buds, cacti, and even peanuts offered at bird feeders. This species is generally seen or heard in the early morning and evening flying to or from its daily roosting area. When attending these communal roosts, hundreds of parrots will boisterously socialize while forming bonds and defending mates, before spending the night silently perched in just a few trees. During the day it can be rather unobtrusive while it sits quietly and digests its morning meal.

Red-crowned Parrot –

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