Shana – Yellow Headed Amazon
Shana is a 24-year-old Yellow Headed Amazon who is a Diva Opera Singer and Resident Whistling Champ. She will ask you if you want a cappuccino, even though she has yet to make a cup for anyone. Shana can impersonate Darth Vader and is always up for a dance party or a quiet chat…as long as she is given proper Diva status. Nobody puts Shana in a corner.
The following information is excerpted from Wikipedia:
The Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona oratrix), also known as the Yellow-headed Parrot and Double Yellow-headed Amazon, is an endangered amazon parrot of Mexico and northern Central America. Measuring 15–17 in in length, it is a stocky short-tailed green parrot with a yellow head. It prefers to live in mangrove forests or forests near rivers or other bodies of water. It is often considered a subspecies of the Yellow-crowned Amazon. It is a popular pet and an excellent talker. This is true here at Pandemonium, where Shana is a crowd favorite and an enthusiastic performer.
Wild birds give low-pitched, sometimes human-sounding screams, but often fly silently (unlike many other parrots). The calls can be described as “a rolled kyaa-aa-aaah and krra-aah-aa-ow, a deep, rolled ahrrrr or ahrhrrrr,” etc. Young birds make a “clucking” sound to indicate that they are hungry.
This species lives in riparian forest and areas with scattered trees, as well as evergreen forest in Belize and mangroves in Guatemala. They occur singly or in pairs, in small groups, and occasionally in big flocks. However, their numbers have been reduced drastically—by 90 percent, to 7,000, from the mid 1970s to 1994, and by 68 percent from 1994 to 2004—because of capture for the pet trade and habitat destruction.
Introduced populations can be found in Stuttgart, Germany where a population of over 50 individuals resides . Smaller introduced populations are to found at Imperial Beach and Santa Anna; both in Southern California. Visit our link to the California Parrot Project to learn more about the variety of introduced parrot populations and their hangouts all over the state!
The popularity of Yellow-headed Amazons as a pet continues to fuel poaching efforts, which have nearly driven it to extinction in the wild. Their wild population has declined from 70,000 to 7,000 in the past two decades alone. An estimated 90 percent of poached Yellow-headed Amazons die before they are sold. Yellow-headed Parrots nest in holes in tree trunks or fallen branches. Poachers usually hack at the nest site with a machete to steal parrots, which is especially destructive because habitat is lost at the same time that the wild parrot population is reduced.
Though only captive-bred Yellow-headed Amazons may be owned, these are widely available (if somewhat expensive) and their personalities make them highly desirable pets; they have been kept as such for centuries because they are among the parrots that “talk” best. Their vocal abilities are generally bested only by the African Grey Parrot and matched by similar species, such as the Yellow-naped Parrot. Yellow-headed Amazons in captivity appear to have an affinity for both singing and the learning of song – and a naturally powerful, operatic voice. Shana takes full advantage of her vocal prowess to announce her entrance into and exit out of the aviary she shares with the other companion parrots.
As in most amazons, nervous plucking of plumage is rare among this species. A generally recognized disadvantage of the Yellow-headed Amazon and its close relatives (such as the Yellow-naped Amazon) is hormonal aggressiveness, most notable among males in the breeding season. It is a member of the “Hot Three” (referring to the male bird’s ‘hot’ temper), along with the Yellow-naped and Blue-fronted.