Arcadia Red-crowned Parrots © Alison Sheehey 2001

photo courtesy of Alison Sheehey © 2001.

Parrot Project/Pasadena Audubon

Red-crowned Parrot

Amazona viridigenalis

photo courtesy of Kathy Moyd © 2000.

Parrot Project/Pasadena Audubon

Red-crowned Parrot 
Amazona viridigenalis (Cassin)
(AKA) Green-cheeked Amazon, Red-crowned Amazon, Mexican Red-headed Parrot

Description: Chunky parrot  generally green, underparts yellowish-green; feathers edged in black (mostly on neck) with a square green tail broadly tipped with yellowish-green. Head characters: lores, forehead, crown crimson red; base of feathers yellow; cheeks bright green,  nape and back of head violet-blue; bill pale yellowish; iris yellow; Wing primary coverts green; outer webs of primaries violet-blue turning to green at bases; secondaries green, blue at tips; under wing-coverts underside flight feathers green. Legs pale greenish-gray. 

Immatures as adults except only forehead and lores crimson.

Length: 30-33 cm (11.8-12.9 in), `wing length 200 - 213 mm (7.9 - 8.4 in) tail 103-116 mm (4.0-4.6 in) a wing 194-205mm (7.6-8.0 in) tail 97-109 mm (3.8-4.3 in).

Voice: harsh call - kee-craw...craw...craw

Distribution: Native range. North-eastern Mexico from Nuevo León and Tamaulipas through San Luis Potosí to northern Veracruz.

Introduced Range: Major populations of the species lie in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County, with smaller but still significant populations in Orange Co., the northern San Fernando Valley LA, and portions of w. San Diego and w. San Bernardino Counties.

Habitat: arid tropical lowlands, dry open pine-oak ridges, and in tropical deciduous forests. Suburban areas with mature trees, riparian areas, and parks.

Status: Endangered according CITES.

Habits: Gathers in large flocks; noisiest in the morning and evening; forages in groups moving enmasse with a screeching cacophony to new feeding area, flies in formation with rapid wing-beats. Roosts in trees.

Natural diet: seeds, fruits, berries, flowers and nectar; wasteful eaters, only taking a small bite and letting the rest fall to the ground.  Agricultural pests.

NOTICE: 31 July 2001, from Kimball Garrett... The California Bird Records Committee has officially added Red-crowned Parrot to the California state list as an Introduced species. On your copies of the state list, insert between the PIGEONS AND DOVES and CUCKOOS, ROADRUNNERS & ANIS the following:

PARROTS (Family Psittacidae)
Red-crowned Parrot, Amazona viridigenalis -- I

The CBRC makes no rulings on "countability" of individual populations of Red-crowned Parrots within the state.

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The new Parrot Project went on-line November 2, 2000.