Double Yellow Head Amazon 

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Double Yellow Head Amazon

genus  Amazona ochrocephala  oratrix  &  (magna)




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Description:  There are 2 available distinct known variables in this species.

One of the most sold amazon parrots in the USA, the Amazona ochrocephala oratrix, this species is what you find most times when offered baby double yellow head amazons, with little or no yellow and red in bend of the wings and when young just the forehead and crown is yellow, with the entire head being covered in yellow in few years. Double Yellow Head Amazons are native from Mexico, mostly central, west and eastern and can be found in some southern areas as well in smaller numbers even down into central america. Though once common, all double yellow head amazon variants are becoming more and more uncommon acrosss their native lands.

The other geo different subspecies although sometimes not recognized as separate species is the Magna or eastern double yellow headed amazon subspecies Amazon ochrocephala (magna), being uncommon and the most colorful with the head being covered more at a earlier age, many get full yellow much sooner than the oratrix. Our magna babies will even have yellow around their eyes and yellow going down into their chest area when only few months old, which is totally distinctive of the magna species. The wings have the yellow and red in the bends and also under the wings at the bend and where it joins the body, even when very young you can see this. We see the yellow leg stockings very early.

 Also one other distinct thing is the full yellow stockings on the legs on adult birds, where the oratrix have some yellow on the lower leg but not as noted or seen. The magna will be seen mostly as a stocky built bird compared to the nominate form oratrix which is seen as a more streamlined built bird. The magna  is sometimes called the eastern double yellow head in some books on amazons and by some experts such as Tony Silva. The magna double yellow head can be found only in the eastern areas on the Caribbean slopes of Mexico. Although this species is normally somewhat larger than the nominate form(oratrix) it can also be the same size, but the colors will be the factor more than size when determining the geo different specimens. I have seen with many magna being the same in size but the colors will be factor in determining, and also the color of the green in the magna will be many times a different shade,  In this modern day where many breeders (not us) will interbreed the 2 in turn many may not even know what they have if the bird has come from mixed breedings. And we also have seen many breeders in wishful thinking call their birds magna when infact anyone can see the birds not having any of the distinct features of the magna which are not negotiable and not confusing at all. Once someone even a novice actually sees a magna they will no doubt know the difference as there is enough differences that it can be seen by anyone that can see. One only needs a eye for detail to see the difference.

The other not so common species and vertually non existent in the USA of Double yellow head is the birds from the western islands in the Pacific area of mexico called tres marie. Many breeders actually think they have the rare Tres Marie subspecies of the double yellow head from the tres marie island in the pacific, which I think is just wishful thinking. Many times we have seen Tres Marie species advertised and when I saw them, they were infact magnas or colorful oratrix, again just wishful thinking. There are some magna pairs that we call extreme magna as they have such magnificent color patterns that infact are extreme by definition. But one must know that the color patterns have no effect on the birds pet quality or talking ability, this comes from each birds personality not color or size. Although the breeder and or collector may wish to have these so-called extreme magna specimens, this does not mean the offspring will always look like that. We have many birds that were absolutely magnificent but came from what we call normal colored magna pairs and vise versa.    

Our facility has owned and still own many many real magna pairs I have only seen and owned one pair of real tres marie Double Yellow Head Amazon, although I have responded to many adverts that claimed to have them, in which when I saw them was do doubt subspecies Magnas, I think that many breeders and owners mistakenly think that the tres marie is this very colorful bird, infact many may not be as colorful as some of the magna,and have a totally different edge on the feathering, where this edging does not exist on the tres marie specimens. Again when someone actually sees the real thing it cannot ever be confused with anything else. If you have an eye for detail you can see the difference in the species.

The pair of Tres Marie we owned were brought as long term pets from the island in the 70's by a person that lived there and i purchased them and like a fool I sold them soon after, as the offer that we got was too hard to refuse back then. The 2 species are far different from each other and by any eye with detail the species cannot be confused with one or the other.

To regress, The magna sub species is from the eastern area of Mexico ranging even into the slopes on the eastern coast of Mexico. Sometimes this species is referred to as Eastern Double Yellow Head Amazon by well known Breeder, lecturer, Writer, avian expert Tony Silva and other experts. However there are some experts that do not count this as a seperate subspecies, there is still debate on that. However for now we will keep this geo variation seperated and paired and bred only to other like birds. Again, responsible aviculture dictates that seperation of all geo and subspecies is prudent. The quickest path to extinction is hybridizing species or subspecies or geo variations. We do our best to keep species seperated by species and subspecies.

The Amazona species called Double Hellow Head Amazon in general is well known for talking ability. The Double Yellow Head Amazon is one of the more colorful species of amazons. Talking here about the nominate species Oratrix, When young there is much less yellow on the head and as the bird matures ( can take 20-30 years) the yellow completely covers the crown and some may have yellow down into the face as well. As with all amazons the Yellow heads do have their own little quirks and attitudes. I think that most attitudes as well as mature personality is formed while still young.

Our babies are handled and given every opportunity to become a very well socialized bird. Many babies have many different colorations when young, we have had babies with yellow faces and some with just the crown being yellow when babies. When all Yellow heads start to mature the head as well the cheeks start to get yellow until all the crown, head, cheeks and around the eyes have yellow covering, The name Double Yellow Head comes from this coloring. 

I personally love this species due to the coloring and demeanor. I just love amazons in general. They may not be for everyone, You just has to love them for who and what they are and accept all the amazon attitudes as we many times do with our fellow human beings.

Double yellow head amazons as well most all amazons normally start breeding season in spring and summer.

Royal Bird Co. Avicultural Breeding Research Center  is well known for our long term breeding and research on amazons for 35 years.



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