Photo: Rick & Nora Bowers/Vireo

Yellow-headed Parrot

Amazona oratrix

Because it can be trained to imitate human speech, this chunky parrot has been popular in the cage bird trade. As a result, it is now endangered in the wild. Formerly widespread in Mexico and northern Central America, it is thought to have declined by 90 percent in it native range. Escaped cage birds have established feral flocks around Los Angeles and San Diego, California, and locally in southern Florida. The few seen in southern Texas are probably escapees also, although some might possibly be wild strays from the population in Mexico. 
Family African and New World Parrots
Because it can be trained to imitate human speech, this chunky parrot has been popular in the cage bird trade. As a result, it is now endangered in the wild. Formerly widespread in Mexico and northern Central America, it is thought to have declined by 90 percent in it native range. Escaped cage birds have established feral flocks around Los Angeles and San Diego, California, and locally in southern Florida. The few seen in southern Texas are probably escapees also, although some might possibly be wild strays from the population in Mexico. 
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Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

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Songs and Calls
Unlike other parrots they often fly silently but will sometimes emit low pitched human sounding screams. Clucking sound from young birds indicates hunger. In captivity this parrot is an exceptional mimic and may be taught to vocalize human speech. It is considered second only to the African Gray Parrot in this ability.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
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