Cuban Amazon

Amazona leucocephala

At the Zoo

You can find our Cuban amazons inside the Lion House.

Fascinating Facts

Physical Characteristics

The Cuban Amazon is a medium-sized mainly green parrot reaching 11-13 inches in height. The green feathers are edged with a black rim giving it a scaled appearance, and wings include some blue feathers. The head is a distinctive combination of pinky-red on the throat and cheeks, and white on the feathers just above the beak between the eyes.


They are found in Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, in woodlands and dry forests. Cuban amazons are arboreal, diurnal, and herbivorous, mainly feeding on fruits and seeds.

Social Behavior

In the winter, Cuban amazons gather in flocks and disperse into pairs during the breeding season. They are very noisy, especially when in flocks. Their calls are described as loud shrieks, whistles, screeches and trumpet-like sounds. In flight, they utter harsh “squawk-squawk” sounds. Breeding occurs from March to June; the male assumes responsibility for feeding the brooding female .

Status In The Wild

Near Threatened – IUCN 2012

This status is due to ongoing habitat loss, occasional natural disasters and trapping for the wild parrot trade.

Current conservation efforts include creation and placement of artificial nests, which have been used in Cuba by over 1,300 birds. Those made of artificial materials have also proved more durable.

Future proposed conservation efforts focus on discouraging taking of birds from the wild through public education campaigns.

Animals & Exhibits