Cuban Amazon or the Cuban Parrot
Scientific Name: Amazona leucocephala
Origin: Cuba, the Bahamas, and Cayman Islands
Average Lifespan: 50 up to 50 years
Size: Medium-sized, up to 13 inches but smallest in size among the other Amazon parrot species
Color: Mainly green, pink on the cheeks and throat area and white on the head area
Sounds: Relatively quiet when alone but noisy when in group
Interaction: Hands off (particularly the male specie)
Physical Characteristics of the Cuban Amazon
The Cuban Amazon or better known as the Cuban parrot is the smallest among the Amazon bird species. The size is comparable to that of a pigeon. The body is covered mainly with green feather but the crown, as well as the feathers circling the eye area are white. There are also some hints of blue and violet shades on their body. The face and neck area are of pinkish shade but this varies on different subspecies of the Cuban Amazon. Their eyes are green and their beak is pale yellow.
The gender of this Amazon bird specie could be very complicated to identify due to the fact that both the male and female species have very similar physical characteristics. Breeders would often go DNA testing to find out the gender of these birds.
Personality and Temperament
Alongside gender identification, breeders also find it hard to multiply these Cuban parrots because the male specie tend to show signs of aggression towards the female counterpart as well as to their hatchlings. There are cases when the male parrot would attack the hatchling for a kill. They are also reported cases where the male specie kills its female companion because the latter isn’t ready for mating yet.
When pet in solitary, they can be relatively quiet but when in a group, they create all sorts of weird noises. But generally, they have the skills of being great talkers especially when their vocalization is enhanced when they are in a group.
Health and Care
Like other birds, their diet must not be limited to bird seeds alone. This specie seldom eats bird seeds and would prefer more on fruits and vegetables. Their favorites include sprouted seeds and beans, vegetables like broccoli head, and fruits such as bananas, apples, oranges, and pears. They also feed on frozen fruits and veggies.
Although hand-reared male Cuban parrots tend to be less aggressive, there are instances when you have to separate the male parrot from the nesting area for the meantime until their offspring are old enough. During this time, breeders must be responsible in taking care of the female as it is the male’s job to feed the female. If the male are not showing aggression towards the other birds there is no need to separate it but you may install a camera to monitor them if necessary. Do not, as much as possible, pair a matured male parrot to a female parrot that is less than 3 years of age.
History and Background
The Cuban Amazon is one of the most expensive among the Amazon species. It has been listed as one of the endangered birds too. The destruction of their natural habitat, illegal pet trade, poaching of wild Amazon birds, and their complicated breeding method due to the male species’ aggressiveness contribute to the diminishing population of this kind. They are currently divided into 4 subspecies— one in Cuba (Western Cuban Amazon), two in Cayman Islands (Cayman Islands Amazon and Cayman Brac Amazon), and another one in the Bahamas (Bahamas Amazon).
The average number of eggs that a female could deliver in a clutch is up to 2-5 white eggs which are incubated in 26-28 days. When the eggs are hatched, the male parrot is in charge of feeding the female bird and the hatchlings are fully dependent on their parents. They are blind until their eyes are ready to open after 2-3 weeks. Since 1980, the Cuban Amazon parrots are being bred outside of its native origin. They are made available in Florida where the Cuban immigrants brought it for breeding.