Red-crowned Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis)

Red-crowned Parrot


The red-crowned amazon (Amazona viridigenalis), also known as the red-crowned parrot, green-cheeked amazon or Mexican red-headed parrot, is an endangered amazon parrot native to northeastern Mexico and possibly southern Texas in the United States. A 1994 study estimated wild populations of between 2,000 and 4,300 mature individuals; the IUCN Red List considers it a globally endangered species with a decreasing population. The main threats to the native bird's survival are the illegal export of trapped birds from Mexico to the United States for the pet trade and the destruction of their natural habitat, the lowland forests of northeastern Mexico.

Distribution And Habitat

The Red-crowned Parrot is native to Mexico and northern South America and has been introduced to Puerto Rico (in association with the pet trade), where it occurs in small numbers around the coast (Raffaele and others 1998). A fl ock of as many as 40 individuals was reported near the municipality of Salinas (Raffaele and others 1998). Habitat includes mostly scrub and lowland moist forests (Raffaele and others 1998). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of three records within two hexagons of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the two hexagons where this parrot was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 50 percent (one) of the hexagons and possible in 50 percent (one) of the hexagons as well (see map). Red-crowned Parrot distribution. The map shows the highest breeding code by hexagon and overlaying the ecological life zones in Puerto Rico. Note: percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.

Red-crowned Parrot Distribution

Breeding Habits

Previously published reports indicate that the Red-crowned Parrot breeds from March to June (Raffaele and others 1998). The nests are located in tree cavities (Raffaele and others 1998), especially in large mahogany (Swietenia mahogany) and black 201Red-crowned Parrot/Cotorra Coronirrojaolive (Bucida buceras) trees (J.A. Salguero-Faría, personal observation 2009). Atlas results suggest that this species breeds during March, September, and October, and that the breeding activity mostly takes place within the subtropical dry forest life zone (see chart). Atlas results indicate that this species breeds within the subtropical dry forest life zone (50 percent of the hexagons) (see table and map). It may also breed within the subtropical moist forest life zone (50 percent of the hexagons) (see table and map).


The current population trend of the Red-crowned Parrot is described as decreasing in its native distributional range (Castro 1976, Enkerlin-Hoefl ich 1995). This species is currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2018). Locally, this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories of PRDNER and USFWS. In Puerto Rico, the Red- crowned Parrot has a protected habitat in land of 50 percent or 24 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (48 km2).