Hispaniolan Parrot (Amazona ventralis)

Hispaniolan Parrot


The Hispaniolan amazon or Hispaniolan parrot (Amazona ventralis), colloquially known as cuca, is a species of Amazon parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is endemic to Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and has been introduced to Puerto Rico. The main features that differentiate it from other amazons are the white forehead, pale beak, white eye-ring, blue ear patch, and red belly. Its plumage is green, and most feathers are edged with blue. It has a distinct white forehead and area around the eyes; some blue patches on cheeks and crown; a red patch under the chin; and black ear coverts. This amazon also has red feathers on its abdomen; blue wind coverts; green edging to the outer webs; yellowish green plumage under the tail; an upper-side green tail with yellow tips; red outer tail feathers at base; a horn coloured bill, and brown irises with pale feet. Its body length is about 28 cm long. An average adult weighs 250g (8.75 oz), and has a heavy and powerful beak; their bite has been noted to cut open skin and cut deep.

Distribution And Habitat

The Hispaniolan Parrot is endemic to Hispaniola and satellite islands (Juniper and Parr 1998, Raffaele and others 1998). It was introduced on Puerto Rico, where it was found mostly in the metropolitan area in the west and north-central regions of the island (Raffaele and others 1998). It has been observed in shade coffee plantations and pine forests in the Cordillera Central of the Dominican Republic (Latta and Wunderle, Jr. 1998, Wunderle, Jr. 1999). The species usually inhabits woodlands, scrub, and forests at all elevations on Hispaniola, whereas in Puerto Rico it occurs in forests and foothill woodlands (Raffaele and others 1998). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of one record within one hexagon or 0.2 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Breeding is probable in the only hexagon where the species occurs (100 percent) (see map). Hispaniolan 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.

Hispaniolan Parrot Distribution

Breeding Habits

The Hispaniolan Parrot nests in tree cavities and occasionally in cliff potholes, and breeds from February to June, according to previously published reports 203Hispaniolan Parrot/Cotorra de la Española(Raffaele and others 1998). Atlas results suggest that this species breeds in February and that the breeding activity could occur within the subtropical moist forest life zone (100 percent of the hexagons) (see table and map), although it doesnt seem to be reproducing at all on the island.


This species is currently listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2016). Based on the atlas surveys, it appears that the introduced Hispaniolan Parrot on Puerto Rico has decreased in abundance and distribution relative to the earlier description by Raffaele (1998). Locally, this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories of PRDNER and USFWS. In Puerto Rico, the Hispaniolan Parrot has a protected habitat in land of 10 percent or 2.5 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (24 km2).