Double Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrots

These Amazon parrots may not be the ideal pet for everyone

Man holding Yellow-headed Amazon (Amazona ochrocephala oratrix)
Pete Turner/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Talkative and charming, the Double Yellow-Headed Amazon parrot is a popular option for those seeking a pet bird. This bird, whose scientific name is Amazona oratrix, is also called the Yellow-Headed Parrot and Yellow-Headed Amazon. Native to Mexico, Central and South America, this parrot is considered endangered in its natural habitat.

When it reaches maturity, the Double Yellow-Headed Amazon usually measures between 15 and 17 inches from its beak to the tip of its tail, making it one of the larger parrot varieties.

As its name suggests, it has a yellow head, and the rest of its body is the familiar parrot green. 

Double Yellow-Headed Amazons can live to be more than 60 years old, which makes them good longtime companions. But before you buy one of these birds, get to know a little about them to ensure they're the right pet for you. 

Temperament of the Double Yellow-Headed Amazon

When hand-fed and raised from a young age, these birds can be affectionate pets. They're intelligent and have remarkable "speaking" ability, and love to be the center of attention. Like many parrots, however, Double Yellow-Headed Amazons may go through a hormonal bluffing stage as they reach sexual maturity.

They can become aggressive and may lunge and bite at people during this phase. If you're prepared for the bluffing behavior, which can last for several months (and sometimes up to two years), then the Double Yellow-Headed Amazon could be a good option for you.

But if you have small children who will be interacting with the bird, it may be better to choose a different variety.

Feeding and Exercise for Double Yellow-Headed Amazons

Like all Amazon parrots, Double Yellow-Headed Amazons need a high-quality pelleted diet, supplemented with seed mix and daily servings of fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables.

A varied diet will help ensure that your bird is getting the balanced nutrition it needs.

Amazon Parrots are prone to excess weight gain, so it's important that they are allowed daily exercise. In order to properly care for a Double Yellow-Headed Amazon, you should be able to give it a minimum of 3 to 4 hours outside of its cage per day. As it does with humans, regular exercise will allow the bird to burn excess calories and stretch its muscles, as well as provide essential mental stimulation.

Double Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrots as Pets

Amazon parrots thrive on social interaction, and they need it to remain healthy and happy. Birds that are neglected are prone to falling into destructive behavior patterns and depression, which can manifest itself in various physical and emotional problems. It's important for Yellow-Headed Amazon owners to set aside time each day for one-on-one interaction with their bird, to establish and maintain a healthy bond.

Where to Get a Yellow-Headed Amazon

If you're interested in owning a Double Yellow-Headed Amazon, contact local bird breeders to see if you can schedule a visit with them and their birds. It's unlikely you'll be able to find a healthy (and authentic) Double Yellow-Headed Amazon at most pet stores.

If you're able to get to know the bird a little before bringing it home, you'll gain a little insight about whether it will be a good fit for you.