|Common Name||White-fronted Amazon|
|Scientific Name||Amazona albifrons|
|Lifespan||More than 50 Years|
|Size||10 inches (26cm)|
|Body Mass||6.5 – 8.5oz. (188 – 242 grams)|
|Habitat||Open country with trees, wooded areas, deciduous and semi-evergreen moist forests, cactus savannahs|
Information & Physical Appearance
The White-fronted Amazon (Amazona albifrons) belongs to the order Psittaciformes, the family Psittacidae, and the genus Amazona.
Other common names include White-fronted Parrot, White-browed Amazon, White-browed Parrot, Spectacled Amazon, and Spectacled Parrot.
There are three races, including the nominate race, namely A.a. albifrons, A.a. saltuensis, and A.a. nana.
1. A.a. albifrons – Nominate race
Unlike the case with most Amazon parrots, once can visually distinguish between an adult male and an adult female of this species.
Mature males’ plumage has a primarily green coloring, while the feathers’ edges are dusty black to deep blue and red. The area around the eyes is red, and so are the lores, primary coverts, and the carpal edge.
The tail is red at the base, and the rest of it displays green coloration. The bill is yellow.
The eyes are vivid yellow and are surrounded by a bright red outer eye-ring and a pale grey inner eye-ring.
Mature females’ plumage is green, just like in mature males; however, the primary coverts, as well as the carpal edge, are green instead of red, as seen in males.
Also, females do lack the red edge that is visible on the wing of males.
On the chest and on the bellies of both sexes, sparse patches colored in light blue can be noticed.
The legs’ coloring is beige.
2. A.a. saltuensis – Sonora White-fronted Amazon/Parrot
In both sexes, adults are primarily green, washed with blue. Blue nuances are also displayed on the crown, reaching all the way to the nape.
It is the more greenish-blue coloring on the tip of Sonora’s head, which can help to distinguish between saltuensis and albifrons species.
3. A.a. nana – Lesser White-fronted Amazon/Parrot
Mature females and males alike are quite similar to adult albifrons. However, just like their common name suggests, lesser white-fronted amazons are slightly smaller in size, as well as somewhat darker in color.
In all the races, juveniles closely resemble the appearance of adult females, with the exception that in immature individuals, the red of the lores does not extend towards the area around the eyes.
Another difference is the yellow tint on the forecrown. The forehead is white.
Last but not least, the juveniles’ eyes are pale grey instead of yellow, as seen in adults.
Experts estimate the average lifespan of white-fronted amazons at 40 years. However, when given proper care, white fronts are known to easily live for more than 50 years in captivity.
Ecosystem & Habitat
The native range of the White-fronted Parrot extends from western Costa Rica to Mexico. These amazon parrots are also native to El Salvador, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Belize.
More specifically, A.a. albifrons’ range spans across the Pacific slope of western Mexico, reaching southwestern Guatemala and the territories south from Nayarit.
A.a. saltuensis’s range includes the territories of northwestern Mexico, western Durango, Sinaloa, and the southern portions of Sonora.
A.a. nana’s native range spans across southeastern Veracruz, northwestern Costa Rica, and the southern portions of Mexico.
The preferred type of habitat includes tropical deciduous forests and brushy grasslands.
White fronts can be found in a variety of open country areas characterized by trees, as well as wooded areas, such as seasonal semi-evergreen and deciduous forests, gallery forests, and pine woodlands.
Also, these parrots share a preference for ranchland where stands of open woodlands occur, and nonetheless, arid tropical scrub with native cacti species and savanna.
White-fronted amazons occur at elevations of up to 6068ft.
Food & Diet
In the wild, white fronts feed on various fruits, seedpods, cacti, and buds. Cultivated crops such as maize and mango are also gladly taken as part of these birds’ wild diet.
White-fronted Amazons are known for their quite vocal, excited behavior exhibited during feeding.
These parrots are commonly found in pairs during the breeding season. Out of the breeding season, these social creatures mostly occur in small flocks consisting of about 20-30 individuals.
Amazingly, white fronts can gather together in much bigger numbers in communal roosts, as there are existing reports of such roosts containing about several thousand of these parrots.
The white fronts’ call is described as varied and rather loud. It includes loud, harsh trilling notes, barking-like notes, short, sharp calls, and nonetheless, squealing.
Depending on locality, the breeding season for white fronts in the wild takes place between January and July. It is not uncommon for the breeding season to start as early as in February in some areas.
White-fronted amazons, similarly to other amazon parrots, nest in tree cavities.
Shortly after breeding, the female white front is to lay between three and four eggs on an average. The eggs are rounded and white in color, measuring 1.2 x 0.9 inches.
The incubation period lasts for around 26 days.
About 60 days after hatching, the young chicks are ready to leave the nest.
Survival Threats & Conservation
The White-fronted Amazon is listed on CITES Appendix II.
Furthermore, Amazona albifrons is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species under the Least Concern category.
Even though not critically endangered with extinction as of now, the illegal trapping of wild white fronts for the pet trade, and the treating of these wild-caught creatures as display pets to help humans earn money and/or merely for entertainment is considered one of the major survival threats.
Also, white-fronted parrots are captured for food on the local and national level.
Despite the lack of an active recovery plan and a systematic monitoring scheme, conservation sites are identified over the entire range, and the species is found to occur in at least one protected area.
Ultimately, based on the last global assessment, which took place in August 2018, the population trend is increasing.
Availability – Where to Get a White-fronted Amazon
White-fronted Amazons are fairly common as pets. Also, it is easy to find a white front available for sale from a variety of avian-specialty stores, as well as from breeders, both online and offline.
Nonetheless, one can choose to adopt a white-fronted parrot. As with other bird species one can choose to keep as pets, it is a must to opt for captive-bred individuals, since purchasing a wild-caught wild front is not merely illegal but is also immoral when taking into consideration the harm done to these wild creatures by trapping and capturing for the exotic pet trade.
1. Even though considered a medium-sized species within the entire parrot group, the white-fronted Amazon is actually among the smallest of all Amazons.
2. Regardless of their relatively small size, white fronts are renowned for their extremely assertive personality. Even in the wild, these parrots are known to often readily approach humans.
In captivity, these birds tend to form an exceptionally strong bond with a single person in the family, with whom they share an impressively great playfulness, friendliness, and affection.
3. It was in 1788 when the white-fronted amazon was first described, as well as categorized by Andres Sparrman, a Swedish naturalist.
4. The reason why white-fronted amazons are commonly called “spectacled amazons” or “spectacled parrots” is the presence of bright red rings around the eyes.
How to Care for the White-fronted Amazon
As a rule of thumb, white-fronted amazons must be provided with a roomy enclosure.
A suspended cage or an aviary is strongly recommended, with a minimum length of 9.8ft. (3 meters).
Ultimately, the cage should measure at least 2 x 3 feet in footprint. In height, the absolute minimum is 2 ½ – 5 feet.
The spacious enclosure should be further equipped with ample play equipment.
Keeping in mind the acrobatic abilities of white fronts, climbing apparatus should be included, too.
Being avid chewers, these birds require a variety of non-toxic, bird-safe toys, apart from suitable climbing branches, e.g., pine, willow, elder, and fir. Vegetable-tanned leather toys, swings, ladders, as well as foraging/puzzle toys, should be provided.
Even though white-fronted amazons are known to tolerate a wide range of temperatures, owners must make sure to always keep the birds away from drafts.
2. Cleaning & Maintenance
Food containers and water dishes have to be cleaned and refilled every day.
Once a week, toys and other cage accessories should be carefully cleaned and freshened, too.
Apart from cage cleaning and maintenance, white-fronted amazons require regular bathing in order for their feathers to be kept clean, soft, and moist.
Bathing time is also a wonderful time for socialization, and getting to know your feathery fellow better by its bathing preferences, such as being spritzed with water vs. enjoying being bathed in the kitchen sink or directly under the shower.
3. Diet & Water
White-fronted amazon pets should be provided with a high-quality pelleted diet. Additionally, their diet should be supplemented with bird-safe vegetables and fruits served on a daily basis, as well as seed mix.
Top nutrition for white fronts sums down to providing a varied, balanced, fresh diet.
Do not feed with chocolate or avocado, as these are toxic to birds.
Suitable fruits to offer your white front include but are not limited to pomegranate, oranges, apples, bananas, cactus fruits, pears, apples, and apricots.
Suitable veggies to feed to a white-fronted amazon pet include celery, zucchini, carrots, fresh corn, green beans, green peas (in the pod), as well as a variety of green leaves, such as lettuce, dandelion, Swiss chard, chickweed, sowthistle.
Fruits and veggies should form about 30% of a healthy diet.
When it comes to suitable seed mixes, opt for safflower, millet, canary seeds, and a moderate amount of oats and buckwheat. Also, a limited amount of soaked, dry, or sprouted sunflower seeds should be provided.
Not the least, white-fronts require complete kibble.
4. Personality & Temperament
White-fronted Amazons are considered especially suited as pets for a single owner; however, they do not make the best choice as pets for large families. That’s because these birds tend to establish a very strong bond with only a single person, exhibiting a tendency to becoming one-person birds.
White fronts should be best socialized at a young age. Otherwise, they tend to become reclusive over time.
Also, these parrots are best suited to potential owners who can afford to spend plenty of their spare time with their feathery fellow.
Similarly to many other Amazon species, white-fronted parrots may also go through a hormonal stage known as a bluffing stage as they are to reach sexual maturity.
During the bluffing stage, birds can be quite difficult to handle properly, and for this reason, they are recommended for people who already have sufficient experience with keeping medium-sized to large-sized birds.
The bluffing stage does pass over time; however, it can last for up to 2 years, and the unusually aggressive behavior exhibited during this stage may be too much to handle for inexperienced caregivers.
Considering their hardiness, white fronts are known to thrive in well-protected outdoor aviaries.
White fronts are considered both intelligent and beautiful birds to keep as pets, even though they do tend to get shy around others. However, they do adore interacting with their owners and can be especially playful and affectionate.
As a rule of thumb, white-fronted parrots require plenty of social interaction in order to remain happy and healthy. If neglected, these birds may develop destructive behavioral patterns, as well as depression, potentially leading to various problems on both the emotional and the physical level.
To establish and maintain a healthy bond, the owner has to set aside time every single day for one-on-one interactions.
Ultimately, keeping in mind that these parrots can live for over 50 years, potential owners should consider that caring for these fellows is not the type of commitment that should be taken lightly, despite their hardiness and wonderful personality.
5. Speech & Sounds
The white-fronted Amazon parrot is known for having a good variety of vocalizations, some of which may be annoying to neighbors. The vocalizations include barking sounds, squealing, different sharp, short noises, and harsh, loud trills, as well.
Even though not regarded as excellent talkers as double yellow-headed amazons or blue-fronted amazons, white-fronted amazon parrots are fully capable of learning a variety of words and phrases with proper training.
6. Possible Health Issues
While acclimating to their environment, white fronts have a tendency to suffering from intestinal infections. However, they are quite hardy pets in general, and once the initial acclimation period is to pass, they can thrive in perfect health when good care is provided.
Some of the most common illnesses include parrot fever (Psittacosis), feather picking (most commonly due to improper bathing or boredom), bacterial/fungal/viral infections, as well as allergies.
Apart from the common illnesses listed above, white fronts are also prone to gaining excess weight and becoming obese as a result. Thus, it is crucial to allow room for exercise outside the cage on a daily basis.
Do not acquire a white-fronted amazon unless you can give it a minimum of 3-4 hours a day outside the cage for the purpose of stretching its muscles and burning calories, as well as for the much-needed mental stimulation.
Do White-fronted Amazons Talk?
White-fronted Amazon parrots are known as great talkers, even though their talking ability is considered somewhat poorer than the talking abilities of blue-fronted amazons and double yellow-headed amazons.
Are White-fronted Parrots Loud?
Similarly to other Amazon parrots, White-fronted Parrots can be quite loud at times. However, their vocalizations can be very tolerable, provided they are to spend a minimum of 3-4 hours a day engaged in one-on-one interactions with their owner.
How Long Do White-fronted Amazons Live?
The potential life span of white-fronted amazons is quite long since these birds are known to easily live for over 50 years in captivity.
How Big Do White-fronted Amazon Parrots Get?
White-fronted amazons rank among the smaller varieties of Amazon parrots. Regarded as medium-sized birds, white fronts are highly desirable pets because of their manageable size, as both sexes reach up to 10 inches in length, and weigh up to 8.5oz.
Are White-fronted Amazons Endangered?
White-fronted Amazons are not critically endangered with extinction; however, they are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with illegal trapping and hunting for food being the major threats to their survival in the wild.
How Smart Are White-fronted Amazons?
White-fronted Amazons are highly intelligent birds, just like other species of Amazon parrots. Because of being very smart birds, they do require a great deal of mental stimulation and social interaction on a daily basis, or else, they are prone to behavioral issues.