Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today, while birding at Irvine Regional Park, I came across this weird Amazona parrot feeding on acorns with a large flock of Red-crowned and Lilac-crowned Parrots. I don't see many parrots that aren't these two species, so I was excited... until I started researching it. Man, what a mess! I can't find any decent matches after a brief search through all my field guides (Venezuela, Mexico and Northern Central America, Sibley, etc) and online sites.
The thing that instantly caught my eye was the bird's yellow crown/face. At first glance, I thought it might be a weird Yellow-headed Parrot, but that doesn't match. The bird has a darkish bill (with some pale areas), yellow on the shoulder (and limited red as well, but not very noticeable), and yellow on the crown/face. While inspecting the photos I noticed some reddish/orange flecking in the yellow. Now that's tricky. I'm stumped, though admittedly I don't know a lot about parrots. Here are some photos.