Beautiful New Species Of Parrot Discovered In Mexico


The parrot lives in the rainforests of the Yucatán Peninsula. Silva et al. 2017

Despite its flamboyant feathers and shrill call, this elusive bird had remained unknown to science, until now. Meet the blue-winged Amazon (Amazona gomezgarzai), the latest species of parrot to have been discovered flitting from tree to tree in the rainforests of Mexico. Characterized by its unique coloring, and distinctive vocalization (which has been likened to something from Hitchcock's Psycho soundtrack), the bird has now been officially described in the journal PeerJ.

What alerted the biologists to its existence was its loud, sharp, and distinctive call. In fact, it was while Miguel Gómez Garza was on a final expedition to the Yucatán Peninsula to finish his book on the parrots of Mexico, when the bird gave itself away as a group of them chatted in the distance. Garza realized that this noise, which was more like that of a hawk, was unlike any other Amazon parrot that lives in the area.


After waiting for the parrots to come a little closer, Garza’s suspicions were seemingly confirmed. Despite clearly being some type of Amazon parrot, the lack of white on the chest, and the brush of blue pigment on the wings, and the daub of bright red on their heads clearly indicated to him that it was unlike any of the other local species found to live on the Yucatán Peninsula.


About the size of a pigeon, the newest addition to the ornithological world is known officially as the blue-winged Amazon parrot. Living in small flocks of around 12 birds, they seem to live in family groups, with parents and offspring sticking around. The bird, like all other Amazon parrots, is a herbivore, choosing to snack on fruits, flowers, and leaves.

The new species looks very similar to two other species found in the region, but is distinguished by its unique green crown, unlike the blue seen in both the Yucatán and White-fronted Amazon parrots. Despite the blue-winged parrot being thought to have split from the closely related White-fronted parrot only 120,000 years ago, and with both still living in the same area, the two species are not thought to mate or hybridize.

The current estimate of the species suggests that there are around 100 of the birds living in the forest. This apparent rarity and its small range, however, means that the authors of the paper are recommending that while there is nothing in place currently, the blue-winged Amazon should become a conservation priority.

  • tag
  • new species,

  • parrot,

  • bird,

  • rainforest,

  • Mexico,

  • ornithology,

  • Amazon parrot,

  • Yucatán Peninsula