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Macaw (598.7)

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BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo - The #1 Family Year-Round Attraction in Baton Rouge! Green-winged Macaw. Hyacinth macaw - Philadelphia Zoo. Jasper: Male, captive hatched around 1985.

Hyacinth macaw - Philadelphia Zoo

Babe: Female, captive hatched October 16, 1992. Both were donated to the Zoo by a private breeder on April 13, 2000. This is the largest of the parrots with a deep violet blue color and bright yellow cheek patches. The male and female look alike. They occupy well forested habitat primarily where they have access to plenty of palm nuts. Longevity The lifespan of the hyacinth macaw in the wild is not known. Behavior Commonly, Hyacinth macaws are found in pairs or family groups (pair plus one or two still dependent offspring). Reproduction. Scarlet Macaw. Macaw. One of the outstanding natural sights in Mexico and Central and South America is a large flock of colorful macaws bursting up from the forest canopy in flight.


Macaws live in pairs, family groups, or flocks of 10 to 30, which helps give them protection from predators like large snakes and birds of prey. They usually wake before dawn, preening their feathers and calling to one another, perhaps communicating where they are and what they plan to do next. Then, as a group, they fly up out of the trees to journey to the day’s feeding grounds, often traveling quite a long distance to a grove of trees with ripe fruit.

They feast until midday, when they settle down for more preening and "chatting," then forage more in the afternoon. Shortly before or after dusk, macaws all take wing again to return to their roosting site, where they call to each other to figure out who sits where. Saint Louis Zoo. This magnificent member of the parrot family lives mainly in the rainforests of Central and South America.

Saint Louis Zoo

It eats fruits and nuts, including unripe specimens that other animals can’t eat. Its large curved beak allows the macaw to break through the thick shells and tough skins of these foods. Like its “cousin” the blue-and-yellow macaw, a male and female scarlet macaw maintain long-term pair bonds, sometimes for life. After a female lays her eggs in the cavity of a tree, the male takes turns sitting on the eggs too. The chicks are fully feathered at about 10 weeks, and leave the nest at about 13 weeks. Hyacinth Macaw. Blue-and-yellow Macaw. Imagine seeing a whole flock of these brightly-colored birds as they fly through a tropical jungle.

Blue-and-yellow Macaw

Macaws are highly social and like to gather in large flocks. Their loud, shrill calls can be heard over long distances. The macaw uses its sturdy, curved bill for a number of purposes. Since the bird can move both its upper and lower beak (a rarity in the bird world), it has plenty of leverage to crack even the hardest nuts and seeds. The beak is also dexterous enough to peel a grape and manipulate objects, plus it comes in handy for holding food while the bird eats. Scarlet Macaw. It is said that the scarlet macaw was considered a sacred being to the Mayan people.

Scarlet Macaw

In Mayan tradition, the scarlet macaw represented daylight and the rising sun. STATUS: Scarlet macaws are listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); however, their numbers are declining due to loss of habitat and the exotic pet trade. HABITAT: These macaws live in the humid regions of Mexico, south through parts of Central America, and into northern South America. They can be found in valleys – close to river and lagoons where they are often seen at clay licks, which provide an essential part of their diet and helps them in the digestion of some of the food they eat.

DIET: Scarlet macaws eat fruit, nuts and seeds, flowers, and sometimes insects or snails to supplement their protein intake. Ooh, Baby! Scarlet macaws, like other macaws, are monogamous – meaning that they stay with the same mate until one of them dies or disappears. Military Macaw. Parrots are among the most colorful and talented birds in the world.

Military Macaw

There are more than 350 different parrot species, ranging in size from six-inch parakeets to three-foot-long hyacinth macaws. STATUS: Military macaws are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to deforestation and capture for the exotic pet trade. HABITAT:The military macaw can be found in arid woodlands, forested areas, and tropical rainforests of Mexico and South America. Macaws. Donald Brightsmith is a scientist who works in South America to save those beautiful parrots called macaws.


He tells his story here. How did I end up a bird scientist? Let me explain. It all started when I was a little kid. One of my earliest memories is of a flock of bluebirds flying over farmland in New York. I began learning as much as I could about birds from books, TV, and Ranger Rick magazine. Whenever I had free time, I went bird-watching. And when I went to college, guess what I studied? If you go to my Web site ( and click on Photos and Sounds of Tanbopata Parrots, you'll get a look at some of the parrots I've been studying. Maybe you'd like to study the birds in your neighborhood too. And maybe you'll grow up to be a bird scientist like me! Here are some more facts about my favorite birds, the macaws: World's Biggest Macaws are the world's biggest parrots.