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Macaw

An explosion of colour... (other names: Guacamayo, Arara)

Macaw
origin:Central and South America
life expectancy:50 years
family:Psittacidae
dimensions:30 to 90 cm
compatibility: agressivesinging ability: not very melodiousloudiness: very loud
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History [ edit ]

Macaws are an endangered species due to the destruction of the rainforest and their capture by humans for illegal trading. Only the Blue and Gold Macaw isn´t listed at CITES as endareged specie in the wild. The Spix's Macaw has only seven surviving specimens in captivity and, as well as the Glaucous Macaw, it´s probably extinct in the wild.
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Temperament [ edit ]

Macaws are very social and intelligent animals. They need lots of attention and toys to chew. If not, they may get destructive and “attack” their cage or anything they can get their bills on.

They half a century or more, if properly nurtured, and they create strong bonds with the owner.

They have loud callings and need to be trained to be quiet. However, once or twice a day they will “scream”. Green-winged Macaws are the least prone to “calling sessions”, but Red Fronted Macaws have the most melodious call of them all. Macaws are known for their ability to mimic the human voice. Although every Macaw has the proper vocal “instrument” to do it, the will to “speak” depends on each specimen.
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General appearance [ edit ]

The Macaw is a large bird that can reach up to 90 cm depending on the specie. Han´s Macaw or Red-shouldered (Ara nobilis) is one of the shortest, 30 cm, while the Green-winged (Ara chloroptera) is one of the longest with 90 cm.

These brightly colored birds have long tails, as long as their bodies or even longer. The sexes look alike, which is uncommon among vividly colored birds in which females tend do have duller plumage. However hens can be recognized by their smaller heads. Dwarf macaws are mostly green.

On contrary to what one might think, the vivid colors work as a camouflage for wild macaws. The reds, greens and yellows blend in with the bright sunlight and the intense green foliage of their natural environment.
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Housing [ edit ]

Macaws are resistant birds that can life outdoors in an aviary during all year. Only in particularly cold winters they may need special attention. They can be housed in a wood aviary, as long as the edges are properly protected. Their bills are sharp and will destroy the cage if given the change. So make sure they have toys, some destructible and other more resistant. Also put some perches for them to rest on. 
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Diet [ edit ]

Mainly seed and nut eaters, they will take fresh fruits and veggies sometimes as well. These birds require a lot of almonds, cashews, and other nuts in the shell to maintain good health.
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Handling [ edit ]

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Species [ edit ]

  • Red and Gold or Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) - The gold or yellow on the wings of this macaw is characteristic of this specie. The red on their plumage is also very bright, not like other the crimson tonality in the Green-winged one.
  • Green-winged Macaw or Red-and-green Macaw (Ara chloroptera) - The green feathers on the wings set this macaw apart from the Scarlets. The lower back and ramp are also blue.
  • Blue and Gold or Blue and Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) – Probably the most common macaw kept as a pet. In a green coat and forehead, black “beard” and rest of the body yellow, seems that this Macaw is always redy to perfomr tricks and amuse everyone.
  • Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis)
  • Military Macaw (Ara militaris)
  • Buffon's Macaw or Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus)
  • Red-fronted Macaw (Ara rubrogenys)
  • Chestnut-fronted Macaw or Severe Macaw (Ara severa) – a dwarf macaw with prominent red in the upper edges of the wings.
  • Dominican Green-and-Yellow Macaw (Ara atwoodi)
  • Jamaican Green-and-Yellow Macaw (Ara erythrocephala)
  • Jamaican Red Macaw (Ara gossei)
  • Lesser Antillean Macaw (Ara guadeloupensis)
  • Cuban Red Macaw (Ara tricolor)
  • Red-shouldered Macaw or Hahn's Macaw (Ara nobilis) – This dwarf macaw can be clearly identified by the red on the shoulders.
  • Golden-collared Macaw (Ara auricollis) – One of the most colorful dwarf macaws.
  • Blue-headed Macaw (Primolius couloni)
  • Illiger's Macaw or Blue-winged Macaw (Primolius maracana)
  • Red-bellied Macaw (Orthopsittaca manilata) – It has maroon feathers on the belly area and it has gained a reputation of being the most difficult of all the macaws.
  • Glaucous Macaw (Anodorhynchus glaucus)
  • Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)
  • Indigo Macaw or Lear's Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari)
  • Little Blue Macaw or Spix's Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii)
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