Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blue-and-yellow Macaw

Ara ararauna
The Blue-and-yellow Macaw is a very striking parrot found in the tropical forests of South America (though there are a few introduced populations in Florida as well). They are large members of their family, growing to lengths of nearly 3ft.

These Macaws have some pretty amazing mouths. They are able to move both their upper and lower beaks (a feat that many bird species cannot physically accomplish) and they have an amazing range of strength and dexterity with them. They can crack huge nuts and seeds, but also delicately peel fruit! They even use their beaks to help them climb!

Their beaks aren't their only neat feature. Blue-and-yellow Macaws also have the ability to mimic sounds, including human voices. They also produce a wide range of other vocalizations, including screams and whistles, that can be heard from long distances away. Blue-and-yellow Macaws are incredibly social animals-- they live in flocks that can number over 100 birds. Imagine seeing that many Macaws flying over your head!

Blue-and-yellow Macaws
Macaw pairs mate for life, which can be quite a long time. They reach sexual maturity around age 4, but can live as long as 60 years! Pairs will always stick close to one another within the flock, and when it comes time to breed they build a nest in a tree cavity. Mom does all the incubating, while dad brings her food. Sadly, though they lay 2-3 eggs, the parents will really only care for the strongest chick. This means that the siblings will most likely die before they are old enough to fledge.

Blue-and-yellow Macaws are kept as pets, but they are very demanding creatures to own. Their social nature, intelligence, size, and lifespan mean that only the most dedicated owners can keep them content. They need a great deal of socialization and space to fly in. Unhappy Macaws can become incredibly destructive to both themselves and their surroundings.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : South America
Size : Length up to 34in (86cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Psittaciformes
Family : Psittacidae -- Genus : Ara -- Species : A. ararauna


  1. Wow, they can live till 60 years! That's amazing. I also love Macaws. Thank you for yet another interesting post :)

  2. I've always thought that these birds have a very uncreative name -but they're just gorgeous.
    Thanks for all these amazing animal posts- :)


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