What do they look like? The Macaw is a beautiful and brightly coloured member of the parrot family. Their vibrant colouring is ideal for their life in the Central and South American rainforests where they can blend in with the green trees and colourful flowers. An interesting fact is that the Macaw’s brilliant colour variations are completely natural – that is they have not been manipulated in anyway by breeders. Macaws generally grow to a length of 80 – 100cm and with a weight of between 900 and 1300 gms. Macaws have strong beaks for cracking nuts and seeds and a scaly tongue that is perfect for tapping into fruits. Macaws are famous for their long, brightly coloured and graceful tails.
Where do they live? The Macaw’s natural habitat is the jungles and rainforests of the Central and South American region. Macaws are intelligent and very social birds that live in flocks of up to 30 birds. They sleep in trees within the rainforests.
What do they eat? They may fly great distances to source their favourite food of nuts, fruits and insects.
Behaviour: Macaws, like many other parrot species, typically mate for life. They enjoy a close relationship with their mate, sharing food and mutual grooming during their breeding season.
Reproduction: Macaws like to build nests in large holes high up in trees. The female bird will usually lay two to three eggs and incubation takes approximately 24 to 26 days. Whilst the female Macaw incubates the eggs, the male Macaw will bring food back to the nest.
Threats: These magnificent birds have been affected by deforestation of natural rainforests in South America. Their numbers have also been affected in the past by the exotic bird trade. There has been some re-colonisation in Brazil which indicates that numbers are improving and has down listed their status to vulnerable in some areas.
Conservation Status: Most species of Macaws are listed as endangered.