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Macaw

Macaw Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPsittaciformes
FamilyPsittacidae
GenusArini
Scientific NameArini
TypeBird
DietOmnivore
Size (H)76cm - 100cm (30in - 39in)
Wing Span86cm - 140cm (34in - 56in)
Weight0.9kg - 2kg (2lbs - 4.4lbs)
Top Speed24km/h (15mph)
Life Span50 - 60 years
LifestyleFlock
Conservation StatusEndangered
ColourRed, Blue, Yellow, Green, White
Skin TypeFeathers
Favourite FoodFruit
HabitatRainforests and tropical jungle
Average Clutch Size2
Main PreyFruit, Nuts, Seeds, Insects
PredatorsHuman, Monkeys, Large Birds
Distinctive FeaturesLarge colourful body and curved beak

Macaw Location

Map of Macaw Locations
Map of South America

Macaw

The macaw is a colourful tropical parrot native to Central and Southern America. There are 17 different species of macaw found in the rainforests of South America. Many of the different macaw species are today considered to be endangered animals.

The macaw is an omnivorous animal and feeds on nuts and fruit in the trees along with insects, eggs and small mammals and reptiles. The macaw is known to sleep during the night meaning that the macaw is a diurnal animal, and in the morning the macaw will often fly long distances in order to find food.

The macaw is one of the largest species of parrot in the world, with the average adult macaw growing to more than a meter in height. The macaw is well known for it's array of brightly coloured feathers which are often many different colours including blue, red, yellow and green.

Macaws have recently become very popular as pets, and there is a flourishing black market for some of the rarer breeds of macaw. This only contributes to their endangered status. Please, do not buy imported macaws. The declining macaw populations is also due to the fact that the macaw's natural rainforest habitat is being destroyed due to deforestation, which is happening all over Central and South America at an alarming rate.

The macaw has a large and powerful beak which means that the macaw can break the shells of nuts and seeds more easily. Like other species of parrot, macaws have four toes on each foot, with two toes facing forward and two toes facing backward. This foot adaptation helps the macaw to grip onto prey and tree branches more easily and allows the macaw to perch in the trees without slipping off.

Macaws are known to be intelligent and very sociable birds and macaws can often be seen together in large flocks of up to 30 macaw individuals. Macaws communicate between one another using loud vocal calls such as squawking and screaming. Some species of macaw are even known to be able to mimic (copy) human sounds.

The macaw is one of the world's animals that is known to have the same breeding partner for their whole lives. Macaw couples do not only breed together but they also share their food and help to groom one another. When the female macaw has laid her eggs (typically 2 but more are common), the female macaw sits on her eggs to incubate them while the male macaw hunts and collects food for them both. The macaw chicks hatch after about a month.

Macaws are well known to humans in the areas in which they inhabit and have been known to be hunted by local tribesmen for their brightly coloured feathers. The macaw however, is also widely respected and even appears on the one of the Brazilian bank notes.