Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth Macaw



COMMON NAME: hyacinth macaw
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
ORDER: Psittaciformes
FAMILY: Psittacidae (true parrots)
GENUS SPECIES: Anodorhynchus (toothless beak) hyacinthinus (blue)


DESCRIPTION: Hyacinth macaws are the largest of the parrots and, as their name implies, are covered with bright blue plumage. They have bare yellow eye ring circles around large black eyes, a yellow chin, a strongly hooked beak and zygodactylous feet (2 toes that point forward and 2 toes that point backward).
SIZE: Approximately 100 cm (39 in.)
WEIGHT: Approximately 1550-1600 g (3-3.5 lb.)
DIET: Includes seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries
INCUBATION: Approximately 29 days
CLUTCH SIZE 2-3 eggs
FLEDGING DURATION 4 months; then remain with parents for up to a year
LIFE SPAN: 30-50 years or more
RANGE: Southern Brazil and Western Bolivia
HABITAT: Found in tall trees and palms of swamps, forests, and near rivers
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Appendix I
USFWS Endangered


1. The hyacinth macaw is the largest macaw species.
2. These macaws frequently travel together in small flocks of 1-8 pairs, and loudly call to one another.
3. Macaw pairs remained bonded.
4. In the wild, macaws often flock to mountains of clay known as "macaw licks".
5. When disturbed, these bright birds screech loudly and circle overhead with their long tails streaming.
6. Macaws are playful and inquisitive and are able to mimic human vocalizations very well.
7. Macaws are playful and inquisitive and are able to mimic human vocalizations very well.
8. Macaws are able to reach flight speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
9. Macaws eat palm nuts only after the nuts have passed through the digestive system of a cow.


In the course of daily feeding, macaws allow plenty of seeds (while eating, as well as in their droppings) to fall to the forest floor, thus regenerating much of the forest growth.

Highly prized as pets, they are listed on CITES because of over-collection for the pet trade and excessive habitat loss. Unfortunately, only about 2,500-5,000 exist in the wild today. Only domestically hatched birds should be considered for pets. Hyacinths in the home are large, loud, and destructive so great thought should accompany this decision.

The U.S. Wild Bird Act forbids the commercial import of any bird listed by CITES which includes most parrots - endangered or threatened.


Forshaw, J.M. Parrots of the World. New Jersey. T.F.H. Publications Inc. 1978.

Marrison, C. and A. Greensmith. Birds of the World. New York: Dorling Kindersley, Inc. 1993.

Perrins, C. (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications. 1985.