Blue Throated Macaw Blue throat macaw
Blue-Throated Macaw

Scientific Classification

Common Name
blue-throated macaw
Genus Species
Ara (macaw) glaucogularis

Fast Facts

The blue-throated macaw has a yellow and blue body. The dorsal surface is a turquoise-blue and is slightly duller on the crown and brighter on rump. The ventral surface is largely bright yellow but the vent is pale blue. A bare facial patch is obscured by blue feather-lines that merge into blue lower cheeks and throat. They also have bare pink skin around base of bill. The beak is hooked and the feet are zygodactylous (with 2 toes that point forward and 2 toes that point backward).
Adults can reach 85 cm (34 in.) in length.
These birds can weigh up to 750 g (1.7 lbs.).
They may feed on seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries.
29 days
Clutch Size
These birds nest in cavities, hatching 1 to 3 eggs.
Fledging Duration
The chicks normally fledge at 4 months of age and may remain with their parents for up to a year.
Sexual Maturity
2 to 4 years
Life Span
These birds can live over 80 years.
These birds are only found in Northern Bolivia. There are two subpopulations: the northern subpopulation is found from west of Santa Ana eastwards across the upper Río Mamoré, Beni to the eastern savannas. The southern subpopulation is found mostly in the Maraban province in Beni, close to the town of Loreto.
These birds utilize forest islands and fragmented gallery forest found throughout the Beni Savannas.
: In 2007, the total population was estimated to number 250-300 individuals occupying a range of 4,000 km2 or 1,550 square2 (Waugh 2007). There is evidence that the population is currently increasing following successful conservation measures and the near elimination of trade, which caused extremely rapid declines during the 1970s and 1980s.
IUCN: Critically Endangered
CITES: Appendix I
USFWS:  Critically Endangered

Fun Facts

Macaws are monogamous, remaining bonded for life. They are often seen flying in large flocks and the bonded pairs fly close together, their wings nearly touching.

In the wild, macaws often flock to mountains of clay known as "macaw licks".

When disturbed, these bright birds screech loudly and circle overhead with their long tails streaming.

Macaws are playful and inquisitive and are able to mimic human vocalizations.

Their incredibly strong beaks are specifically adapted for eating all sorts of nuts and seeds.

Macaws are able to fly at speeds of up to 56 kph (35 mph).

Ecology and Conservation

While feeding, these birds drop seeds and play an important role in forest regeneration.

These birds were severely threatened in the past by legal and illegal exploitation for the national and international cage-bird trade, although this has been radically reduced since 1984.

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

Nest-site competition from other macaws, toucans, bats and large woodpeckers is significant, and disturbance from mammals, birds and human activity may reduce the reproductive output of some pairs.

Nestlings are vulnerable to predation from: Toco Toucan Ramphastos toco, Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens, Great-horned Owl Bubo virginianus, and Southern-Crested Caracara Caracara plancus.

Hunting to provide feathers for indigenous headdresses probably has an important impact on population in some areas.


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.

Yamashita, Carlos & Machado de Barros, Yuri. "The Blue-throated Macaw Ara glaucogularis: Characterization of its Distinctive Habitats in Savannahs of the Beni, Bolivia". Ararajuba 5(2): 141-150. December 1997.

BirdLife International 2018. Ara glaucogularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22685542A130868462. Downloaded on 20 November 2019.