Green-Winged Macaw

Green-Winged Macaw

Scientific Classification

Common Name
green-winged macaw, green wing macaw
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Psittaciformes
Family
Psittacidae (true parrots)
Genus Species
Ara (macaw) chloroptera (green wing)

Fast Facts

Description
The green-winged macaw is a large parrot covered with mostly red plumage. The wing and tail feathers are blue and green, hence its name. This macaw has a white, naked face, striped with small red feathers. The beak is strongly hooked and the feet are zygodactylous (2 toes that point forward and 2 toes that point backward).
Size
Approximately 65–92.5 cm (26–37 in); wingspan 102–122.5 cm (41–49 in)
Weight
Approximately 1250–1700 g (43.8–59.5 oz.)
Diet
Feeds on seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, leaves, salts and minerals of riverbanks
Incubation
Approximately 28 days
Clutch Size
Up to 3 eggs
Fledging Duration
90–100 days
Sexual Maturity
3–4 years
Life Span
Up to 60–80 years
Range
Widely distributed throughout South America
Habitat
Found in tropical rainforests, savannas, and mangroves
Population
Global: Unknown
Status 
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

  1. Green-winged macaws are the second largest parrots next to the hyacinth macaw.
  2. They have one of the largest, broadest ranges of any macaw species.
  3. Macaws are normally monogamous, having only one mate for life.
  4. They are often mistaken for scarlet macaws due to their general red appearance.
  5. In the wild, macaws often flock to mountains of clay known as "macaw licks." Such licks contain minerals and salts essential to the bird's diet.
  6. Macaws are able to reach speeds of up to 56 kph (35 mph).

Ecology and Conservation

Macaws are very messy eaters - their extremely strong beaks are perfectly adapted for eating all sorts of nuts and seeds, as seen in their ability to crack open incredibly hard-shelled nuts (such as Brazil nuts) with ease. 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.

Macaws are very messy eaters - their extremely strong beaks are perfectly adapted for eating all sorts of nuts and seeds, as seen in their ability to crack open incredibly hard-shelled nuts (such as Brazil nuts) with ease. 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.

They are also popular in the pet trade, going easily for as much as $1500.

The green-winged macaw is extinct in some parts of its range, including Argentina.

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.


Bibliography

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.

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