Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth Macaw

Scientific Classification

Common Name
hyacinth macaw
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Psittaciformes
Family
Psittacidae (true parrots)
Genus Species
Anodorhynchus (toothless beak) hyacinthinus (blue)

Fast Facts

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 lbs.)
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
Sexual Maturity
2–4 years
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
Population
Global: 2,500–10,000
Status 
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Appendix I
USFWS: Endangered

Fun Facts

  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 able to reach flight speeds of up to 56 kph (35 mph).
  8. Macaws eat palm nuts only after the nuts have passed through the digestive system of a cow.

Ecology and Conservation

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, 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.

birdlife.org/datazone/search/species_search.html