Mexican Military Macaw

Mexican Military Macaw

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Mexican military macaw, Mexican green macaw
Psittacidae (true parrots)
Genus Species
Ara (macaw) militaris mexicana

Fast Facts

The Mexican military macaw is a medium-sized macaw with mostly green plumage except for a red frontal band and a blue tinge on the back of head. The beak is black with a pale tip, the iris is yellow, and the feet are gray.
Approximately 70 cm (27.6 in.)
Approximately 900 g (31.7 oz)
Includes seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries
Approximately 26 days
Clutch Size: 1–2 eggs
Fledging Duration: 12 weeks
Sexual Maturity
2–4 years
Life Span
50–60 years
Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina
Inhabits arid and semi-arid regions
Global: Less than 10,000
IUCN: Vulnerable
CITES: Appedix I
USFWS: Vulnerable

Fun Facts

  1. 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.
  2. In the wild, macaws often flock to mountains of clay known as "macaw licks."
  3. Macaws are playful and inquisitive and are able to mimic human vocalizations very well.
  4. Macaws are extremely messy eaters – their incredibly 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 with ease.
  5. Macaws are able to reach speeds of up to 56 kph (35 mph).

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 generating much of the forest growth.

These birds suffer from deforestation. Humans destroy many of their nests and natural factors such predators, storms, illnesses, parasites, and competition for nesting cavities with other species including African bees.

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. 

Low, R. Macaws, A Complete Guide. London. Merehurst.

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 International (2008) Species factsheet: Ara militaris. Downloaded from on 26/8/2008.