Ara ararauna

Description

The Blue and Gold Macaw is a large South American parrot with blue top parts and yellow under parts. It is a member of the large group of neotropical parrots known as macaws. They are vivid in appearance with blue wings and tail, dark-blue chin, golden under parts and a green forehead. Their beaks are black. The naked face is white, turning pink in excited birds, and lined with small, black feathers.

Diet

The Blue and Gold Macaw eat a variety of seeds, plant material, fruits and nuts. It uses its powerful beak for breaking nutshells, and for climbing up and hanging from trees.

Size

These birds can reach a length of 76-86cm and weigh 0.900 – 1.5kg.

Distribution

This species occurs in Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. The range extends slightly into Central America, where it is restricted to Panama.

Breeding

The Blue and Gold Macaw generally mates for life. They nest almost exclusively in dead palms and most nests are in Mauritia flexuosa palms. The female typically lays two or three eggs. The female incubates the eggs for about 28 days. One chick is dominant and gets most of the food; the others perish in the nest. The male bird’s colour signals readiness for breeding. The brighter the colours, the better chance of getting a mate.