Blue and Yellow Macaw

Theme area:  La Hondonada
Scientific name:  Ara ararauna
Class:  Birds
Continent:  South America
Habitat:  Tropical forest
Diet:  Frugivorous
Weight:  0.9 - 1.8 kg
Size:  81 - 91 cm
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Found throughout the subtropical and tropical forests and savannahs of South and Central America and Mexico.

There is no sexual dimorphism, males and females look the same. They live mainly in monogamous pairs that mate for life, although they may congregate in groups to form flocks when foraging for food.  They nest in hollows made by other species in the upper parts of trees. Females lay 2 to 3 eggs and incubate them for 24 to 28 days. Once hatched, both males and females will care for and protect the chicks, although the female will be the only one to feed them through regurgitation during their first week. After this period, the male is once again involved in their feeding and care.

Their diet is based mainly on seeds, fruit and nuts, which they crack with their strong beaks. They sometimes consume clay, which allows them to digest the toxins from immature seeds they may have ingested. Their diet influences forest dynamics through seed dispersal.

Their main threats come from depletion of their habitat, pollution and the illegal pet trade, which have caused them to disappear from many parts of their native habitat. The species is listed in Appendix II of the CITES Convention, which regulates the trade of wildlife, as its main threat is trade, with over 50,000 wild specimens having been captured to be sold as pets over the past few years.

Conservation Status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


They can live up to 50 years, which, together with their size and complex behaviour, demands a great deal of commitment when choosing them as pets.
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