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Macaw (Group)

Meet the World's Macaws

Macaws are a group of 17 species which share similar features. They are a parrot and have a large curved beak which can be used to crack open nuts and seeds. Their tail is long and extends out the end of the body.

These birds are often colorful in their appearance which would seem to stand out but blends well with the colorful fruits and flowers in their environment.


As a bird they have feathers covering their body. Color is highly variable among the different species.


They make their home in the trees with claws adapted for climbing. These claws also allow them to grab and pick up items. Most of the macaws nest in a tree hollow.


Macaws come together in a group (called a flock) of 10-30 birds to move through the forest together.

A young macaw is called a hatchling. Macaws provide high levels of care to their young and teach them how to survive. Often chicks remain with their parents for 6 months to a year.

Most species of macaw are threatened by extinction according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. They face threats from habitat destruction and trapping for the illegal wildlife trade.

It is believed that the glaucous and spix macaw's are already extinct in the wild.

scarlet macaw

A Scarlet Macaw

Diet

Macaws are herbivorous. The diet varies by species but often consists of fruits, flowers, berries, nuts and seeds.

Many macaws will ingest clay which is believed to neutralize poisons in some of the foods they eat.

Range

Macaws are found throughout South and Central America along with a range of islands in this region.

Record Breakers

World's Largest Macaw


The largest of the 17 macaw species is the hyacinth macaw which measures up to 1m (3.3ft) long. They are the largest flying parrot.

World's Smallest Macaw

At just 30cm (12in) long the Hahn's macaw is the smallest of the macaw species on Earth.

Blue and gold macaw

A Blue and Gold Macaw

Macaw Species - A full list of the 17 species

  • Glaucous Macaw
  • Hyacinth Macaw
  • Lear's Macaw
  • Spix's Macaw
  • Blue and Gold Macaw
  • Green Winged Macaw
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Military Macaw
  • Buffon's Macaw
  • Severe Macaw
  • Yellow Collared Macaw
  • Red Bellied Macaw
  • Illiger's Macaw
  • Blue Headed Macaw
  • Hahn's Macaw
  • Noble Macaw
  • Long Winged Macaw
hyacinth macaw

A Hyacinth Macaw

Species Profiles - A detailed fact file on some of the world's macaw species

References

Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK

Ambrose, J., 2015. Wildlife Of The World. 1st ed. London: Dorling Kindersley,

Animals.sandiegozoo.org. 2020. Macaw | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants. [online] Available at: <https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/macaw> [Accessed 31 July 2020].

Nationalgeographic.com. 2020. Macaws | National Geographic. [online] Available at: <https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/group/macaws/> [Accessed 31 July 2020].

Beautyofbirds.com. 2020. Miniature Or Mini Macaws: Listing Of Species And Photos | Beauty Of Birds. [online] Available at: <https://www.beautyofbirds.com/minimacawspecies.html> [Accessed 31 July 2020].

Animal World. 2020. Macaws. [online] Available at: <https://animal-world.com/encyclo/birds/macaws/macaws.htm> [Accessed 31 July 2020].

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