Macaw

Green-Winged Macaw

Ara chloropterus

See them at the Zoo

Quick Facts

Body Length: 10 to 12 inches; tail length: 2 feet, total body length: 35 to 37 inches
Weight: 3 to 4 pounds
Distribution: Panama to souther Brazil and Paraguay
Habitat: Tropical rainforests and savannas
Wild Diet: Seasonal fruits, nuts, and seeds
Zoo Diet: Commercial "Parrot Pellets," a variety of fruits and vegetables, and sunflower seeds for enrichment; peanuts as a reward during training sessions

The birds on exhibit are offspring of our former breeding pair. They were hand-raised by the keeper staff; however, they are not tame. The birds are trained to come off and on exhibit with the keeper. They stay in the exhibit on the perches because they have another bird to keep them company, have food, and feel comfortable. Their nails and beak are trimmed as needed by the keepers and the birds are misted frequently to keep the plumage in good condition.

Description

Green-winged macaws have a wingspan of 3.5 to 4 feet and have a red head, breast, and shoulders, with green upper wing covert feathers. Their back, rump, and upper- and under- tail coverts are light blue. Their outer flight feathers are dark blue. The area near the eyes is nearly naked with lines of small red feathers. Green-winged macaws have a large, hooked beak for cracking open seeds and nuts and a large, coordinated tongue used to position food.

Status in the Wild

Green-winged macaws are affected by habitat loss and the pet trade, although laws in recent years have helped. Though some populations are declining, the range of the species is so large that the overall status of the species is difficult to assess. These birds are currently being studied in the wild. Nest boxes made of PVC pipe have been put up in some study areas to increase site availability. Second chicks are being collected and successfully raised to help increase the population. Ecotourism is helping to educate and focus attention on the problems that macaws face.

Conservation Programs

Listed as of "least concern" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).


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