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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Species Fact Profile: Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Hyacinth Macaw
Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus (Latham, 1790)

Range: Central South America
Habitat: Palm Savannah
Diet: Palm Nuts, Fruit
Social Grouping: Flocks of up to 30
Reproduction: Nest from July through December in tree cavities or on cliff faces. 2 eggs per clutch, but usually 1 survives to maturity.  Eggs incubated by female for 25-28 days while male tends to her.  Chicks fledge at 3 months, but dependent on parents until 6 months old.  Mature at about 7 years old
Lifespan: 40-50 Years (Estimate)
Conservation Status: IUCN Endangered, CITES Appendix II

  • The world's largest parrot, up to 100 centimeters in length (half of this length is made up of tail feathers).  Wingspan 117-127 centimeters, weight 1.2-1.7 kilograms
  • Sexes look alike with cobalt blue feathers, bare yellow skin around the eye, and a yellow patch of skin next to the lower bill; the bill is black
  • Travel long distances daily in search of food, keep in touch with loud squawks and screams, return of roosts at sunset
  • Feed on clay off of cliff faces, possibly to neutralize toxins found in their diet
  • Known to feed on nuts that have passed through digestive tracts of cattle
  • Adults have few predators; eggs may be taken by crows, jays, toucans, and coati
  • Use of tools has been observed in wild and captive birds, such as using leaves to help maintain a grip on slippery nuts
  • Major threat has been illegal collection of birds for the pet trade; also threatened by habitat loss for cattle ranching or damming 

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