Blue-Throated Macaw

ANIMAL:
Blue-Throated Macaw Ara glaucogularis

Type of Animal:
Parrot

Habitat:
Palm tree areas, tree islands (especially palm trees), forest islands, savanna, grassland, forests, swamps, marshes, agricultural areas-areas where these habitats meet

Location(s):
N.C. Bolivia in Beni department

Appearance:
Turquoise-blue upper feathers, blue crown, yellow belly, blue throat, dark beak, long tail, similar-looking but smaller than Blue & Gold Macaw

Food/Diet:
Seeds, nuts, fruit, berries, grains, leaves

Status in Wild:
Critically Endangered

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & aviculture. Captive breeding reducing demand for wild-caught birds. Creation of Barba Azul Nature Reserve in 2008 to protect this species. Use of artificial feathers rather than real feathers for traditional dances.

Lifestyle:
Flocks range from 2-70 birds. Larger flocks more prevalent in past. Monogamous pairs breed solitarily or in small colonies.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Flock

Weight:
Male: 2 lbs
Female: 1.65 lbs
Young: 0.7 oz

Gestation:
1 month

Life Span:
35-50 years in wild, up to 70 years in captivity

Height:
2.5 ft

Body Length:
2.5 ft

Tail Length:
2 ft

Main predators of adults are raptors, large snakes, caimans, coatis, tayra, & capuchin monkeys. Smaller raptors, toco toucans, & snakes prey on chicks.

Critically endangered due to pet trade, habitat loss, logging, hunting for feathers for use as headdresses, small range, persecution as crop pests, & flooding.

Sexually mature at 2-3 years old.

Strong beaks easily crack open nuts.

Females lay 1-3 eggs.

Preferred nesting areas are palm tree cavities (especially Motacu palms). These macaws compete w/ other species for these coveted nesting areas. Some animals they compete with include larger macaw species as well as other pairs of blue-throats, toco toucans (who also eat chicks), large woodpeckers, bees, owls, & bats.

Due to diet, they play an important role in seed dispersal.

While critically endangered, populations increasing, now numbering around 500 individuals.

They have a 3 ft wingspan.

Chicks may stay w/ parents for up to a year.

Fun Fact(s):
These birds thought to be extinct in the wild until 1992, when wild population of around 50 birds rediscovered.

Known as Barba Azul meaning ‘bluebeard’ in native Bolivia.

Like other macaws, they can be very loud.

These birds sometimes appear in the pet trade & are very expensive due to rarity.

These macaws tend to be rather cautious.

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