Macaws are New World parrots, or Neotropical parrots that are generally very colorful, with long tails and are found in all sizes, from small to large. The Macaw is usually found in warm climates in countries like Central America, South America, Mexico and even the Caribbean, in the past. These birds prefer tropical climate which is why you can find them specifically in rainforests or woodland habitats. One way to distinguish a macaw is by analyzing its face and beak; the beaks will be large and in dark colors, mostly black, whereas the plumage on their faces will be light colored. The light feather patch on a macaw’s face can be bright yellow, but other colors as well. What’s truly interesting is that the light-colored patch on any macaw’s face is unique, much like a fingerprint.
Like mentioned above, the macaw can come in various sizes, and some breeds are actually impressive through their large size. One such bird is the Hyacinth Macaw, with its intense blue color and bright yellow patches on the cheeks. The Buffon’s is the heaviest macaw out there, though out of the parrot family, the heaviest is the Kakapo. However, the Kakapo doesn’t fly. Out of the true parrot family (Psittacidae genera), six breeds are macaws and they are: Diopsittaca, Ara, Anodorhynchus, Cyanopsitta, Orthopsittaca and Primolius. Out of these sub-families, the last three are among the smaller ones, the smallest being the Red-shouldered Macaw.
Counting endangered species as well as extinct species, there are 999 species of Macaws documented. There are other speculative species as well, but because they are extinct and little information is known about them they are not added to the number. Some of the species of macaws are only alive in captivity or reservation, due to poaching or destroyed natural habitats. The macaw is generally a very beautiful bird in any species due to its brightly colored plumage which can range from deep blue – like the Hyacinth Macaw – or with combinations of orange, green, yellow, blue, red and others.
The macaw is not a very popular household pet, not because it is not liked, but because they are difficult to get by and they require very special care in order to thrive in captivity. Macaws like to eat fruits, palm leaves, nuts, flowers, seeds, palm fruits and others. It has also been noticed by specialists that in Peru, close to breeding season, macaws like to eat clay. They have not managed to conclude precisely why they do that, but it might have something to do with the sodium found in large amounts in the type of clay they prefer.
Macaw Pictures Gallery