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Blue and Gold Macaw & Green-winged Macaw

Baby Blue & Maxwell - Feb 03

Baby Blue & Maxwell - Feb 03
Maxwell - Feb 03

Blue & Gold Macaw

Latin name:
Ara ararauna

The Blue and Gold Macaw is one of the larger species of Macaw. They are about 34 inches long. Their forehead and forecrown are green with the remainder upperparts and upper side of tail a rich blue. They have creamy white cheeks and their underparts are yellow. Macaws have huge, strong, beaks. Their beak also serves as a hand, and is used extensively when climbing. They are said to be able to exert about 40 pounds of pressure with their beak.

They have 4 toes on each foot, each of which ends in a long, curved toe nail. The 2 outer toes curve forward while the 2 inner toes curve backward. This gives a Macaw an excellent grasp of its perch or branch. There are locking tendons in its lower ankle area which lock when sleeping and prevent the bird falling.

Their sense of smell is thought to be poor, but their vision and tactile sense are excellent.

Because of the wide distribution of the Blue and Gold Macaw, it is thought to be more adaptable to various environments in comparison to other Macaws (that are only found in localized areas). They associate in pairs and even when large flocks are observed, paired birds are discernible as they fly close together, their wings almost touching. They are generally seen flying above the forest canopy. At the approach of danger they rise into the air screeching loudly. Macaws live in flocks in the wild and are intensely social birds - mating for life.