The glaucous macaw (Anodorhynchus glaucus) is a very rare large pale turquoise-blue parrot originating from South America. It is one of the macaw species, a group of large-size parrots. Despite being Critically Endangered, the glaucous macaw is thought to be possibly extinct mainly due to human activities resulting in habitat loss. The last reliable sightings of this species occurred during the 1960s in the range of Paraguay, Argentina, Southern Brazil, and Uruguay.
The glaucous macaw (Anodorhynchus glaucus) is a neotropical parrot that belongs to a big group called macaws. It is closely related to other macaw species like lear's macaw (Anodorhynchus leari), Spix's macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii), and hyacinth macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus).
What class of animal does a Glaucous Macaw belong to?
The glaucous macaw is a kind of bird and a member of the Psittacidae family, one of the three families of true parrots. There are roughly 350 species in this family which includes a variety of small to large colorful parrot birds.
How many Glaucous Macaws are there in the world?
The population of this blue parrot is close to extinction. It is believed that there are only less than 20 glaucous macaws remaining in the world.
Where does a Glaucous Macaw live?
The glaucous macaw is a very rare South American parrot, originally discovered in the subtropical forest ranges of Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil.
What is a Glaucous Macaw's habitat?
Glaucous macaws were spotted mostly near rivers and cliffs of subtropical forests within their range. Since their major food source is palm nuts, these parrots are also likely to reside in lightly wooded areas where palm trees are abundant.
Who do Glaucous Macaws live with?
Macaws are very sociable birds and live together in flocks. Some species would live together with 30 other birds in a flock. Living in groups also serves as a protection against predators including snakes and larger birds. However, since only a small number of glaucous macaws are left in the world, there is not much specific information on their lifestyle and behavior. They may be living alone, in pairs, or with a flock of other birds.
How long does a Glaucous Macaw live?
In general, large parrots can live up to 50-80 years. The glaucous macaw is believed to have the same life expectancy but because of its very small population, there is no actual data on how long it can survive in the wild. Nevertheless, it was reported to have lived for more than 20 years in captivity.
How do they reproduce?
The breeding habits of a glaucous macaw are quite similar to that of other macaw species like the hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus). Most parrot species are monogamous and spend their lives with only one mating partner. Parrots exhibit behavioral changes during the mating season which include territorial cues, excessive biting, loud screaming, and plucking of feathers. These physical displays are done to please their potential partner. Just like other bird species, macaws lay eggs in a nest, sometimes in holes and rock formations on cliffs. Glaucous macaws breed all year round and are said to have one or two eggs per season.
What is their conservation status?
The glaucous macaw is declared Critically Endangered by the IUCN. It was classified as Extinct in the late 1960s but was reverted back to being Endangered after persistent reports of recent sightings in the 20th century.
Glaucous Macaw Fun Facts
What do Glaucous Macaws look like?
The term 'glaucous' pertains to the color of this bird's plumage. The glaucous macaw (Anodorhynchus Glaucus) is an alluring bird covered in pale turquoise-blue feathers with a grayish head, a long tail, and a large bill. It has a unique yellow eye-ring and yellow lappets by its lower bill or mandible.
How cute are they?
Despite being one of the largest parrot species, glaucous macaws can be very cute. Their pale-turquoise blue plumage is very distinct and can be mesmerizing to look at.
How do they communicate?
Macaws are very loud creatures who communicate by chirping, squawking, and yanking tail feathers. Screaming is basically their natural call, which they exhibit when mating or when defining territories. Just like other parrot species, glaucous macaws have the ability to imitate surrounding sounds including human words.
How big is a Glaucous Macaw?
Glaucous macaws can measure up to 27.5 - 28.5 in (70 - 72 cm) from head to tail. That's slightly longer than the average length of a human arm!
How fast can a Glaucous Macaw fly?
There is not much information on the flight behaviors of glaucous macaws, but most parrots can fly at an average speed of 40-50 mph. The hyacinth macaw, a closely related species, can only reach speeds of up to 35 mph because of its biological structure.
How much does a Glaucous Macaw weigh?
Macaws are large parrots that can weigh up to 2-2.5lb (1-1.2 kg) on average. Hyacinth macaws, on the other hand, are said to be the largest species in this family and can weigh up to 1.7 kg.
What are the male and female names of the species?
There are no specific names for male and female glaucous macaws, however, generally, male birds are called cocks, and females are called hens.
What would you call a baby Glaucous Macaw?
There is no particular name for the baby glaucous macaw. Their young can be simply referred to as chicks.
What do they eat?
With their large beaks, glaucous macaws are able to crack open palm nuts like yatay palm (butia yatay). This has been their primary food source but they also enjoy soft and hard fruits, berries, and vegetables.
Are they dangerous?
Wild macaws can be very aggressive and can pose physical danger to humans. Their beaks are not only large but are also so strong that they can break a knuckle or even scoop an eye out! Macaws in captivity are trainable though and can be gentle around people.
Would they make a good pet?
It may be quite entertaining at home but having glaucous macaws as pets can be quite tedious. First, it requires extensive noise tolerance as these are very loud species, especially during the breeding season. Second, you would need a large space to house them as they need ample room to play and move around. Lastly, you would need to allocate so much time and attention because macaws can be very clingy to their humans. Unless you are an experienced bird owner, it is not ideal to have glaucous macaws as pets in a typical home. It may also be illegal in some regions to keep glaucous macaws in captivity with its conservation status still being Critically Endangered according to the IUCN.
Did you know...
The family of macaws has the highest number of extinct bird species, including the blue macaw, which was the inspiration for the movie 'Rio'. Other macaw species believed to still exist are listed as Critically Endangered, including the glaucous macaw.
Why are Glaucous Macaws endangered?
The decline in the population of Glaucous Macaws was mainly brought by several human activities -including the widespread destruction of palm groves and settlement on major river basins within its range, which both result in habitat loss. Illegal trapping for bird trade has also made a huge impact on the existence of this species as humans would hunt them for their eggs, feathers, and skin. Other possible causes of their population decrease are disease outbreaks and predation.
How to pronounce Glaucous Macaw?
Glaucous macaw is pronounced as ˈɡlôkəs məˈkô', or 'glauw-cuss ma-caw'.
The term 'Glaucous' is derived from the Greek word 'glaucus', which means grayish-blue or gray. It is used to describe plant and bird species with pale gray or bluish-green coloration. Aside from the glaucous macaw, other species with this name are the glaucous-winged gull and the glaucous tanager.
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