Macaw, Blue-Throated

Macaw, Blue-Throated

Scientific Name: Ara glaucogularis

Status: Critically Endangered (IUCN 2018). Appendix I CITES.

Habitat: Blue-throated macaws are found in the wet tropical savannas of northern Bolivia. They live in small groups of 7–9 birds and often mingle with blue-and-yellow macaws.

Diet: Nuts and seeds are less prevalent in the blue-throated macaw’s diet than in other macaw species. These birds prefer feeding on palm fruits, particularly from the Motacu palm (Attalea phalerata).

Weight: 3.5 pounds

Trapping for the pet trade and habitat loss almost decimated the blue-throated macaw, and the species was believed to be extinct until a small population of 50 individuals was discovered in 1992. Thanks to conservation efforts, support from land owners, and bans on the importation of wild-caught parrots for the pet bird market, these beautiful macaws are slowly making a recovery. The global population is estimated to be between 300 and 400 individuals.

This species is part of an SSP, (species survival program), our pair are genetically valuable and we have donated thousands of dollars to an organization, (Bird Endowment/Nido Adoptivo), in Bolivia that installs nest boxes in their native habitat.

The species’ Spanish name, paraba barba azul, means “blue-bearded macaw.” Its namesake blue throat distinguishes it from the more common blue-and-yellow macaw.

Macaws are attracted to patches of clay exposed by erosion along river banks and inside forests. The clay contains kaolin and minerals that may help neutralize any toxic compounds found in the plant matter that makes up the bulk of their diet. These “clay licks” may attract hundreds of noisy, squabbling parrots and macaws. It is suggested that these gatherings may give the birds opportunities to share information about good feeding areas.

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