- Common Name: Buffon’s macaw, great green macaw
- Kingdom : Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Psittaciformes
- Family: Psittacidae (true parrots)
- Genus Species: Ara (macaw) ambiguus
Macaws are often monogamous, remaining bonded for life.
In the wild, macaws often flock to mountains of clay known as ‘macaw licks.’
When disturbed, these bright birds screech loudly and circle overhead with their long tails streaming.
These birds produce loud squawks and growls, and a creaking “aaa” call.
Macaws are messy eaters and their incredibly strong beaks are perfectly adapted for eating all sorts of nuts and seeds, as seen in their ability to crack open incredibly hard-shelled nuts with ease.
Macaws are able to reach speeds of up to 56 kph (35 mph).
Ecology and Conservation
The Buffon’s Macaw qualifies as Endangered because extensive habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade are suspected to have caused very rapid and continuing population declines. These threats have had such a significant impact that it is very rare in four out of six range states, and the total population is now suspected to be small.
In 1990, Defenders of Wildlife began a campaign in which more than 100 commercial airlines agreed to stop transporting birds. This stopped the delivery of new birds to dealers and forced them to breed the captive species that they already had.
In 1995 the Wild Bird Conservation Act was enacted and it halted the import of endangered birds. The U.S. Wild Bird Act forbids the commercial import of any bird listed by CITES which includes most parrots, which are endangered or threatened.
These macaws may help foster new forest growth by dropping seeds in their excrement or while feeding.
Forshaw, J.M. Parrots of the World. New Jersey. T.F.H. Publications Inc. 1978.
Marrison, C. and A. Greensmith. Birds of the World. New York: Dorling Kindersley, Inc. 1993.
BirdLife International. 2016. Ara ambiguus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22685553A93079606. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22685553A93079606.en. Downloaded on 27 February 2019.