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Blue and Gold Macaw (Ara Ararauna)

DIET: Fruits, vegetable matter, seeds, nuts, leaves, bark, small animal life

REGION: South America

TYPE: Bird

SIZE: 30 – 34 inches (76.2 – 86.36 cm) WEIGHT: 2 – 3 lbs (0.90 – 1.36 kg)

HABITAT: Rainforests, high in trees especially along swamps and rivers

LIFESPAN: 30 – 50 years in the wild. Over 50 years in captivity

Macaws vocalize to communicate within the flock, mark territory, and identify one another. Some species can even mimic human speech. They use their beaks as an aid in both eating and as a third foot when climbing. Food is obtained using the strong beak that is also used to crush the seeds and to open nuts. They can exert tremendous pressure with their beaks.

Blue and Gold Macaws are generally seen in pairs but may congregate with others to form flocks of up to 30 birds. Paired birds fly close together with their wings almost touching. They undertake conspicuous daily flights from their roosting sites to scattered feeding grounds, but return to the roosting trees just before sunset by flying high above the forest canopy. Blue and Gold Macaws are extremely wary; and, at the slightest sign of danger, will rise into the air screeching loudly.