The largest parrot by length in the world, the Hyacinth Macaw is 100 cm (3.3 ft) long from the tip of its tail to the top of its
head. Habitat loss and trapping wild birds for the pet trade has taken a heavy toll on their population in the wild, and as a
result the species is classified as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, and it is
protected by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
The tail is long and pointed. Its feathers are entirely blue, lighter above and darker on its wings. It has a large black curved
beak. It has a lappet of bright-yellow bare skin on the left and right of its face adjacent to the base of its lower beak and an
eyering of yellow bare skin encircle each eye. Male and female are identical in external appearance, and juveniles resemble
adults except they have shorter tails and the yellow on their faces is paler.
The majority of the hyacinth macaw diet is nuts from native palms.
Nesting takes place between July and December, nests are constructed in tree cavities In the Pantanal region, 90% of nests
are constructed in the manduvi tree (Sterculia apetala). Hollows of sufficient size are only found in trees of around 60 years of
age or older, and competition is fierce. Existing holes are enlarged and the partially filled with wood chips. The clutch size is
one or two eggs although usually only one fledgling survives as the second egg hatches several days after the first, and the
smaller fledgling cannot compete with the first born for food.
Below, is a picture I took of a McCaw sitting on its nest about 50 feet from the ground.
Jackie and I spent two days in a bird hide in the southern Pantanal taking pictures of wild McCaws who were attracted to the
hide by palm nuts placed on a pole in front of the bird hide.
Please note that the area in the background of this picture would be under water during the wet season.
The adults arrived in pairs. At one point, there were 15 macaws
While the couples affectionately groomed each other, the immature macaws were raucous.
|The Pantanal 2011
These were the nuts that were placed in front of the hide to attract the Maccaws.