The Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguous) is a large bird in the parrot family. It is also known as the Buffon’s Macaw or the Great Military Macaw. It is related to the Scarlet Macaw, the Military Macaw, and the Blue-and-Yellow Macaw.
The Great Green Macaw has mainly green feathers and a reddish forehead, with a pale-blue lower back, rump and upper tail feathers. Its tail is brownish-red tipped with very pale blue. Its bare, featherless facial skin is patterned with lines of short spikes, which are reddish in older parrots and female parrots. It has bluish eyes with a white eye-ring. It has a large, strong grey beak.
The Scarlet Macaw, like other parrots, has its first and fourth toes pointing backwards.
It grows to 85-90 centimetres (33-36 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 110 centimetres (44 inches).
It is native to Central and South America, in countries such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador. It prefers the tree tops in wet, tropical rain forests.
It migrates in flocks to look for food. It forages over 100 kilometres (62 miles) in search of seasonal food. It eats seeds, nuts, fruit, flowers, roots, and tree bark.
The Great Green Macaw is usually seen in pairs or small groups of up to 8 individuals.
It is monogamous, mating for life. It nests in holes in tall trees. The female lays 2-3 eggs, which hatch after 26 days. One parent sits on the eggs. Both parents raise the young, called chicks. The chicks can fly after 12-13 weeks.
The Great Green Macaw can live, on average, for 50-60 years.
[Location of photographs: Paris Jardin du Plantes Zoo, France]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM