Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Psittaciformes

Family: Arinae

Genus: Anodorhynchus

Species: hyacinthinus


Body and Skeletal Structure:

Hyacinth Macaw | Body StructureHyacinth Macaw | Skeletal Structure


Description:

Size:

Hyacinth macaws tend to be around 3.3 ft (1 m) long, and can range in weight from about 2 to 4 lbs (0.9-1.8 kg). These birds can also have a wingspan of about 4 ft (1.2 m). Like all macaws, their tail is very long and can be about half their whole body length.

Fun Fact: Hyacinth macaws are the largest parrots in the world.

Appearance:

Hyacinth macaws have cobalt blue feathers that often vary in places from light to dark blue. The colors blend in very nicely with each other to give this bird a magnificent appearance. They have wide eyes that are black in color and have a yellow ring circling around them. They also feature a patch of yellow under the chin. Their tail is particularly long, and their powerful grey-black bill is deeply curved and pointed.

Fun Fact:  A hyacinth macaw’s most prominent adaptation is its large and incredibly strong beak that is sometimes used as third foot to grasp onto trees.

Diet:

Hyacinth macaws are herbivorous birds that tend to eat nuts from native palms such as acuri and bocaiuva palms. These birds use their strong beaks to crack open the shells of these nuts. However, the acuri nut is so hard that the parrots cannot feed on it until it has passed through the digestive system of cattle. Though they are largely dependent on nuts, they will occasionally feed on small seeds, palm sprouts, fruits, and snails.

Fun Fact: The hyacinth macaw serves an important role in its ecosystem by dispersing seeds and nuts throughout its territory.

Typical Lifespan:

A hyacinth macaw’s lifespan is party unknown because it lives so long. However, it is estimated that they live around 50 years.


Blue-Hyacinth-Macaw-e1456721685933
Artwork by Jurgen Doelle.

Reproduction:

Mating Season: Year-round

Incubation Period: About 25-28 days

Clutch Size: 1-4 eggs  (Average: 2 eggs) (Only one bird tends to survive though.)

Fun Fact: Hyacinth macaws mate for life. 


Communication and Behavior:

Hyacinth macaws are very sociable and intelligent birds that offer a variety of calls to help them interact with each other (one of them is a harsh, guttural call which they emit when alarmed). These calls are commonly used when communicating with their young. These birds nest in tree hollows and cliffs, depending on their location. They are most active from morning to mid-afternoon, and are usually found to fly in groups of 2 to 8 individuals when flying to and from their feeding grounds. After feeding, they return home to their roosting trees around sunset and spend the night there.

Fun Fact: Blue macaws are often described as gentle giants, with gentle and loving personalities.


Habitat and Range:

These blue macaws can be found in a variety of habitats such as savannah grasslands, swamplands, as well as deciduous, woodland, and palm-grove forests.

Hyacinth Macaw Range


Conservation Status:

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As of now, hyacinth macaws are considered to be vulnerable, but they are still at risk of becoming endangered once again. They’re threatened by habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade. Even with some conservation efforts in place,  it is tough for them to increase in numbers.


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Artwork by Ekoru.

Resources:

Hyacinth Macaw | Wikipedia

Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus | The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) | ARKive

Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus | Animal Diversity Web

Hyacinth Macaw | The Animal Spot

Hyacinth Macaw | BioExpedition

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