Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus - Hyacinth Macaw

Photo: Copyright © by Sergio Gregorio via Instagram @sergiogregoriophoto

Hyacinth Macaw – Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus (Latham, 1790) – is a large blue macaw with long tail and large, powerful beak. With a length of 100 cm it is not only the largest of all macaws but the largest of all parrot species.

Illegal pet trade, hunting and habitat destruction has caused a major decline in the wild population. Previously the IUCN Red List listed this species as Endangered but in 2014 it was downlisted to Vulnerable as the decline luckily is less rapid as previously believed.

They are listed in CITES Appendix I and EU Annex A; they are protected under Brazilian and Bolivian law and banned from export in all countries of origin.

They are rare among breeders and require a very large aviary due to its size; the aviary should be at least 12-15 m long and with a height of 4-5 m. The aviary should be constructed from stainless steel or aluminium to avoid destruction by the powerful beak!

They are vigorous chewers so provide plenty of chew toys and bird-safe branches.

They have loud, raucous croaking and screeching calls which your neighbours may not appreciate!

Lifespan is 30-50 years or older.

Description

Large cobalt blue macaw with bare yellow facial skin bordering the lower mandible. Black underwings. Long tail and huge black bill. The eyes are dark brown with a orange-yellow eye ring. The legs are dark grey but older adults have lighter grey or white legs.

Immatures have a shorter tail and the bare facial skin is paler yellow.

Length: 100 cm

Similar species:

  • Glaucous Macaw –Anodorhynchus glaucus – is smaller and paler and with a greyish blue head.
  • Lear’s Macaw – Anodorhynchus leari – is smaller and paler blue (especially head); the bare yellow facial skin is a different shape.

Photo: Copyright © by Sergio Gregorio via Instagram @sergiogregoriophoto

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Subspecies

None.

Habitat

South America: From central Brazil to south-eastern Bolivia and north-eastern Paraguay.

The Hyacinth Macaw prefers palm swamps, semiopen woodlands; it usually avoids dense humid forests.

Diet

The strong beak can easily break the hard nuts from the various palms that provide the main part of the diet. They also feed on fruits.

Aviculture

They were rare in captivity until the 1970’s but is more common now thanks to successful breeding. They are however more difficult to breed than smaller parrot species.

The clutch contains 2 – 3 eggs that are incubated for 28 days. The chicks reach fledging age after 14 weeks.

For more information see: Breeding large macaws.

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Taxonomy

  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Anodorhynchus

Synonyms

  • Danish: Hyacintara, Hyacint Ara
  • English: Hyacinth Macaw, , Hyacinthine Macaw
  • French: Ara hyacinthe
  • German: Hyazinthara, Hyathinzara
  • Portuguese: Arara-azul, Arara-azul-grande, Arara-hiacinta, Arara-preta, Arara-roxa, Arara-una, Canindé
  • Spanish: Guacamayo Azul, Guacamayo Jacinto, Papagayo azul
  • Scientific: Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus

IUCN Red List

BirdLife International 2016. Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22685516A93077457.
https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22685516A93077457.en
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