What Are Some Interesting Facts About Macaws?


Quick Answer

There are 17 species of macaws, several of which scientists consider endangered. Of these species, the glaucus macaw and Spix's macaw are potentially extinct. Macaws are the largest of the parrots and weigh up to 4 pounds. The Hyacinth Macaw reaches up to 3 feet in length and has a 5-foot wingspan. Macaws use their large beaks and the bones in their tongue to forage for food.

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Full Answer

Macaws are native to the rainforests of Mexico, Central America and South America. These intelligent birds are popular as pets, which has contributed to their demise in the wild. The loss of habitat due to deforestation further contributes to the loss of these birds. As of 2014, attempts to release more of the birds in the wild from private collections have proved unsuccessful.

Macaws live on a diet high in fruits and nuts. Some eat moist soil, a habit scientists believe helps them to neutralize the contents of their stomach. They use their powerful beaks to break through seeds and nuts, and some of them have a large and powerful enough beak to crack a coconut.

The bright plumage of the macaw helps to camouflage them in the rain forests where there are brightly colored flowers, fruit and green plumage. Macaws return to the canopy of the forest each night to roost, but they may travel several miles each day to forage for ripe fruit.

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