The life cycle of a macaw begins when a baby bird hatches out of an egg in its parents' nest after 1 month of incubation. A juvenile macaw reaches maturity between 3 and 6 years after hatching then finds a mate. These tropical birds live between 30 and 35 years in the wild, and some live up to 50 years in captivity.
Juvenile macaws first fly out of the nest about 3 months after hatching. Young birds leave the nest permanently about a year later. Juveniles look just like their parents, except younger birds have shorter tails and darker eyes.
Macaws are monogamous and mate for life. When the mother incubates the eggs in the nest, the father finds food and brings it back to the nest. These birds dine on fruit, snails and insects. Macaws do not necessarily mate every year because they live for several decades, although a mating pair may lay several clutches of eggs over a lifetime together. Macaws usually breed between October and April.
There are 17 species of macaws, many of which are endangered or threatened due to habitat loss in tropical rainforests. These birds live in flocks of 10 to 30 individuals and communicate through a series of squawks, screams and calls.