Saturday, 2 February 2013

Blue And Yellow Macaw

order : Psittaciformes      Genus & Species : Psittacidae     Family : Ara ararauna

Although the blue-and-yellow macaw is a familiar sight in exotic collections, zoologists are only now piecing together knowledge of the lifestyle and habits of the bird in the wild. Despite its dandyish plumage, the blue-and-yellow macaw is remarkably well camouflaged in its rainforest habitat. They found in Central and South America, from eastern Panama south through the Amazon basin to northern Bolivia and southeastern Brazil; also on Trinidad. 

Habitat : The blue-and-yellow macaw is a bird of the treetops, spending most of its time in the upper canopy.Throughout its range, it shows a preference for trees close to water, finding ideal conditions near rainforest lakes and rivers, in seasonally flooded forests, palm-filled swamps and in the forests that line the rivers flowing through drier savannah habitats. The species is less common in hilly terrain and is found in only a few places above 1,650'. 
Food & Feeding : Flocks of macaws leave their roosting site early in the morning in search of food. Studies in Guyana have shown that flocks fly for long distances to feed, especially when a favorite food, such as the fruit of the jabillo tree, is in season.When feeding, a flock is silent and each bird hides among high branches, giving its presence away only by a shower of dislodged twigs, leaves and discarded food. Unlike most birds, the blue-and-yellow macaw favors unripe seeds and fruit, despite these items often being protected by tough skins and unpalatable chemicals. 
Behavior : The blue-and-yellow macaw spends much time under the cover of canopy foliage or fronds of tall palms to avoid being detected by large eagles — its main predators. When it takes to the air, its rich colors and screeching calls make it highly conspicuous; to compensate, it flies quickly and directly through the trees. Most blue-and-yellow macaws live in pairs or family groups. Pairs may join other blue-and-yellow macaws to form flocks, especially at feeding or roosting sites and during trips to and from these areas. Large congregations also gather at clay-licks: cliffs of bare clay exposed by river erosion. Here, the macaws cling to the surface and nibble pieces of clay. This may help detoxify the potentially harmful chemicals in some food, especially unripe fruits, which produce toxins for their defense. Clay may also provide essential minerals, such as calcium, that are otherwise lacking from the bird’s diet. 
Breeding : The breeding season of the blue-and-yellow macaw varies across its tropical range. The normal clutch is two white eggs, which the female incubates alone for four weeks. Chicks hatch blind and featherless, and spend three months in the nest hole until they’re fledged. Even after they fledge, they remain with their parents for up to a year and breed only after another two or three years. 

Bill : The heavy, hooked bill is extremely powerful and easily capable of cracking tough nutshells. 
Face : Unlike most other parrots, macaws have bare, or lightly feathered, faces.The pattern of dark lines on the face is unique to individual birds. 
Plumage : Vivid blue upper-parts contrast with bright yellow underparts and help camouflage the macaw among the sun-dappled foliage of the forest canopy. 
Tail : The very long tail helps the macaw balance while it perches high in the upper forest canopy. 
Feet : In common with all parrots, the feet have two backward-pointing and two forward pointing toes.This provides the macaw with a secure grip on branches and bark as well as the ability to manipulate food. 

Weight : 1.5–2 lbs. 
Length : 3'
Wingspan : 2.5-3' 
Sexual Maturity : 3-4 years
Breeding Season : Varies with location

The blue-and-yellow macaw’s bill is so strong and powerfully muscled that it can crack open the hardest Brazil nut.

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