flowers and fruits
Blue macaws are some of the world’s rarest birds. They are threatened by excessive trapping for the illegal pet trade and habitat destruction.
Also known as the little blue macaw, the Spix’s macaw and its conservation issues inspired the movie ‘Rio’! This species is believed to be extinct in the wild excessive trapping for the illegal wildlife trade and human encroachment on its dry scrubland or caatinga habitat in northeast Brazil. There are just over 150 Spix’s macaws in the world and all are under human care.
Named after English painter, Edward Lear, this macaw is limited to a very small area in northeast Brazil. It feeds almost exclusively on nuts from the Licuri palm found in its dry thornscrub habitat, also known as caatinga. The Lear’s macaw prefers to nest and sleep in red sandstone cliffs, and we spared no efforts in recreating a similar environment using artificial rockwork, complete with nest holes, to provide a natural home for the birds.
The hyacinth macaw is the longest parrot in the world and can grow up to one metre in length. These birds pair and mate with the same partner for life.
A macaw’s beak can crack the hardest nut and even crush your finger. Its flexible and scaly tongue contains a bone. Palm nuts are among the toughest nuts but some macaws feed specifically on them. These birds have found the perfect way to enjoy their nuts without too much beak gnashing. They search through pasture land, looking for palm nuts that have been eaten by cattle and passed out with the tough outer shells removed. Make no mistake - macaws are very smart!
Macaws can be differentiated from other parrots just by looking at their bare facial patches. Many species also have tiny, black feathers on the facial patches that form unique patterns – just like our fingerprints!
With just over 150 Spix’s macaws left in the world, there is a need to save the species. The Brazillian government formed the working group in 2005 to implement a recovery plan.
In partnership with the working group, WRS funds the construction of the Spix’s macaw breeding and release centre, and the centre’s eventual operational costs.