The Blue-and-yellow Macaw Ara ararauna, also known as the Blue-and-gold Macaw, is a member of the group of large Neotropical parrots known as macaws. It breeds in forest (especially varzea, but also in open sections of Terra Firme) and woodland of tropical South America from Trinidad and Venezuela south to Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. It barely extends into Central America, where restricted to Panama. It is an endangered species in Trinidad, has probably been extirpated from western Ecuador, and is on the verge of being extirpated from Paraguay, but still remains widespread and fairly common in a large part of mainland South America. It is therefore listed as Least Concern by BirdLife International.
It can reach 76-86 cm (29.9-33.9 inches) long and weigh 900 to 1300 g (2-3 lbs), making it one of the biggest parrots in the world. It is vivid in appearance with blue wings and tail, dark blue chin, golden under parts and a green forehead. Its beak is black, and very strong for crushing nuts. The naked face is white, turning pink in excited birds, and lined with small black feathers.
There is little variation in plumage across the range. Some birds have a more orangey or “butterscotch” underside color, particularly on the breast. This was often seen in Trinidad birds and others of the Caribbean area, and appears to be due to environmental factors. The Blue-and-yellow Macaw uses its powerful beak for breaking nutshells, and also for climbing up and hanging from trees.
The Blue-and-yellow Macaw generally mates for life. It nests in a tree hole and the female typically lays two or three eggs. The female incubates the eggs for about 28 days, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 90 days after hatching. Wikipedia
Dreher Park Zoo, Palm Beach, FL
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