Buffon's macaw, Great military macaw
The great green macaw (Ara ambiguus ), also known as Buffon's macaw or the great military macaw, is a Central and South American parrot found in Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador. Two allopatric subspecies are recognized; the nominate subspecies, Ara ambiguus ssp. ambiguus, occurs from Honduras to Colombia, while Ara ambiguus ssp. guayaquilensis appears to be endemic to remnants of dry forests on the southern Pacific coast of Ecuador. The nominate subspecies lives in the canopy of wet tropical forests and in Costa Rica is usually associated with the almendro tree, Dipteryx oleifera.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
A frugivore is an animal that thrives mostly on raw fruits or succulent fruit-like produce of plants such as roots, shoots, nuts, and seeds. Approx...
Seed predation, often referred to as granivory, is a type of plant-animal interaction in which granivores (seed predators) feed on the seeds of pla...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
Flocking birds are those that tend to gather to forage or travel collectively. Avian flocks are typically associated with migration. Flocking also ...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Great green macaws are the largest parrots in their natural range. They are mainly green in color and have a reddish forehead and pale blue lower back, rump, and upper tail feathers. The tail is brownish-red tipped with very pale blue. The bare facial skin is patterned with lines of small dark feathers, which are reddish in older and female parrots. Juveniles have grey-colored eyes instead of black, are duller in color, and have shorter tails that are tipped in yellow.
Great green macaws are found in Central and South America ranging from Honduras to western Ecuador. They don't migrate seasonally and live in dry tropical forests, and evergreen rainforests, and in some areas prefer humid woodlands.
Great green macaws are diurnal and social birds. They are usually seen in pairs or small groups of up to four to eight individuals, very rarely more. In Costa Rica, after the breeding season, Great green macaws gather in flocks and migrate towards the coasts in search of food. In Costa Rica, these flocks usually consist of up to 18 birds. Great green macaws are arboreal; they rest and forage in the upper areas of the canopy. These are very noisy birds especially when in flight and their extremely loud, raucous "aak, raak" can be heard at great distances.
Great green macaws are monogamous and form strong pair bonds for life. Their breeding season starts in December and ends in June in Costa Rica, and from August to October in Ecuador. Pairs nest in cavities high up in the trunk, near the crown of the tree. The female lays a clutch of 2-3 eggs and incubates them for 26 days. Chicks hatch weighing 23g, can fly after 12-13 weeks and are weaned after 18-20 weeks when they weigh over 900g. After fledging juveniles stay with their parents as a family unit for a significant amount of time, only separating gradually from them. Young birds, at least in captivity, become mature after 5 years and start breeding after 6 or 7 years.
The main threat to the survival of the Great green macaw was habitat loss. It is estimated that between 1900 and 2000 some 90% of the original habitat has been lost in Costa Rica. Private land not owned by the government is or has been developed into agricultural fields for the production of crops such as oil palm, pineapples, and bananas. As of 2015 Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve in Nicaragua is threatened by settlers moving into the reserve to found farms, especially for subsidence agriculture, oil palm, and cattle. Other threats have included hunting pressure for sport and feathers and the pet trade. In some areas, Great green macaws are considered pests on maize cultivation and are persecuted for that reason. They have also been killed for food.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total Great green macaw population size is around 500-1,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.
Due to their diet habits, Great green macaws may act as seed dispersers; they distribute seeds from various fruits, particularly the almond tree Almendro, which these birds are fond of the most.
This species is bred in captivity. A large enclosure of 15m in length is recommended for housing outside of the breeding season. The aviary should have a large tree trunk in the middle. It should not be kept indoors all the time. Healthy birds enjoy large chewable toys and weekly decorations of fresh branches of pine or eucalyptus in their enclosure. An overhead mister is needed for bathing. A recommended nest box is a 21in x 36in barrel. Different sources recommend different feeding regimes for captive birds. Important is soaked and/or sprouted seeds, as well as some fresh vegetables and fruit, along with nutritionally complete standard commercial macaw pellets. Larger seeds, peanuts, acorns and other larger nuts are recommended, as well as a daily palm nut. It is best to sometimes supply some small bits of gravel to aid in digestion, and some extra calcium at regular times (especially for females). It is prone to biting people if not properly adjusted to humans from a young age.