Blue and Gold Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw

Scientific name: Ara ararauna
Origin: Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay
Average Lifespan: 30 to 35 years
Size: 30 to 34 inches
Color: Yellow Gold
Sounds: Vocal communicator
Interaction: Highly social

Blue and gold macaw perching on a tree

Photo: Heather Paul | Flickr

Physical Characteristics of Blue and Gold Macaw

Praised for its beautiful appearance, this specie has blue tail and wings, green head, dark blue chin, and gold belly and under wings. Its face is white matched with pure black beak, while the upper body is marked with short black feathers.

Some Blue and Gold Macaw carries a brighter underside specifically on the chest and breast area. These varieties are often seen at the Caribbean and Trinidad area.

Its strong polished black beak is used for effectively breaking even the hardest nutshells. Furthermore, the beak is also suited for survival purposes like climbing trees and hanging on branches.

Personality and Temperament

Blue and Gold Macaw is a common choice as a family pet due to its striking appearance and perfect color combination. Aside from its irresistible physical beauty, it is also highly regarded for its talking ability. In addition, its friendly nature and high intelligence make it the best companion bird for any family especially with small children.

However, due to its larger body compared to other birds, creating the most comfortable accommodation and home environment for its needs will require some effort. Bird experts suggest that the space wherein this bird can move freely and fly around must not be less than 15 meters.

Although very friendly and accommodation, expect this specie to make some loud noises and screams from time to time. When kept in captivity, it will naturally make “flock calls” and loud vocalizations.

Another natural activity to expect is constant chewing that will probably turn into destructive results. Make sure its living environment is free from dangerous objects like live wires and small things that it can swallow.

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Upon reaching the age of 3 to 4 years, this bird is ready to breed. Family is a vital part of their lives that is why they pair for life while maintaining small family groups.

Health and Care

Blue and Gold Macaw’s diet consists of several varieties of nuts, plant materials, seeds, and fruits. To be able to sustain the nutrients needed by its large frame, bird food that contains a lot of fat is needed. Aside from the fact that it is naturally active, high levels of energy is required for activities like flying and climbing specially for those in the wild.

Fortunately for those kept as family pet, life expectancy is expected to be maximized as long as the right bird food such as nutri-meals and nutri-berries are given. Fresh fruits, vegetables and table food are also suitable.

Similar to most bird species, Blue and Yellow Macaws are prone to self-feather plucking and malnutrition. But the most common diseases this bird suffers from include Macaw Wasting Syndrome and overgrown beaks. If you notice even the earliest signs of any of these diseases and health issues, bring your pet bird to a certified veterinarian for proper check-up.

In terms of breeding, this specie is effective and has the ability to mate for the whole length of its life. Female Blue and Gold Macaw prefer dead palms as nests where she lays 2 to 3 eggs. Incubation period reaches an average of 28 days. The most dominant chick receives all food and is left to survive while the rest starve to death. Once ready for breeding, the male counterpart’s color turns brighter and bolder.

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History and Background

Blue and Gold Macaws are part of the South American Parrot family that is identified by its blue top and yellow gold under belly. This breed belongs to the large group of neotropical parrots also known as Macaws. Its natural habitats include varzea, open parts of unflooded rainforests, and land areas of the South American tropical forest.

This specie thrives in countries such as Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay. Before the 1970’s, it was also prevalent in Trinidad until its extinction due to human interference on its natural habitat. Presently, many attempts are undertaken to save this specie from extinction in places such as Puerto Rico and Nariva swamp.

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