Animal Spotlight

Blue and Gold Macaws

The Blue and Gold gets its name from its bright blue back, wing and tail feathers and the sunshine yellow feathers on its body.   These macaws, part of the parrot family of birds, live in the rainforests of South America.

Macaws are one of the most intelligent birds, and can easily learn to talk. It is also one of the largest parrots, as adults measuring 34”-36” from the top of its head to the tip of its tail.  They can weigh anywhere from 2 – 3 lbs.  What is really impressive is that they have a wingspan of 41-45”!

They live up in the tree canopy in flocks of up to 100 birds.  They are known to pick one mate and live out their lives together.

They eat seeds, nuts, fruit like palm fruit but they even eat leaves and flowers.  One of the Blue and Golds favorite foods are the seeds of the Hura Crepitans tree.  They use their strong beaks to crack open nuts. They tend to roost in a different place up in the trees from where they eat, which may be quite some distance away.  Often macaws gather at river banks to eat mineral and salt bearing clay.

Macaws are good stewards for our ecosystems.  As they eat, they drop seeds which then germinate, becoming seedlings that grow into tall trees.

The good news is that they are not an endangered species!  In fact, they are listed as “least concerned” meaning that they have sufficient numbers that there is no concern of them becoming extinct.