Green Wing Macaws In The Wild

Published: 13th March 2009
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Green Wing Macaws, scientifically known as Ara chloroptera, are also known as Maroon Macaws and Red and Green Macaws. They are the second largest of the macaw family at between 34 and 39 inches and weigh near 2 pounds. Green Wing Macaws in the wild live approximately 50 years but they can live up to 80 years in captivity if taken care of properly.

Green Wing Macaws In Captivity

Although people have been keeping green wing macaws for years in captivity, there are a growing number of people who believe these wonderful parrots should remain in the wild. After all, they are "wild animals" in that they are exactly the same as their wild cousins even though they have not been truly bred to meet the desires or whims of humans. In fact, most parrots are either caught wild or have only been domestic for one or two generations; this includes Green Wing Macaws in the wild.

Baby Green Wings

The baby green wing macaw, unlike some other birds, do not have the natural instincts to survive and therefore must rely upon their parents. While they don't show instincts, they are extremely intelligent and they depend upon their parents to teach them everything. It is exactly this need to learn that makes it important for parrots in captivity to be trained to behave in a way that is acceptable to their owners.

Green Wing Macaws are flock animals who may be found in groups as large as 50 or more. However, they mate for life and will stay close to their mate even in the midst of a flock. They are naturally active, spending many hours of the day flying, playing, and eating. In the wild, they are also naturally messy which may explain why they make such a mess in our homes.

The Demise of the Green Wing?

Unfortunately, the Green Wing Macaw, like 17 other macaw species, is listed as being endangered. Deforestation and illegal capture of macaws for the pet trade are listed as two of the main reasons for their numbers dwindling in the wild. Of course, the fact that they don't reach sexual maturity until they are four or five and breeding pairs lay only two to three eggs each breeding season means that their numbers won't recover easily.

Their natural habitat covers eastern Panama in Central America and goes south across the northern portion of South America. It runs east of the Andes Mountains into Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay. They can be found in the rain forests and along river banks at the clay cliffs. Scientists aren't positive about the reasons for the large numbers of Green Wing Macaws and other species that gather at the clay 'licks' at first light each day. It is thought they eat clay to counteract toxins in some of the seeds they eat.

Green Wing Macaws in the wild are still available to be seen if you happen to travel to their natural habitat. However, as the forests are destroyed those numbers could continue to decline. These beautiful parrots are considered threatened in the wild; captive bred Green Wing Macaws may keep these birds from becoming extinct even if it they aren't available in the wild.

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