Blue-and-Yellow Macaw Facts | Peruvian Amazon Wildlife Guide
Macaws are rarely found alone, as they prefer to raise a ruckus in groups. They are a monogamous species, mating for life. A pair is almost always seen together. The two will fly or sit side by side, preening each other’s feathers and talking to each other with affectionate, rasping calls.
Macaws are often mistaken as fruit eaters. In fact, these birds rarely eat fruit, favoring nuts and seeds, which they extract with their powerful beaks. It is quite a sight to watch a macaw crack into the incredibly hard shell of a Brazil nut with apparent ease.
Unfortunately, macaws are losing their homes to deforestation and poaching. Hunters shoot the birds for food and feathers, extracting their nests to steal the chicks. Many poachers cut down trees to access the chicks, which limits the number of places to nest. This affects the macaws’ ability to raise their young. Chicks are sold in the illegal pet trade, as macaws are highly prized. This illegal capture has devastated populations in the wild. Macaws are endangered, with an estimated 2,500 to 5,000 remaining in the wild today.
Blue-and-yellow macaws can be found in areas of the Amazon basin where large Mauritia palm stands grow. The macaws are exclusively linked with this species of palm tree, feeding mostly on its nutritious “dates” and using the dead palm-tree cavities as colonial nesting sites.
Header Credit: Luc Viatour [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons