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BLUE-YELLOWED MACAW
Ara Araraune

 
 

This is one of 16 species that represent macaw genus. Four of those 16 species are extinct, including ara tricolor, also known as Cuban red macaw, that is the latest extinct. Fourteen stuffed specimens of this species are being kept in museum around the world. From the other 12 species that are still living, Blue-and-yellowed Macaw and Red-and green Macaw are the biggest species. They can grow up to 1 meter, with wing span of 90cm.

Natural habitat of Blue-and-yellowed Macaw is, more or less, the same as for Red-and-green Macaws, meaning that these parrots live in wet woodlands of east Panama , north Peru , Venezuela , Trinidad , Brazil , Bolivia , Paraguay and south Argentina .

Blue-and-yellowed Macaws nest in tree holes of high trees and lay eggs in spring, before rain season. The female lays two to three eggs, sized 50 x 36mm. The incubation period lasts between 24 and 26 days and after hatching chicks stay in the nest at least 13 weeks. Both parents are equally feeding their youngster. After their first fly out from the nest, they need couple of weeks to learn to fly. However, they stay with parents for a year, learning how and what to eat, how to survive.

 

The main colors of this species is blue and yellow, after which they got tne name. The cloak and all upper parts of the body are blue. Belly, inner parts of the tail and partly the neck are intensively yellow. Forehead and part of the head are green-blue. Chin and throat are black. Inner parts of wings are, the same as the inner part of the tail, intensively yellow gold, with brownish edges. Naked parts of the cheeks are creamy-white with thin green-black stripes in several rows. The outer parts of wings are intensively blue, as well as the upper part of the tail. Speaking of the tail, it can reach the size over 50cm. Beak and strong claws are black and the legs are grey. This species, like all the other form ara genus, has no subspecies and no mutation in color. There is no difference between male and female, they are almost identical. Generally speaking, female is smaller with thinner black stripe, however this is all relative, so the best way to ensure who is who is DNA analysis.

It should be noted that, if the male is irritated, its cheeks become pinky and loose that creamy color. This phenomena is very rare and easily disappear.

Young bird is very much alike adult, but with slight color differences. For example, the color of the head is more pale and with blur shadings, meaning that colors are not distinctively differed. The iris is brown and cheeks are pale pink. The beak is remarkably big and eye holes are smaller.

 

Potential breeders should know that a pair of Blue-and-yellowed Macaws should be kept in large cage, made of strong thick plaited metal wire. The cage must have winter shelter. Nest should be made of 70x70x100 sized tree with entry whole of 20cm in diameter. Several nests should be placed inside the cage, including one nest at the ground. In that way the couple has an opportunity of free choice for future upbringing. The nutrition is more or less the same as for Red-and-green Macaw, with slight modification. Good breeder always try to provide matching food to one that bird has in the wild. That means that besides seeds, the bird should get lots of nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almond, then berry-fruits like blackberry, blueberry, strawberry and raspberry. Also it should get buds and soft sprigs. All this should be given with minerals, complex of vitamins, active coal, sea plants, grounded shells and energetic additives with iodine, eggs, honey, additives for the feather quality, for muscles and bones and additives for better song and speech. Beside all this, birds should get quakers with dehydrated fruit like orange, apple, kiwifruit, mango, coconut, grapes, bananas. This treats will not cause diarrhea for sure, but bear in mind that the best brands of this products are from Germany , Holland and Belgium . They are available in our country.

Having in mind exclusivity of this specious and low rate of reproduction, most of the hatched chicks in breeding houses are being fed by breeders. In that way the rate of mortality is lower then in the wild. Hand fed chicks are extraordinary pets because the only parent they know is the breeder. These chicks are accustomed to people from the earliest days of their life, and the later result is unlimited devotion to the owner. It is said that Blue-and-yellowed Macaws are one of the most intelligent and effective in parrot family. Remarkably easy they learn to imitate sounds, melodies, and words. In most cases they are kept in single because of these qualities. When taking this beautiful parrot for a pet always think that it is a newcomer in your house. It is necessary to provide large cage were the bird will stay until it is accommodate into the new surroundings. Before its first tour through the room, it should learn the position of all the other things in the room, TV, sofa, lamps, paintings etc. Also it needs time to get to know new people. This learning period is relative, it can lasts for even couple of months. Once the bird and the owner establish their relationship, the bird should be replaced out of the cage onto the bench. The bench should be made of some sort of strong metal, with one or more thick wooden branches (fruit trees like cherry tree, sour cherry tree, plum tree or fig tree are the best). The bark of the branches should not be peeled off. Food and water cups, as well as cups for minerals and fresh fruit must be placed on the same bench. The bench with all this necessary accessories will be the parrots throne. But, it doesn't mean it will never get off the bench. Birds are made to fly and it stands for Blue-and-yellowed Macaw, too. If the bird doesn't fly, muscle atrophy can occur.

 

 

My advice is that if you are going out from the room, always put the bird back in to the cage. And I am saying this from my experience. Being out of the cage with no supervision, the bird could eat room plants (most of them are poisonous for parrots), it could ruin your furniture or frames. Parrots are rodent with wings, it's in their nature to nibble. Because of that, and because of their playful nature the cage should contain wooden ladders, rounded or classic swings made of thick rope, bell or some similar toy. If the parrot doesn't get enough attention and entertainment it can become nervous.

In good conditions and adequate diet Blue-and-yellowed Macaws can live up to 60-80 years, same as humans. So, if thinking of getting one, remember, it will live as long as you, it will become a part of the family. With all its abilities to learn words and its intellect, it won't be just a part, but an equal part of the family.

Never forget, parrots are persons , individuals, that is the main difference between them and other feathery animals. We must respect their ego . They are not toys that we can torturer or yell at. Never dongle with your hands or make fun of them, and don't ask for constant proofs of devotion. Believe me , I have handled many of them, they are kids for lifetime always looking for attention and play. In return they are ready to give pure love. You can check all this on sight's presentation slides.

 

 
 
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