IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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The Blue-and yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) is a very large parrot that is ultramarine blue above and mostly golden yellow below with a long tail, a large black bill, and a bare white facial patch on each side of its head with narrow lines of black feathers. The very similar (but far rarer) Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) has a broadly blue throat, leaving just a stripe of yellow going up each side of the neck.

Blue-and-yellow Macaws occur from eastern Panama and the tropical lowlands of South America to southeastern Brazil, Bolivia, and, at least formerly, Paraguay (they formerly occurred on Trinidad as well, but were extinct there by around 1970). They are found in wooded country, often near water. They sometimes forage in more open country, coming to the ground to feed on fallen fruits. These are gregarious, often noisy birds, usually seen in pairs, family parties, or flocks of up to 25 (or even more) individuals. They feed on a range of fruits (especially palm fruits), nuts, leafbuds, etc. Large numbers may congegate at certain riverbank locations, often with other parrot species, to ingest the mineral-rich soils exposed there. Blue-and-yellow Macaws nest high up in cavities in dead palms.

Although still common over much of their range, in other areas Blue-and-yellow Macaws have been extirpated or are currently threatened or endangered.

(Collar 1997 and references therein; Juniper and Parr 1998 and references therein)


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