The Red-and-green Macaw (Ara chloropterus) is a large, mostly red parrot with a long tail, conspicuous green upperwing coverts, and a large bill. It is most easily distinguished from the largely sympatric (i.e., geographically co-occurring) Scarlet Macaw (A. macao) by the fact that it has green upperwing coverts (bright yellow in Scarlet Macaw, although immature Red-and-green Macaws may show some yellowish green), red feathered lines on the twin white face patches, and a slightly larger size.
Red-and-green Macaws are usually seen in pairs, small flocks of several pairs, or (less frequently) family groups. They sometimes associate with Scarlet or Blue-and-yellow Macaws (Ara ararauna). In the northern part of their range, Red-and-green Macaws tend to inhabit terra firme rainforest (forests that do not experience seasonal flooding), apparently avoiding swampy areas. In the southern and eastern parts of the range, they are often found in more open and drier habitats. They have been reported to elevations of 1000 m in Panama, 500 m in Colombia, and 1400 m in Venezuela. Large trees with cavities are generally required for nesting, but in some areas they nest in crevices in rock faces. Red-and-green Macaws are generally absent near human population centers. Birds forage in the canopy, feeding on fruits and seeds.
Red-and-green Macaws are found in eastern Panama and South America south to (at least reported formerly, though conceivably based on escaped captives) northern Argentina. This species is generally uncommon due to population declines from capture for the pet trade, habitat loss, and hunting. It is locally distributed in Panama, Venezuela, and Bolivia, but widespread throughout much of the Amazon basin. It is also widespread in captivity.
Collar (1997) argues that the spelling of the specific epithet is probably more appropriately "chloroptera" rather than "chloropterus".
(Collar 1997 and references therein; Juniper and Parr 1998 and references therein)
- Collar, N.J. 1997. Red-and-green Macaw (Ara chloroptera). P. 422 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J., eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- Juniper, T. and M. Parr. 1998. Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.
Habitat and Ecology
Life History and Behavior
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Ara chloropterus
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ara chloropterus
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
This is the largest of the Ara genus, widespread in the forests and woodlands of northern and central South America. However, in common with other macaws, in recent years there has been a marked decline in its numbers due to habitat loss and illegal capture for the parrot trade.
The green-winged macaw can be readily identified from the scarlet macaw as whilst the breast of both birds is bright red, the upper-wing covert feathers of the green-winged macaw are mostly green but can occasionally sport a few yellow feathers above the band of green (as opposed to mostly yellow, or a strong mix of yellow and green in the scarlet macaw). In addition, the green-winged macaw has characteristic red lines around the eyes formed by rows of tiny feathers on the otherwise bare white skin patch; this is one of the biggest differences from a scarlet macaw to the casual viewer. Iridescent teal feathers are surrounded by red on the tail. If seen together, the green-winged macaw is clearly larger than the scarlet macaw as well.
In terms of length, this species is second only in size to the hyacinth macaw, the largest of the macaws. The red-and-green macaw attains a total body length of 90 to 95 cm (35 to 37 in) in adults. 12 adults were found to average 1,214 g (2.676 lb). A weight range of between 1,050 and 1,708 g (2.315 and 3.765 lb) has been reported. While its weight range is broadly similar to that of the hyacinth, the average weight of the red-and-green macaw is slightly surpassed by both the hyacinth and great green macaws, and amongst all living parrots additionally by the kakapo.
The green-winged macaw generally mates for life. The female typically lays two or three eggs in a nest made in a hole in a tree. The female incubates the eggs for about 28 days, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 90 days after hatching.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Ara chloropterus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Red-and- Green Macaw on Avibase
- Cameron, M. (2012). Parrots: the animal answer guide. JHU Press.
- CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses, 2nd Edition by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (2008), ISBN 978-1-4200-6444-5.
- Alderton, David (2003). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Caged and Aviary Birds. London, England: Hermes House. p. 235. ISBN 1-84309-164-X.