The hyacinth macaw, or hyacinthine macaw aka. Blue Macaw is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. It is the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species
Scientific Name - Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
Historically, their native range stretched from northern Brazil in localities along northern reaches of Amazon, ranging west to Rio Tapajós and south across central and southern Brazil from Piauí and southern part of Maranhão across Goiás and western Bahia to Minas Gerais and Mato Grosso; eastern Bolivia and most northeastern part of Paraguay.
The Hyacinth survives today in three known distinct populations in South America: southern Brazil, eastern Bolivia and northeastern Paraguay.
In wild, Hyacinth Macaw flocks to high in the Clay Mountains aka. ‘Macaw Licks’ to eat clay, which helps them absorb the poison that naturally occurs in some unripe fruits
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of Hyacinth macaws is 6,500 individuals (including 4,300 mature individuals), of which 5,000 individuals are in the Pantanal region
Price (2019) in International market @ USD $500 to $11,500 (2019)
They have bare yellow eye ring circles around large black eyes, a yellow chin, a strongly hooked beak and zygodactylous feet (2 toes that point forward and 2 toes that point backward).
Size at adulthood - Males and females are similar in size and color. They can grow up to a length of 40 inches with wing span 51 to 60 inches
Weight at Adulthood – 1200 to1450 grams (1.2 to 1.4 kg)
They inhabit open and semi-open areas with tall trees; cerrado vegetation, Savannah with palms and groups of trees; marshland and flood areas with buriti (Mauritia sp.) palm groves.
They typically prefer gallery forest and are much rarer in rain forest or along forest edges.
They usually roost on tall Acrocomia palms or trees. During the day time they often fly considerable distances to and from their favorite feeding sites. They will either forage in the trees or on the ground on palm fruits.
Temperature Tolerance Range. Ideal Cage temperature should be kept between 70 to 85°F (21 to 30°C)
Talking / Training Ability. Hyacinths are known to be relatively even-tempered and are intelligent birds, and have shown a facility for limited tool use both in captivity and in the wild. They can also learn to talk but are not among the parrot world's best talkers. Hyacinth macaws can mimic human voices even
In Wild – 50-60 years
In Captivity – 50-60 years
Gender Identification. Though DNA is the most authentic way to determine the sexes. However, with following methods you can guess to differentiate between its male and female:
The female and male are nearly indistinguishable, although the female is typically a bit more slender.
Housing / Cage Requirements. Heavy-duty stainless-steel cages should be used as the bird’s strong beak can easily destroy less sturdy cages They require very large aviary to live on where They can glide and fly easily
Daily Feed Requirements
The hyacinth macaw eats seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetable matter. Eight species of palm are central to its diet - most likely the Yatay (or Chatay) palm (Butia yatay) - and palm fruits, especially Acrocomia lasiopatha, Astryocaryum tucuma, Attalea phalerata, Acrocomia aculeata, Syagrus commosa, Attalea funifera
They feed on ripe and unripe fruits, nuts, berries and vegetable matter. Likely insects as well ingested together with the fruit
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Adolescence or Breeding Age/Reproductive Age
Male – 7 years
Female – 7 years
Breeding Behaviour / Season
These birds are monogamous and breed only once a year, with the breeding season between July and December
Clutch Size – 1 or 2 eggs laid a year.
Usually, out of those two hatchlings, only one survives, as the first egg hatches several days before the second; and the younger hatchling usually can't compete with the older for food.
The remaining young usually stay with their parents until they are about six months old
Egg Incubation or Hatching Period - 29 days
The female incubates the eggs and takes care of the young ones while her male counterpart hunts for food and protects the nest.
Artificial vs. Natural Incubation. Natural Incubation is a preferred option.
Health & Care, Diseases, Treatment & Prevention
They are not prone to obesity as are some other parrot species. The most common ailments are Macaw Wasting Disease and overgrown beaks.
Like other macaw species, the hyacinth can be susceptible to the following:
You may need to trim the bird’s nails, and Blue Macaws are prone to an overgrown beak. Plenty of hard chew toys can help minimize this problem, but you may need to have the beak trimmed if this becomes a problem.