Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Green-Winged Macaw

(Ara chloropterus)

Habitat and Distribution: Found in dense tropical forests, mangrove swamps, and savannas of Central and South America, including Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Columbia, Panama, Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana, Surinam, and French Guyana.

Size: 3 feet long; 2-2.5 pounds; wingspan 3 feet

Wild Diet: Seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and vegetables

Predators: Boa constrictors, hawks, eagles, opossums, and wild cats

Lifespan: 50 years or more

Reproduction: Green-winged macaws are monogamous and mate for life, usually between November and March. Females lay 2-3 eggs that are incubated for 4 weeks. Chicks open their eyes after 15 days and stay in the nest for about 3 months.

Behavior: Green-winged macaws are usually seen in pairs or small groups, but sometimes gather in small flocks of 6-12 near clay banks. Most of their day is spent feeding in treetops, where they use their strong beaks to crack open hard-shelled nuts and seeds. They are usually heard before they’re seen; when alarmed, they fly away with a loud screech. They can mimic other bird calls.


Conservation

IUCN Status: Least Concern

The greatest threats to all macaws are habitat destruction and the illegal bird trade. Green-winged macaws are not classified as vulnerable, but they have already disappeared from part of their former range in Panama and are extinct in Argentina.

Did you know?

  • Green-winged macaws regularly consume clay. This is thought to aid digestion and removal of toxins, enabling them to eat unpalatable fruit.