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10 Interesting Macaw Facts for Kids

Macaws are clever, gregarious birds that frequently cluster in groups of 10 to 30 individuals. They require socialization and involvement to avoid boredom. A bored macaw may frequently vocalize, show feather-damaging behavior, and gnaw on any wood it can find, causing significant damage with its powerful beaks.

Macaw

In this article, you will find some of the most interesting facts about macaws for kids to learn more about these unique birds!

Here are some basic Macaw facts:

Common Name: Macaw
Skin Type: Bare white skin around the eye and till the bill
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Genus: Ara
Family: Parrots

Here are some of the interesting facts about Macaws for kids:

1. Macaws are the largest species of parrots.

Macaws are the largest species of parrots

There are over 376 species of parrots in the world, with macaws being the largest. The biggest species, the Hyacinth macaw, frequently seen on Brazil’s Pantanal tours, may grow to be 3.5 feet long and have a 4 to 5 feet wingspan. The biggest macaws weigh between 2 and 4 pounds and have extremely light bones that let them fly.

2. Macaw’s desired habitat is the tropical rainforest.

Macaw birds in the tropical rainforest

Macaws are endemic to South and Central America, where they may be found from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. They love rainforests, although they may also be found in various types of forests, woodlands, and savannah-like settings. Macaws are particularly prevalent in the Amazon, including blue and yellow macaws, scarlet macaws, and red and green macaws, among many more.

3. Macaws are known to mate for life.

Macaws couple

Macaws will choose a spouse and stay with them for life after they reach breeding age, which is typically 3 to 4 years old. Furthermore, partners spend a significant amount of time together, not just for breeding but also to share food, groom, and care for their young. They may also fly close to (nearly touching) one another.

4. Some macaws can mimic human speech.

While macaws cannot talk, they are known for their ability to mimic human speech and other environmental sounds. In captivity, individuals may be taught to copy and repeat certain words until they reach exact sounds and even accents. 

They are social and intelligent creatures with a highly developed vocal learning center in their brain. Wild macaws are genetically programmed to create and respond to certain sounds made by members of their family and larger flock. A parent will, in fact, name each of their chicks, and all members will be able to mimic these particular cries.

5. A macaw’s lifespan is rather long.

Although macaw longevity varies by species, they are reported to live for an average of 60 years in the wild. This can last up to 80 years in some instances or up to 100 years. Macaws are known to outlive their owners when kept as pets! Their high life span in the wild can be ascribed to a lack of predators.

6. Almost all macaw species are endangered, critically endangered, or extinct.

Scientists have identified a total of 22 macaw species. Five are extinct (including the glaucus and Spix’s macaws), three are critically endangered (hyacinth and red-fronted macaws and blue-throated macaws), four are endangered, and the rest are vulnerable. The main cause of this grim prognosis is unlawful trapping for the bird trade. 

Birds have become popular pets all around the world due to their beauty and entertainment value. Deforestation and habitat degradation, like many other Amazon bird species and wildlife, pose a serious threat to population numbers, as seen recently by the devastating fires that wiped out the Pantanal and Hyacinth Macaws.

7. Their bright plumes are employed in Amazonian indigenous headdresses.

Amazon's indigenous inhabitants

When one thinks about the Amazon’s indigenous inhabitants, a gorgeous headdress of macaw feathers may come to mind. Many people wrongly believe these feathers are only for adornment. However, they are among the most valuable commodities in Amazonian culture for various reasons. One motivation to wear unique, brilliantly colored feathers is to associate the person with nature.

8. Macaws have an unusual connection with poison.

Their food consists primarily of fruits, seeds, leaves, flowers, and nuts. Some macaws consume poisonous or caustic substances in the wild. These compounds can be complicated for macaws to absorb and impact their health and energy. To offset the effects of the poisons, macaws learned to use nature’s healing power. They discovered that they needed to lick clay.

It might be a means for them to counteract the toxins in their fruit and seed-rich diet while aiding digestion. Macaws appear to be impervious to toxins. Clay includes trace elements that help digestion, such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals work together to help macaws absorb nutrition and stay healthy, even when they eat many harmful foods.

9. Some Macaws have the strength to crack coconut shells.

Macaws

Most species have a vast and strong beak that they utilize for cracking nut shells, even difficult foods like coconuts. The huge beaks of hyacinth macaws are powerful enough to shatter a coconut shell. Despite their fantastic power, hyacinth macaws are renowned as the “gentle giants” of the macaw world owing to their pleasant and friendly personalities, which are especially evident when nurtured as hand-fed chicks.

Other varieties of macaws also have big and stunning beaks, giving them a force to be reckoned with during aggressive or hormonal behavior. This is one of the main reasons why macaws are typically suggested only for individuals with prior experience with huge parrots.

10. Macaws are pretty intelligent.

Their vocal powers are the most prominent part of their intellect. Macaws can not only mimic human speech, but they can also express complicated messages among their flock and employ customized sounds while calling their children.

Aside from their extraordinary vocal talents, macaws may use their intelligence in other ways. Researchers discovered that macaws would hide their food if they were afraid another bird would grab it from them. They have the emotional intelligence of a child and might demand attention and pout if it is not given to them. They can do a broad range of tricks with enough practice, including basic math, playing dead, bowing, and telling left from right.

Conclusion

Aren’t macaws beautiful birds? You can keep these intelligent creatures as pets and train them with various tricks.

We hope you liked the above interesting facts about macaws for kids. For more such facts, visit our website!