Blue-winged Macaw, Primolius maracana

The Blue-winged Macaw (Primolius maracana) is a species of parrot found in central and eastern South America. In the pet trade, this species is known as Illiger’s Macaw. It is found in eastern and southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and formerly (not confirmed) in north-eastern Argentina. Its habitat is evergreen and deciduous forests.

Due to capture for the pet trade, this species has declined in population in the wild in the southern parts of its range. This species has been considered vulnerable and recent records show that it may have vanished from the Misiones Province in Argentina. In some areas it remains widespread.

This bird is about 16 inches long at adulthood. It has a thick black bill and a long tail. It is mainly green in color. The upperparts of the flight feathers and primary coverts are blue. The underside of the wings are yellowy. The tail-tip, crown and cheeks are blue colored, and the base of the tail and small belly-patch are red. It has an amber iris. The bare face is yellowish. In captivity, the bare facial skin often turns whitish. Captive birds can live up to 60 years.

The diet of the Blue-winged Macaw consists mainly of the seeds from the Jatropha, Mutamba, and non-native Persian Lilac. It also feeds on fruits and nuts. The female produces two eggs and incubates them for about 29 days. The young learn to fly at about 11 weeks old. Sexual maturity is reached at between 2 and 4 years old. Little else is known about the reproduction habits of this species in the wild. The breeding season in northern Brazil is believed to be from December to February.

Image Credit: Captive Blue-winged Macaws (also known as Illiger’s Macaw). Credit: TJ Lin/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)