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Blue and Yellow Macaw

The Blue and Yellow Macaw is aptly named, with a gorgeous blue body and dark lemon-yellow chest, this is a bird that’s hard to miss. It also referred to as the blue-and-yellow macaw. This macaw has a green strip of feathers just above its black beak, and a partially naked face that will blush pink when it is excited. Its feet are dark gray or black, and it has a black “beard” of feathers just below its beak.

Blue & Gold Macaw Parrot - YouTube

The Blue and Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna), also known as Blue-and-gold Macaw, is a member of the macaw group of parrots. The Blue and Yellow Macaws breed in the swampy tropical rainforests of South America from Panama south to Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. Although classed as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN, the Blue and Yellow Macaw is an endangered species in Trinidad. The Blue and Yellow Macaw is often considered to be one of the most trainable and intelligent birds of these parrots. The Blue and Yellow Macaw is considered to be the most beautiful of all parrot species.

Scientific Classification

Common Name
blue & gold macaw, blue & yellow macaw
Kingdom : Animalia
Psittacidae (true parrots)
Genus Species
Ara (macaw) ararauna

Fast Facts

This is a large parrot with long tail feathers and mainly blue and yellow in color. The forehead is green; the upper part of the body a brilliant blue; the sides of the neck and body is golden yellow. These macaws also have black around chin and cheeks, and the naked skin of cheeks is pinkish-white with lines of very small, isolated black feathers. The blue and gold macaw has a strongly hooked beak and zygodactylous feet (2 toes that point forward and 2 toes that point backward).
Approximately 85 to 90 cm (34 to 36 in.); wingspan 102 to 112.5 cm (41 to 45 in.)
Approximately 900 to 1200 g (2 to 2.7 lbs.)
Feeds on seeds, fruits, nuts, and berries
Approximately 29 days
Clutch Size
2 to 3 eggs
Fledging Duration
After 4 months; young then remain with parents for up to a year
Sexual Maturity
Approximately 2 to 4 years
Life Span
Up to 80 years
Eastern Panama through Columbia, Ecuador, and Brazil
Found in forests and swamps
Global: Unknown
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Not listed


The Blue and Yellow Macaw reaches breeding age when they are 3 to 4 years old. They are known to pair for life and live in small family groups. Blue and Yellow Macaws nest high above the ground in cavities found in large, dead trees. Only two or three eggs are laid in a nest. It is thought that the female incubates them. However, both male and female aggressively defend the eggs.

When the young hatch, they are blind and featherless. The parents will raise only the strongest chick, leaving the others to starve to death. The young Macaws do not develop their full plumage until they are at least 10 weeks old. After they grow feathers, or fledge, they remain with their parents for several months before becoming independent. The Blue and yellow Macaw can live up to 60 years of age.


In the wild, Blue and Yellow Macaws eat palm fruit and other tree fruits. One of the Macaws favourite foods is the seeds of the Hura crepitans tree. They usually roost at a different place from where they eat. Their feeding ground may be some distance away. Often macaws gather at clay licks to eat mineral and salt bearing clay, which is found on river banks.


Macaws are very gregarious animals. They tend to congregate in flocks of a hundred or more animals. Macaws do not have a leader of the flock. All the birds seem to be equal, and they just move around as a group. However, the paired birds usually fly very close together with their wings almost touching.

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