Military Macaw

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image: MilitaryMacaw.jpg

Common Name: Military Macaw
Scientific Name: Ara militaris

Size: 27½ –31½ inches (70-80 cm)

Habitat: Central and South America. Found in woodlands and subtropical forests.

Status: Vulnerable. Global Population: 10,000-19,999 mature individuals. The population and distribution of the Military Macaw has been decreasing over the past fifty years. The abundance of the Military Macaw has now decreased to less than 10,000 globally. This decrease is mostly due to deforestation and the capturing of wild birds for the pet trade industry. Military Macaws are now listed as Vulnerable on the 2006 IUCN Red List Category

Diet: Seeds, fruits, nuts, berries and other vegetation found on treetops.

Nesting: Monogamous and mate for life; 1-2 eggs. They will nest in the tops of trees and more often in cliff-faces over 600 ft. above the ground

Cool Facts: Military Macaws live in large flocks and can live about 50-60 years in the wild.

Macaws are known to eat clay, which is believed to work as an antidote to the poisonous seeds they eat. The chemicals in the clay mix with the poison allowing it to pass through the bird's digestive system without harming the bird.

Though three subspecies, namely Ara m. militaris, Ara m. mexicana and Ara m. boliviana are recognized, the differences are slight and pertain to minor variations in color and size, with the militaris subspecies being the smallest and the mexicana being the largest.

International trade in Macaws is illegal under the CITES agreement. Only captive born birds may be sold as pets.

Found in Songbird ReMix Yucatan

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