Lear’s macaw, also known as the indigo macaw, is a beautiful long-tailed blue parrot. More precisely, our Brazilian parrot is a member of a group of neotropical parrots, macaws. Yet, did you know how this beauty got its name? Well, Lucien Bonaparte described macaws in 1858, from an illustration by Edward Lear, the well-known British nonsense poet.
Where can we find the Lear’s macaw?
Found in Brazil, this macaw inhabits only a small region in Bahia. The two known colonies occur in Serra Branca and Toca Velha. Therefore, our beauty feels the best in arid thorn forests. However, when it comes to breeding, this happens in outcrops and sandstone cliffs.
How does the Lear’s macaw look?
Obviously, like all macaws, this one is also easily recognized by its vibrant colors. That been said, the body, tail, and wings are dark blue with the head being a slightly paler shade. Moreover, on the base of its beak is a pale-yellow skin adjacent, along with orange-yellow eye-rings. Naturally, the beak is large, opening even coconut shells! Finally, the parrot can grow between 27,5 and 29,5 inches, and weigh around 2 pounds.
Did you know this macaw eats up to 350 nuts each day? That’s a lot, right? Therefore, our granivore eats mostly the hard nuts from licuri palm. Yet, it will also feed on fruit and seeds of numerous other bushes and trees. Maize, agave flowers, a range of ripe and unripe fruits, vegetable matter, and berries are also included. Finally, the macaw will also forage on any available crops.
Like Egyptian geese and Mandarin ducks, Lear’s macaws are also monogamous, pairs staying together for life. Breeding occurs between February and April, during which pairs build nests. The mother lays one to two eggs and incubates them from 26 to 28 days. She will leave the nest only to feed herself since the babies are fully dependent on her. Yet, when the young grow protective feathers, our mother can leave the nest a bit longer. After 3 months, although independent, the chicks will stay with their parents even after leaving their nest.
All the macaws are playful, being very good at mimicking human vocalizations. So, if you ever take them as a pet, you will never be bored!
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