Blue and Yellow Macaw Parrot

Ara ararauna

Species Information

Jojo and Jacko are the two resident macaws at Chew Valley. These colourful birds are full of character, whether they are ‘talking’, dangling around their enclosure, or happily taking a nut from a keeper!

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Macaws are found in Central and South America inhabiting rainforests and woodlands.

These are giants of the parrot family, growing up to 40 inches in length. They have large, curved, powerful beaks designed to crack open nuts and seeds which they feed on. They come in many different colourations, such as blue and yellow or scarlet. This obviously isn’t for camouflage, but instead is for disruptive colouration. Macaws are flock birds and so when a predator preys on them, the whole flock would fly away. The colours of their feathers disrupt the perception of the shape of the birds’ bodies, making it difficult for a predator to focus and catch one. They also have a bone in their tongue to help tap into fruits and nuts.

Eat a variety of fruits, seeds, nuts, plants and sometimes insects. Their food is high in fat as they expend a lot of energy chick rearing, nesting, and flying around the rainforest. They also eat damp soil to help neutralise and ease their stomachs from their fruity diets, and clay for the added minerals.

Can live up to 70 years in human care, or about 30-35 in the wild.

They are social birds living in flocks of 10-30. They are also very loud communicators, which is important in their vast habitat so their calls can be heard over long distances. Their shrieking calls are used to communicate among each other, mark territories, and to identify one another. They are considered to be one of the most intelligent birds, and they demonstrate this with their problem solving and tool use to access encapsulated food.

They typically mate for life. The female will incubate eggs for 27 days while the male brings back food for her.

Although several species of macaws are Endangered, Blue and Yellow Macaws are Least Concern, but their population is decreasing, largely due to habitat loss.

They’re facial feather pattern is as unique as a fingerprint!