Breed History And Origin
The Green-winged Macaw, or Dark-red Macaw (Ara chloroptera) is a species of bird in the parrot family proper (Psittacidae).
The green-winged macaw is native to many lowland tropical forests of Central and South America, including Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, Brazil, Peru, Suriname, French Guiana, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia.
Macaws were kept in captivity as early as the 17th century, but captive breeding increased in the 19th century. Today, it is relatively easy to find captive-bred green-winged macaws.
The green-winged macaw is not considered endangered, but it is suffering from habitat loss. In addition, its natural habitat is severely depleted and many are still captured for the black market parrot trade.
Appearance Of The Green-Winged Macaw
Green-winged Macaws are among the largest parrot species, with a body length of up to 90 cm. Their plumage is mainly red. The black and white face is hairless and covered with fine red feather strokes.
The iris is light gray to ivory. The wings are blue, and the central, namesake wing coverts are green. The upper tail coverts are bluish, the tail feathers red, tinged blue toward the tip.
The bill is large, as in most macaws. The upper bill is ivory with darker bill blades, and the lower bill is black in color.
The strong feet, suitable for climbing, have grayish hues. The Green-winged Macaw is predominantly red in color with green wing coverts and blue wing undersides.
Green-winged Macaws do not exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females cannot be distinguished externally.
Character And Nature
Green-winged Macaws have an exceptionally calm temperament. Often Green-winged Macaws are socialized with other macaw species, as they have a calming and quarreling effect even on parrots of other species. In addition, the Green-winged Macaw is said to be very playful and curious.
The Green-winged Macaw lives as a pair in lifelong monogamy, or in small family groups of up to twelve animals.
Habitats Of The Green-Winged Macaw
Green-winged Macaws are found widely in northern South America. They are found in Brazil. They are also found in southern Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.
The Green-winged Macaw inhabits tropical lowlands along rivers and forest edges.
The Green-winged Macaw breeds in tree cavities. The onset of the breeding season varies from late November in the south to February/March in the north of the range. The clutch usually consists of up to three eggs, which are incubated for about 28 days. After 90 to 100 days, the young leave the brood den.
If a mate dies in the pair, only younger Green-winged Macaws will mate again, older ones will soon separate from the group and die in disgust.
Husbandry Of The Green-Winged Macaw
Because of their size, Green-winged Macaws naturally require a large aviary. The minimum size for aviaries is 6m x 4m x 2m, (length x width x height).
Green-winged Macaws are not suitable for single keeping, it is recommended to keep them in pairs or groups. A socialization with other (large) macaw species is normally no problem, provided that the animals have enough escape possibilities.
Macaws need a lot of material to occupy themselves, in a stimulus-poor environment, these highly intelligent animals care quickly. A sufficiently high humidity (60-70%) must be ensured.
Although not as active as other large parrots, Green-eyed Macaws still require plenty of exercise for both mental and physical stimulation, with about 2-3 hours of supervised play time outside the cage daily.
Branches within the cage provide exercise for climbing. Offer a variety of toys for chewing and play. A playpen structure at the top of the cage is a good idea.
The Green-winged Macaw is a pure vegetarian. Green-winged Macaws feed mainly on fruits and nuts. The Green-winged Macaw travels long distances in search of its main food.
They crack hard shells, such as Brazil nuts, with their large, massive beaks without difficulty. Whereby they hold the nut with one foot while they work the shell.
Green-winged macaws regularly seek out so-called clay licks, where they eat mineral-rich soil to keep their mineral balance in check.
Life Expectancy Of The Green-Winged Macaw
The Green-winged Macaw is one of the bird species with the highest life expectancies. On average, a well cared for Green Macaw will live for about 50 years. However, there are reports of green macaws living well into their 80s.
Health And Typical Diseases
Green-winged macaws are susceptible to some diseases, such as Proventricular Dilation Disease, a viral disease that causes intestinal problems as well as neurological symptoms. It is usually fatal. The best preventive measures are to keep birds isolated from other birds that might carry the virus.
Psittacine beak-and-feather disease, a disease caused by a circovirus that kills the cells of the feather and beak and also affects the immune system. It is usually fatal and can best be prevented by making sure your bird is properly quarantined.
Psittocosis, a bacterial disease that causes respiratory distress and eye discharge. Stressed birds are most susceptible, and prompt treatment with antibiotics can often cure the disease.
Other problems that are less severe include allergies and behavioral problems such as feather twitching, which usually occurs in bored or frustrated parrots.
If you decide to get a green macaw, make sure you contact a reputable breeder who can verify the bird’s status.
Keep in mind that as tame and loving as they may look, they are still parrots and act like parrots. They get loud, and their squawking makes them unsuitable companions if you live in an apartment or in another neighborhood.
They can also do serious damage to your home with their powerful beaks. Physical injury for a bird with behavioral problems can also occur.
This bird can cost you in terms of time, feed, equipment, veterinary bills and possibly home repair costs.
Also, since macaws have a long life expectancy, make sure you are prepared to make a lifetime commitment or have children who want to inherit the bird.
In Germany today, the birds can only be kept with government permission.