IUCN Redlist Status
Blue and yellow macaws are found in Panama and throughout the northern regions of South America.
They live in less dense rainforests and prefer to make their nests in hollowed trees. They can also be found near swamps or rivers and in palm trees.
Blue and yellow macaws are herbivores. They eat a variety of fruits, nuts and seeds. They especially enjoy seeds from the Hura crepitans tree.
Blue and yellow macaws are large birds, weighing up to 2-3 pounds and with a wingspan as large as 3-4 feet. Their body length is about 25 - 36 inches.
Their striking colors make them popular pets. They have a golden yellow crest with bright turquoise-blue wings and tail feathers. The top of the head is green. Their faces are white and black and they have a large, powerful black beak. When they get excited, their white faces will sometimes appear pink.
These beautiful birds congregate together in very large flocks with as many as 100 or more birds. Early in the mornings, they fly as a group in search of food. Surprisingly, their bold colors actually act as camouflage as they blend with the blue sky and bright sun. Macaws have extremely powerful beaks that are used to break open seeds and also as a third foot for climbing. Blue and yellow macaws are highly intelligent and have good vocalization skills.
Blue and yellow macaws seem to mate for life. Mated pairs can be seen flying extremely close together within the flock. Macaws will make their nests in the hollows of dead trees, where they will lay 2 or 3 eggs. The mother will incubate the eggs while being fed and cared for by the father. The eggs must incubate for approximately 24 – 26 days, and hatchlings will be born blind, featherless, and helpless. The parents will only raise the strongest chick. After approximately 13 weeks, the young bird can leave the nest. It will be sexually mature and ready to start its own family at approximately 3-4 years of age.
Blue and yellow macaws are popular pets, highly prized for their beautiful colors and intelligence. Unfortunately this has caused a dramatic decrease in their numbers in the wild due to illegal trapping for the pet trade.