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Great Green Macaw

 (Ara ambiguus)

Also known as: Buffon's Macaw, Green Macaw, Grand Military Macaw, Grand Green Macaw, Guayaquil Green Macaw

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Recently released Great Green Macaw in Costa Rica
© Steve Milpacher

Did You Know?

The Great Green Macaw has been hybridized (bred) with the Scarlet Macaw in captivity.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Ara ambiguus

Species Profile

Genus: Ara | Species: ambiguus

Size:

77-85 cm (30-33 in)

Weight:

1300g (45.5 oz)

Races including nominate:

two: A.a. ambiguus, A.a. guayaquilensis

Colourization Adult:

A.a. ambiguus: Both adults yellow/green body colour; forehead and lines on lores red; throat tinged with olive/brown; uppertail orange/red tipped with dull blue. Bill dark grey tipped with pale grey; bare face pink/white with lines of olive/brown feathering. Eye dull yellow.
A.a. guayaquilensis: Both adults as in ambiguus, but with smaller, narrower bill.

Colourization Juvenile:

As in adult but duller and with shorter tail tipped with yellow. Eye grey.

Call:

Loud squawks and growls; also creaking or groaning sounds.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2

More Information:

Lexicon of Parrots
Arkive

The Ara Project
Fundacion Jambeli
Fundacion Probosque

Content Sources:

CITES
BirdLife International
Lexicon of Parrots
Internet Bird Collection
ML Media Collection Catalogue 25924, Great Green Macaw Ara ambiguus, Parker, Theodore A., III, Darien, Panama, Feb. 13 1982, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Site
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998
Parrots: Status Survey and Conservation Plan 2000-2004, Synder, McGowan, Gilardi and Grajal, 2000.
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1989. 2010 edition
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.
Avian Pediatric Seminar Proceedings, various authors, 1988.
Psittacine Aviculture, Schubot, Clubb and Clubb, 1992.

Click photo to visit gallery

Recently released Great Green Macaw in Costa Rica
© Steve Milpacher

Did You Know?

The Great Green Macaw has been hybridized (bred) with the Scarlet Macaw in captivity.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Ara ambiguus

Species Care

Captive Status:

Not well established in captivity.

Longevity:

60 yrs

Housing:

A large enclosure 15m (50 ft) long in off breeding season - keeping permanently indoors not recommended.

Diet:

Soaked or sprouted sunflower seed, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, Brazil nuts and pine nuts; fresh corn, cooked maize; fruits such as banana, oranges; cubes of cheese, slices of wholemeal bread; nutritionally complete kibble for macaws.

Enrichment:

Large aviary with tree trunk in middle decorated weekly with fresh branches of pine or eucalyptus, large chewable toys made for macaws; also provide overhead misters for bathing.

Nest Box Size:

Whiskey barrel

Clutch Size:

3

Incubation Time:

26 days

Fledging Age:

12-13 weeks

Hatch Weight:

23g (0.8 oz)

Peak Weight:

1152g (40.3 oz)

Weaning Weight:

930-985g (32.5-34.5 oz)

Click photo to visit gallery

Recently released Great Green Macaw in Costa Rica
© Steve Milpacher

Did You Know?

The Great Green Macaw has been hybridized (bred) with the Scarlet Macaw in captivity.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Ara ambiguus

Species Wild Status

World Population:

As few as 1000

IUCN Red List Status:

Endangered

CITES Listing:

Appendix I

Threat Summary:

Habitat loss and deforestation. Also shot as a crop pest, and caught for wild-bird trade.

Range:

A.a. ambiguus: Caribbean lowlands of E Honduras to W Colombia and W Ecuador. E Nicaragua to lowlands of Costa Rica mostly on Caribbean slope. In Panama on Caribbean slope; from E Panama to tropical zone of Colombia and parts of the Andes.
A.a. guayaquilensis: W Ecuador, in north, Esmeraldas, in S Chongon Hills.

Habitat:

Lowland humid forest; also strongly deciduous forest. In Costa Rica lowland primary forest. Reaches 600m (1968 ft) in Costa Rica, 1000m (3280 ft) in Panama.

Wild Diet:

Fruits and flowers.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Less gregarious than other large macaws; found in pairs and groups of 3-4 birds.

Clutch and Egg Size:

3 elliptical eggs 55 x 45mm (2.1 x 1.7 in).

Breeding Season:

August-October in Ecuador, dry season (December-April) in Costa Rica.

Related Links:

Wikipedia
Cornell Neotropical Unit

Click photo to visit gallery

Recently released Great Green Macaw in Costa Rica
© Steve Milpacher

Did You Know?

The Great Green Macaw has been hybridized (bred) with the Scarlet Macaw in captivity.

Programs & Projects

WPT has helped to save this species. Learn more

Academic Research

Related publications: Ara ambiguus

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