Blue Throated Macaw

The Blue-Throated Macaw is an extremely rare bird. They are large, intelligent, and beautiful, so it is no surprise that they are a sought after bird in the pet trade. The feathers are primarily colored blue and yellow. The forehead, throat, back of the neck, wings, back, and tail are all a nice blue-green brushed with grey. The under area of the wings and the chest are a vibrant yellow. As is common in Macaws, the face is bald, with lines of dark feathers slicing through. The large powerful beak is a dark gray and where the beak meets the face, the skin is bald and pink. They eyes are yellow. Both the males and females look the same.

The Blue-Throated Macaw is very endangered. They are on the brink of instinction in the wild, rated as critically endangered. The reason for this is loss of habitat due to deforestation for farmland and cattle ranches as well as people capturing these birds for the pet trade.

There are likely less than 200 individual birds left in the wild and that number could easily keep dropping. Because they are dropping in number, they are becoming more popular because a rare bird is unfortunately something that many people want. So the more they capture, the lower the number in the wild get. As the numbers in the wild dwindle, the value of the bird goes higher and higher.

Bolivia, the country where this bird is found in the wild, has set in place laws that protect the Blue-Throated Macaw. Trade of this bird is now illegal, so the only trade that is going on now is illegal trade. Enforcing of the law is proving to be a bit difficult because a large portion of the lands that the birds are found on (mainly palm groves, savanah, and forest) are privately owned areas. This is one of the larger birds, measuring almost 3 feet long from head to tip of tail and weighing almost 2 pounds. They eat a typical macaw diet of nuts, fruits, and seeds. In captivity, a good pellet is the best option for much of the birds diet, supplemented with seed, fresh fruits and veggies, and other prepared foods, such as soft cooked legumes.

The lifespan of this bird can be as long as 80 years. Here is a fun fact. Macaws are messy eaters. They fling their food this way and that, seeds everywhere. This is actually a great thing in the wild. They are messy and drop many seeds onto the forest floor while eating, as well as any seeds that come out in their droppings. The seeds that they drop while eating may seem like “waste”, but the birds are actually unknowingly helping to plant new vegetation with the seeds that fall. So there is some good that comes out of their messy eating habits! Like all macaws, Blue-Throated macaws are great pets. They are trained easily and are great “talkers”. They are loud, though, so anyone thinking about owning one should keep this in mind.

Common Blue-Throated Macaw Diseases and Ailments:

• Oral papillomas

• Feather picking

• Gout

• Psittacosis

• Proventricular Dilatation Disease

Author: Arianna Pleitez