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Military Macaw

Fact File

Continent: The Americas
Habitat: Rainforests
Weight and Length: 1.1kg, 0.8m

Diet: Herbivore
Incubation: 27 days
Number of Young: average of 2 eggs


Conservation Status: VU


  • Often found in pairs or small flocks of up to 10.
  • Like other parrots, they can see in the ultraviolet spectrum, seeing colours we cannot.
  • They can control the narrowing of their pupils which they use in communication.
  • Use “flock calls” which are loud calls.

Military Macaw

Ara Militaris

Animals — Aves (birds) — Psittaciformes (parrots) — Psittacidae (true parrots)

Military macaws are a medium-large species of macaw that are found in some fragmented areas of Central and South America. They are mostly green, some of their feathers being more of a yellow green, the under-wing being yellowish, with turquoise wing and tail feathers. They also have a distinctive red forehead, and their bald eye patch has a few thin black lines of feathers.

They are social, usually found in pairs or flocks of up to 10.  Like other macaws, they also gather at clay licks. They are also monogamous, usually mating with only one other bird for life. They are vocal communicators and make loud calls that can be heard far from the bird. Interestingly, their faces turn red in a “blush” if they are excited.

These birds are classified as “vulnerable” to extinction by the IUCN. Deforestation reduces breeding and feeding sites, and they have suffered extensively from the pet trade. They are relatively popular pet birds and are still being taken from the wild despite the captive population and their conservation status.

Habitat: Rainforest.

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: 1.1kg
–Average length: 0.8m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 40 years
In captivity up to: 50 years

Diet: They are herbivores and so eat plants. They will mostly eat fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds.


Conservation: Safari Zoo Nature Foundation(SZNF) supports the Tambopata Macaw Project in South-east Peru. This is a long running research project that was started in 1989.

This project is vital to understanding the wild behaviour of macaws and how best to conserve them. Due to macaws’ low reproductive rates this project aims to discover methods to maximise their breeding success. This aids macaw conservation world wide.