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Red-shouldered Macaw

Fact File

Continent: South America
Habitat: Rainforest, Savannah, swamplands
Weight and Length: 0.2kg, 0.3m


Diet: Herbivore
Incubation: 25 days
Number of Young: average of 3 eggs


Conservation Status: LC


  • It is the smallest macaw species.
  • They tend to screech to communicate.
  • In captivity this parrot has been able to learn 3x the words of larger macaws.
  • They will gather at clay licks like other macaws. The clay they ingest is thought to neutralise toxins from their diet.

Red-shouldered Macaw

Diopsittaca nobilis

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

Red-shouldered Macaws are the smallest macaws in existence, being only 30-35cm long. They are mostly green with blue foreheads and red feathers on the inner bend of their wings, giving them their names. Like all macaws, they have a bald white patch around their eyes.

They are very social birds, often found in large flocks. They will associate with other species of parrot without becoming aggressive towards them. When not socialising with other members of the flock or finding food they will spend time with their mates. They are a monogamous species and mate for life.

They are classified as “least concern” because they are numerous and wide ranging. Their population does not seem to be dropping at the moment. Habitat destruction could become a problem, and they are captured for the pet trade.

Habitat: Rainforest, savannah, swamplands

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: 0.2kg
–Average length: 0.3m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 20 years
In captivity up to: 23 years

Diet: Herbivore so eats plants. Mostly eats fruits, nuts and seeds.

Distribution: Found in Venezuela, the Guianas, Brazil, Bolivia and parts of Peru.

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.