Indigo Macaw - Lear's macaw, known as the indigo macaw parrot

Indigo Macaw


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Lears Macaw

The Lear ‘s Macaw is a species in the Psittacidae family. Its scientific name is Anodorhynchus leari and in English, it is called  Indigo Macaw, is also known as macaw and macawIt was named after the English artist, writer, and explorer, Edward Lear (1812-1888). He painted a copy in his book “Illustrations of the Psittacidae family, or of the parrots” in 1828. It is worth remembering that at the time he specified the bird as being a Macrocercus Hyacinthinus, and not as a new species of macaw.

Lear’s macaw, known as the indigo macaw, is a large all-blue Brazilian parrot

  • 1 Lear’s Macaw Distribution
  • 2 Physical characteristics of the Lear’s Macaw
  • 3 Lear’s Macaw feeding
  • 4 Reproduction of the Lear’s Macaw
  • 5 How to download or listen to songs of the Lear’s Macaw

Distribution of the Lear’s Macaw

The Lear’s Macaw is an endemic bird in Brazil. It is found in northern Bahia and south of Raso da Catarina, which is in Bahia. Its geographical distribution covers the municipalities of Jeremoabo, Canudos, Paulo Afonso, Santa Brígida, Euclides da Cunha, Monte Santo, Sento Sé, and Campo Formoso. Its habitat is in the caatinga region, using areas of walls and canyons of sedimentary rocks.

Physical characteristics of the Lear’s Macaw

It is considered a medium-sized bird, reaching up to 75 centimeters in length and weighing 940 grams. Its main physical characteristics are the head and neck have a blue-green tone, the belly is faded blue, with wings and tails in a cobalt blue tone. They have the ring around the eye in a light yellow color, with white or slightly bluish eyelids. The skin around the jaw is drop-shaped. The male and female of the Lear’s Macaw are similar, that is, they have no visual differences between them.

This species is considered “endangered” according to CITES criteria. The main reason for the species’ decline was the illegal trafficking of these birds to private breeding sites in Brazil and abroad. The destruction of their habitat, mainly affecting food areas, is also an important factor. There are currently just over 1000 individuals in nature.

As in many species of parrots, the Lear’s Macaw is gregarious, having the behavior of staying in groups. Two sleeping and nesting sites are known, both in the Raso da Catarina ecoregion, consisting of natural cavities in sandstone walls.

Lear’s Macaw feeding

The main food of the Lear’s Macaw is the fruit of the Licuri palm. An individual can consume, on average, 120 Licuri coconuts per feeding period. This represents, on average, the consumption of 250 Licuri fruits per day. The food search activity takes place mainly between 6 am and 9 am and from 2 pm to 4 pm.

Lear’s Macaw Reproduction

This macaw becomes sexually reproductive at 3 years of age. It starts reproductive activity in September or October, with the exploration of cavities in the walls, ending in April, when the last pups of Lear’s Macaw leave the nests. It nests in pre-existing cavities in rocky walls formed by sandstone. The same wall that contains several cavities can house several couples in reproductive activity.

Usually, 2 chicks are born at a time and the incubation lasts for around 30 days. After birth, the chicks spend about 3 months in the nest, under the care of their parents, until they venture out on the first flight. The municipality of Jeremoabo, in Bahia, is one of the main reproductive sites of the species.

How to download or listen to songs of the Lear’s Macaw

You can download the corner of Lear’s Macaw on our website. To do this, just right-click on the name of the corner, then click on “Save Link As…” and choose the place where it will be saved. You can also listen, just click on the play button.

Lear’s macaw singing


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