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Macaw

on November 10, 2008; last updated November 10, 2008
Zoo Guide: mini spiral-bound

Macaws are known for their large, curved beaks; loud, squawking calls; and bright, bold colors. Macaws are very social birds, living in flocks of 10 to 30 other individuals.

 Macaw

Created on Day 5

Design

The large, curved beak of the macaw is designed to crush nuts and seeds. Some macaws have been observed to file down the shell of nuts and seeds by rubbing them on their beaks. This allows them to break the shell more easily. These birds are seldom seen alone. They spend time in pairs, family groups, and flocks. This behavior protects them from predators.

Features

  • Macaws are known for their large, curved beaks; loud, squawking calls; and bright, bold colors.
  • Macaws are very social birds, living in flocks of 10 to 30 other individuals.

Fun Facts

  • The macaw’s tongue is dry and scaly and has a bone in it. This makes it useful in eating and breaking open its food.
  • The macaw can easily break a person’s knuckle with its beak.

Created Kind Members

Scarlet macaw, yellow-headed parrot

CLASS: Aves (birds)

ORDER: Psittaciformes (parrots)

FAMILY: Psittacidae (parrot)

GENUS/SPECIES: 17 different species

Size: Largest: 3 ft (1 m); Smallest: almost 1 ft (0.3 m)

Weight: Largest: 3–4 lbs (1.4–1.7 kg); Smallest: 9–10 oz (0.3 kg)

Original Diet: Plants

Present Diet: Fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers, leaves, snails, and insects

Habitat: Rainforests, seasonally flooded savanna and palm forests; Central and South America

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