Soldier’s Macaw (Ara militaris)
In the photo: a soldier’s macaw. Photo: wikimedia.org
Appearance and description of the soldier’s macaw
The soldier’s macaw is a large parakeet with a body length of about 75 cm and a weight of about 900 g.
Both sexes are colored the same, in male soldiers’ macaws the back of the neck often has a bluish tinge. The main color of the body is green, with a yellowish tinge. In the region of the eyes there is a large non-feathered zone of a reddish color. It has grooves from individual small feathers. The forehead is covered with red feathers. On the back, the areas under the wings and under the tail are yellowish. Steering, flight and tail feathers are blue. The tail above and the mandible area are brownish. The iris is yellow. The beak is large, powerful, gray-black. Paws are grey.
There are 3 subspecies of the soldier’s macaw, which differ in size, color elements and habitat.
Lifespan of a soldier’s macaw with proper care is about 50 – 60 years.
Habitat and life in nature of a soldier’s macaw
The soldier’s macaw is found in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The world population has from 3 to 10 thousand individuals. The species suffers from poaching and loss of natural habitats. Gold mining in Mexico also affects bird numbers.
Soldier’s macaws live in foothill areas in wooded areas with valleys at an altitude of 500 to 2000 meters above sea level. In Mexico, they live in the region of small foothills in dry forests, sometimes in lowland moist and coastal forests. In the Colombian Andes, moist forests are preferred. Venezuela has tropical forests up to 600 meters above sea level.
The diet of a soldier’s macaw includes seeds, various nuts and fruits.
Usually kept in pairs or small flocks of up to 10 individuals. Young birds gather in large flocks.
In the photo: soldier’s macaws. Photo: flickr.com
Reproduction of the soldier’s macaw
The breeding season of the soldier’s macaw is in June in Mexico. In other subspecies, nesting takes place in other months (from January to March).
Birds are monogamous and choose a partner for many years. In large flocks, birds keep their mate.
Usually soldier’s macaws nest in hollows of trees at a decent height. The clutch of a soldier’s macaw usually contains 1-2 eggs, which are incubated by the female for 26 days.
Soldier’s Macaw chicks leave the nest at the age of 13 weeks, but for some time they stay close to their parents, and they feed them.