Lear’s Macaw Care Sheet

Finding Beauty in a Plucked Bird

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Scientific Facts

Common NameLear’s Macaw / Indigo Macaw
Scientific NameAnodorhynchus leari
Size70-75cm (27.3-29.25 in)
Life Span60 years
HabitatArid caatinga (scrub forest) with sandstone canyons and stands of licuri palms
Country of OriginBrazil

A flight of Lear’s Macaws offers a picturesque, loud sprinkle of blue against the red of the sandstone valleys in Brazil where they perch and reside. Edward Lear, a British artist, poet, and author, who was affectionate to parrots, identified this species in honor of him.

Like Blue-throated, Great Green, and Military Macaws, these gorgeous macaws are familiar enclosure birds that are extremely explored by unauthorized muggers. An ABC-supported reserve — Canudos Biological Station — now presents a shelter for Lear’s Macaw, and the species’ figures have risen from several dozen in the late 1980s to nearly 1,300 today.

Physical Description

Lear’s measures between 27.5–32 inches (70 – 81 cm) in length, from the crown of its head to the point of its extended tail. The balance between 28 – 35 oz (800 – 1,000 grams) – the common mass obtaining 34 oz (950 g).

The eye circles are orange-yellow. The peculiar huge curved apteric spots next to the lower beak are light yellow. The huge bill is black; the palate has a yellow band, the toes are dull grey, and the irises deep brown.

The feathers are essentially cobalt blue, though, in ample sunlight, their plumage seems lustrous – especially those on the back and wings. The belly, chest, neck, and head are more greenish-blue. The bottom of the wings and tail are blackish.

Females and males resemble comparatively. The male may possess a bigger bill and may frequently be more extensive, but those distinctions alter or may merely be dainty and are not deemed credible for gender classification. DNA sexing (feathers or blood) or Surgical is generally applied.

Juveniles can be distinguished by their smaller tail; the upper beak is lighter. The apteric skin spot is a lighter yellow in juvenile birds.

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Similar Species:

The Hyacinth Macaw: At 27.5–30 inches (70–75 cm) in length, the Lear’s Macaw is a shorter version of its kin, the Hyacinth, which averages roughly 40 inches or 1 meter in length. The blue color of its feather is paler than that of the Hyacinth; the tone is less extreme and is shaded with green. The scraps of the yellow surface near to the foundation of the beak are likewise more rounded and larger in that of the Lear. An added distinction is the shape and size of the plumes. Lears hold long slim, and keen plumes; the Hyacinths have wider wings.

The Green Macaw is somewhat comparable; however, it is slightly more petite in stature, and the feather is lighter. The Green didn’t typically transpire in the corresponding fields as the Lear’s Macaws either and are likewise deemed extinct. So, the mistake is absurd.

Geographical Range

The Lear’s Macaw is native to Brazil, where it holds a restricted population within the Bahia and nearby Pernambuco states in north-east Brazil.

Two distributions are presently known to occur south of the Raso da Catarina plateau in north-east Bahia, Brazil; particularly:

  • One transpires in Toca Velha, at Canudos city
  • A second is located in Serra Branca, at Jeremoabo city

In 1995, a crowd of 22 was discovered between the towns of Campo Formoso and Sento Sé. Though, they are now recognized to be part of the Serra Branca / Toca Velha distribution that progressed to take pleasure of ripening licurí Syagrus palms.

However, considering not all regions within its natural span have been completely inspected, it is reasonable that additional, yet foreign flocks of Lear’s Macaws, subsist.


They transpire in an exposed or partly admissible dry caatinga environment with prickle-bush vegetation and shale mountains that they utilize for colonial dwelling and perching; and adjacent stances of Licuri palm (Syagrus coronata), the fruits of which they principally serve on.

Caatinga vegetation includes diverse opuntia, giant succulents, and fachiero cacti types.

Common Behavior

Lear’s macaws are friendly, territorial, diurnal, and boisterous birds. They generally create flocks of approximately 8 to 30 birds, and, to a lesser measure, there are couples or smaller groups of folks. They have noticeable deep shrieks and are normally seen traveling or roosted on the surface branches of palms or trees. Usually, up to 4 exemplars perch in one hole or pit of 100 – 200 ft (30 – 60 m) in high sandstone valleys. In the morning, these birds lounge up in dim licuri palms or trees, where they can likewise feast on the tubers of the palm. They can be seen trimming each other, quacking occasionally. Lear’s macaws are humble birds, and, when frightened, circumnavigate upwards, crying audibly. Later, they may turn abruptly before they settle over on a tree (when they hold it secure), or they will travel off.

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At the start of the day, a tiny progress body of two to three males will “explore” dormant roosting and feeding sites. They will likewise be the head to revert to their perching domains at dusk. This “lookout” group will then silently roost on the highest woods for roughly ten minutes. Once content that there is no threat, they will exclaim vehemently to the others, who will then attend them either to the roosting or feeding site. If the vulnerability has been discovered, the “explorers” will give out their powerful impression signals to alert the rest of the flock.

To evade poachers or predators, these macaws can attain gliding velocities of up to 35 miles or 55 km per hour.

Their flight is surging with fixed-wing strikes.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Natural Diet

They chiefly feast on the seeds of the licurí palm (Syagrus coronata), which present nearly 90% of their nutrition. Each exemplar may consume up to 350 of these seeds each day, and it is assessed that approximately 450 fructiferous palms are required to support one macaw.

They utilize their strong, large bills to break open the tough nuts so that they can serve on the white meat within the kernels. They commonly extract a clump of 10-20 nuts and sweat their access through the clump. They may bring a clump to a neighboring wood and consume the nuts there.

They have likewise been witnessed on fields, feasting on kernels that had been devoured by cows and had reached through their digestive tracts, causing the kernels smoother and more accessible to open.

They further consume the grains and nut of various other trees and shrubs, including Spondias tuberosa (commonly known as Brazil plum, Umbu, or Imbu), Syagrus coronata palm nuts, Pinhão shrub (Jatropha pohliana var. mollissima), Melanoxylon, as well as vegetable matter, berries, various ripe and unripe fruits, maize, and Agave flowers.

Captive Feeding

They are generally supplied peanuts, pine, walnuts, and Brazil nuts; and various vegetables and fruits (rowanberries, rose-hips, carrots, half-ripened maize, cucumbers, bananas, plums, oranges, pears, and apples).

They have commonly presented an excellent parrot grain blend comprising canary grass seeds (also germinated), hemp, safflower, and sunflower, as well as various millets, oats, wheat, and green foods (such as dandelion, chickweed, etc.).

Across the breeding period, they may be supplied with saturated pigeon food, chicken, chop bones with meat remains on them, and an animal protein with dried shrimp. When raising juvenile, biscuit, porridge, egg food, and bread are given to the progenitors to support the juvenile.

A great class avian mineral and vitamin supplements (particularly D and B complex) are likewise provided.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Lear’s macaw mates for life, and numerous are together for certain years before breeding. They produced three eggs though all three chicks scarcely remain. These two features signify a bird developed for a difficult situation with particular years of abundance.

The maximum lifespan is 60 years old. Though, most exist between 30 to 50 years. They attain sexual development when they are roughly 2 to 4 years old.

How to Breed

Lear macaw couple residing together for a lifetime (monogamous). Breeding transpires between February and April. Couples will establish their cradles on the sandstone mountain surfaces. The female produces 1 – 2 eggs and nurtures them for approximately 26-28 days. The settling female abandons the den merely for quick sessions to consume, as her juveniles are reliant on her for devouring and affection. Once the juveniles have developed defensive plumages, the female will step out from the den for a more extended duration. At nightfall, both parents perch in the dwelling space. Offsprings that remain to nearly 3 months, when they mature, will remain with their parents for a period after abandoning their retreat. They attain reproductive development at approximately 2 to 4 years of age.

Pet Care

Macaws remain longer than most birds and canines. With a nutritional intake, great exercise, daily chances for independence from their enclosure, and loads of care, its master is guaranteed a long-term partner. Taking responsibility for Macaws is distant from comfortable; however, the tight relationship that can emerge when Macaw masters take endeavors to know them would be profitable.

The precise Macaw intake comprises of regular portions of warm meals, fruits, and vegetables. Nutritional supplements such as vitamins are crucial for their wellness. The nutrition of Macaws observed in the wild comprises of the yellow-orange meat between the brown coat and the stocky-sized kernel of the palm fruits. This specific food possesses the proportion of a raw tuber. Extra food options incorporate shares of cooked legumes, fruit salad, chicken or turkey thigh bones, cooked chicken, and pasta.

Pet Macaws flourish stablest on everyday synergy, treatment, and appreciation. Physical and mental distress will happen if this sort of human connection is needing. Separate sub-bondings are considering; therefore, most Macaws that are subjugated to non-aggressive responses can believe people more and accordingly enable touching also by foreigners as long as there is someone accustomed to them proximately.

Macaws tend to be remarkably noisy with sounds that take over lengthy ranges. As such, macaws are commonly quite fussy birds. This is why choices concerning possessing a Macaw as a family pet must be supplied extra and deliberate consideration. They display a high knowledge skill through their performance and demand consistent mental encouragement to please their intrinsic interest. Monotony seldom urges them to bite and nibble on several gadgets.


Appending a macaw to your house implies reflecting if you possess the place, the experience, the character, and other determinants that create a macaw a great partner for you. Since macaws require large settlements and are enduring, uniting a macaw to the house necessitates being completely reflected through.

Macaws are most apt to be marketed from bird breeders or in avian-specialty shops. They are likewise sometimes possible for adoption from avian exploit companies.


In 1983, the universal distribution was calculated to number merely 60 birds. The distribution in 2010 was considered as between 1100 and 1200 exemplars. It is nowadays classified as an endangered species (CITES I). As well as territory destruction, Lear’s macaw has predominantly experienced from trapping and more lately hunting for the aviary business. Numerous preservation companies under ICMBio, accompanying with local farmers and other sovereign institutions, are operating to preserve further the species. Fundação Biodiversitas built the Canudos Biological Station in 1993 to preserve the sandstone mountains adopted by the macaws to dwell.

Prevailing Lear’s macaw preservation schemes are operated following the jurisdiction of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources. The Committee for the Conservation and Management of the Lear’s Macaw directs the institute on the protection of Lear’s macaw. The organization incorporates Brazilian and foreign companies and individuals. In 2009, the conservation rank of the species was decreased to threatened from critically threatened by the IUCN. This was provoked by an expansion in the distribution, which, based on yearly 2009 sums at the Serra Branca and Toca Velha perching localities, is calculated to be 1000 exemplars.

Fun Facts

  • Macaw couples lived restrained.
  • The Lear’s macaw is identified after Edward Lear, an artisan from the mid-1800s who was renowned for creating nonsense rhymes and painting macaws.
  • In the native, macaws frequently gather to cliffs of mud identified as “macaw licks.”
  • When irritated, these colorful birds scream shrilly and turn overhead with their lengthy tails gushing.
  • Macaws are comical and curious and can imitate human expressions extremely well.
  • Macaws can attain velocities of up to 35 mph (56 kph).
  • Macaws are remarkably untidy feeders– their astonishingly strong bills are ideally modified for consuming all varieties of seeds and nuts, as observed in their powers to break open, strangely hard-shelled kernels (such as Brazil nuts) with efficiency.


How many Lear’s Macaws are left in the world?

A study trailing the exposure measured, there were merely 60 Lear’s macaws remain in the wild: this period, there are quite beyond one thousand.

Where does the Lear’s Macaw live?

Lear’s macaw occupies stations of licuri palm. This environment, while never abundant, is presently calculated to be approximately 1.6% of its initial defense. Animals that exist adjacent to its dwelling areas often hold on the tubers of growing licuri palms, annihilating them, so creating a huge decline of feed for these birds.

Do macaws speak?

Yes, numerous macaw parrots imitate human expression. All macaws, though, will desire to articulate by copying shrieks and family sounds or by uttering terms.

Are macaws going extinct?

The generality of macaws is now endangered in the natural; various are profoundly or severely endangered, others are at risk with extermination, and five or more species are already obsolete – largely because of the brisk pace of erosion, trapping, and the unlawful catching for the pet business.

What do Lear’s Macaws eat?

Lear’s macaws consume chiefly the tough seeds from the licuri palm, and including the tuber and grains of various other shrubs and woods, as well as berries, vegetable matter, a range of ripe and unripe fruits, agave flowers, and maize.

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