Macaws (Psittacidae) are large members of the parrot family. Many macaws have extremely vibrant plumage. The coloring is suited to life in Central and South American rain forests, with their green leaves, red and yellow fruits, and bluish shadows. Macaws have large curved beaks that easily crack nuts and seeds, while their tongues have a bone inside them that makes them a great tool for tapping into fruits. These large birds also have the ability to squawk and scream loud enough to echo throughout the forests. Some species even have the ability to mimic human speech.
Largest - Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), 39.4 inches tall; Smallest - Red-shouldered Macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis), 11.8 inches tall
They eat a variety of fruit, nuts, insects, and snails. Some species also eat damp soil to aid in digestion.
Hyacinth, Red-fronted, and Blue-throated macaws are seriously endangered. Illegal trapping for the exotic pet trade is one of the major reasons for macaw population decline. Logging, farming, and development have also contributed to reduced macaw habitats.
A macaw’s beak is so strong it can easily crush a whole Brazil nut.