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The Great Green Macaw – conservation and aviculture

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

By Rosemary Low

The Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus) is not only an extraordinary handsome and imposing bird, it also has a lovely calm and sweet temperament, quite different to the Military. I worked with a breeding pair at Palmitos Park in Gran Canaria and I always loved this species. It is often confused with the Military Macaw (Ara militaris) which is smaller and darker in colour.

Among the large macaws, the Great Green – often called Buffon’s Macaw - tends to be overlooked. Unlike the Scarlet or the Green-winged, it has little red in its plumage and it lacks the dazzling brilliance of the Hyacinth. But I see it as a majestic bird. The Great Green, Hyacinth and Green-winged Macaws (Ara chloropterus) are the three largest parrots in the Neotropics (South and Central America).

The Great Green (Ara ambiguus), the Blue-throated (Ara glaucogularis) and the Red-fronted (Ara rubrogenys) are the most endangered of the large macaws, being the only ones listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN.

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