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Hyacinthine Macaws in the Pantanal, Brazil


by Janice Fiske

The section on Brazil in the article, ‘Parrot watching in South America’ in the May 2012 issue of Parrots filled me with nostalgia for my trip to the Pantanal in October 2010 and inspired me to put pen to paper.

My trip to the world famous Pantanal in Brazil was to celebrate my retirement from work and was focussed on wildlife in general, rather than birds or parrots in particular, although one of the reasons for choosing this region, was the relatively high chance of seeing Hyacinthine Macaws.

The Hyacinthine Macaw is the largest parrot in the world, measuring around 100cm (3ft 4in) long from the tip of its tail to the top of its head. Its feathers are entirely blue, with its wings being a little darker. It has a large black curved beak, with a lappet of bright-yellow bare skin on the left and right of its face adjacent to the base of its lower beak, as well as eye rings of yellow bare skin. The male and female are identical in appearance, and juveniles resemble adults.

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