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The Green Wing Macaw

Updated on February 28, 2012

All about the Green Wing Macaw

If you’re thinking of getting the Green wing Macaw for a pet, you have know all about the green wing macaw first. It is commonly known as the "Gentle Giant" or "Red-and-green Macaw". It is second in size to that of the Hyacinth Macaw. The Green wing macaw is often mistaken for the Scarlet Macaw for physically, Green wing Macaw has vivid red breast and the lower part of the feathers in the wing area are green.  Its glittering teal feathers are surrounded by red feathers on the tail. Another physical description for the Green wing Macaw is that it has distinct red lines around the eyes which are formed by rows of small feathers. The biggest variation of the green wing macaw from a scarlet macaw is that it has a bare white skin patch around its eyes.

Considered to be the largest of the Ara genus and most common of the large macaws in the wild, green wing macaws are widespread in the forests of Northern South Africa. To name a few of their habitats, green wing macaws are usually found in Venezuela, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Guyana, Peru, French Guiana, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia. Green macaws are then mostly seen in mangrove swamps, savannas and tropical forests.

Talking about size, full sized Green-winged macaw lengths up to 90cm (35.5in) on average and with wingspans averaging approximately 102-122.5cm (41-49in).The weight may approximately land at 1250-1700g (43.8-59.5oz or 2.75-3.75lbs).

Getting down to knowing more than the usual information, the Green wing Macaw has a beak which can generate a pressure of 2000 psi (pound per square inch ) and can snap a broomstick in half. Its powerful beak can crush or open even the hardest nuts and seeds which happen to be the green wing macaw’s diet. On the other hand, even with a powerful beak, macaws are considered to be messy eaters. Another interesting fact about the green wing macaw is that it can live 60 years or longer which is up to 80 years. Macaws are characterized as monogamous which would mean that they would only have one mate for a lifetime. This is such a great attribute of the macaws and only entails that a green wing macaw may only have one mate for over 60 years!

The green wing macaw has a sensitive, affectionate and responsive disposition despite its characteristic as a shy bird. Ironic as it may be, this bird is exceptionally interactive both with people and other parrots, and the Green wing macaw often possesses the sweetest of natures and will make an excellent life-long companion. Not commonly bred in captivity, the Green wing Macaw is considered extremely intelligent bird which is inquisitive about everything. This is the smartest amongst the large macaws with an ability to learn quickly. However, Green wing macaws have a mischievous nature which frequently leads them into trouble

Green wing macaws are normally seen in pairs or in groups of same family and they rarely gather in small flocks of six to twelve birds. The Green-winged macaw mainly pair off for life.  In the wild, the breeding season for the green-winged macaw starts in November and December specifically in the southern part of their range. February and March on the other hand commences breeding season in the north. The female normally lays two or three eggs and incubates the eggs for about 28 days. About 90 days or three months after hatching, the chicks would then have their feathers and wing muscles ready for flight. It is almost impossible to determine if the macaw is a male or female. Recommended ways on determining the sexes are DNA / Feather or surgical sexing.

Luckily, Green-winged macaw currently is not classified as endangered.  However, it has been said that they have disappeared from part of their former range in Panama and are extinct in some parts of its range including Argentina. 

Green winged macaws, like many parrot species, are under the threat of deforestation and over population of humans.  They are also popular in the pet trade, which are being sold at around $1500.

As a pet, a green wing macaw does take a lot of work, but the rewards are worth every minute of it. You get a companion like no other which maybe considered one of the greatest incentives of nurturing a pet. With just little cuddles and gently strokers to its feathers, you would be able to get a repayment of loyalty and an intelligence who would always challenge your own wits.

The Green Wing Macaw is intelligent and eager for attention and play. It adapts quickly and once it becomes accustomed to a new environment and its keeper, be ready for a pet whom you would call "a great companion" for a lifetime. Getting to know all about the green wing macaw certainly make us eager to get one.


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