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Extinct Macaws: The Spix's Macaw

Updated on March 1, 2012

If you are fond of animals and birds, and can spend many hours by watching them in the zoo or at you home place, you will definitely enjoy this article, which will be dedicated to the spix’s macaw parrots. To start with, spix’s macaw parrots are considered to be the rare kind of parrots, which is protected through various breeding programs. The spix’s macaw parrots are one of the most gorgeous types of parrots, usually of a blue color with its different shades, such as light blue, deep blue, blue-grey, etc. Usually, such kind of parrots has light blue heads and deep blue bodies. Their cheeks and forehead are covered with light blue feathers. The spix’s macaw parrots have big and strong beaks, legs and feet. They are very strong, but will not do any harm to people, although they are considered to be wild living type of birds.

Historically, the spix’s macaw parrots were discovered in 1817 by a German naturalist, whose mane is Johann Baptist von Spix. Johann had found this type of parrots in the forests of Brazil. So, as we can see, this type of blue parrots was named after their founder. Brazilian dry forests now and then are considered to be the homeland of blue parrots, because it is a perfect place for nesting in the conditions of warm and dry climate. But unfortunately the number of spix’s macaw parrots isn’t very big. By the year of 2008 it was about 78 macaws. Since 2000 the spix’s macaw parrots does not live in the wild nature anymore. That is why nowadays there is a great variety of different reservations, where you can see and admire these gorgeous birds.

In comparison with the other types of parrots, spix’s macaws are of a medium height, which is about 55-57 cm long. Their weight varies from 300 to 400 grams. The spix’s macaw parrots are considered to be the long-livers. Their lifespan can reach up to 28 years in the wild nature and about 35 – 40 years in captivity.

The difference between the male and female parrots is hardly vivid. The one thing which helps to differentiate the male parrot from female is their size. Usually, the male parrots are a little bit bigger than the female.

The spix’s macaw parrots are considered to be very clever birds, with a number of habits, such as living in pairs, nesting and food seeking by male individual. In the wild nature, these parrots do not move very much. Usually, they choose some high trees, like Tabebuia, which can reach 8 meters high and is covered with beautiful, yellow flowers and build their nest among them. Usually they live in pairs or in some small groups. Many naturalists say that in spite the fact that all parrots are very sociable and communicative, spix’s macaws are shy enough and prefer to live and stay among their family or group. Adult pairs which are ready to make a couple and to hatch their chicks prefer to do it in a period of a rainy season, which lasts from November to March. A couple of parrots make a nest in a hole of a tree, which may be used for a long time and during many years.

When the nest is ready, a female parrot lays some eggs. Usually it can vary from 2 to 4 eggs, sometimes more. During the period of 25-28 days, a female parrot is sitting alone and watching eggs. At this time a male parrot is providing his male parrot with food and water. After 25-28 days the small chicks will hatch inside the eggs. They are born naked and look not very attractive. For a period of 5 – 6 months small chicks stay with their parents in the nest and only then, when they are strong and skillful enough can leave their home nest. Young parrots are easily got used to the wild life in the forest, due to the fact that parrots are considered to be herbivorous birds. They can find suitable food without any problems and difficulties.

According to the research of some naturalists, young parrots which have just left their home nests may never come back home again, because they try to find a male or a female partner and to build their own family and nest. The spix’s macaw parrots are family targeted and take care of their partners and chicks very well.

Nowadays, you can admire the beauty of these unusual and really gorgeous birds at some parks and reserves of Brazil, where a specially trained staff takes care of them and protects from the extinction. The spix’s macaw parrots are considered to be a rare breed of parrots, which attracts a great number of naturalists, scientists and usual visitors all over the world. If you want to see the wonder of nature – come and see the spix’s macaw parrots.


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    • the50marathons17 profile image

      Michael 5 years ago from Long Island, New York


      Thanks for the comment! Too bad these little guys are no longer around for us to enjoy.


    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 5 years ago from Florida


      I really enjoyed your hub. I grew up with a parrot in our family, and her was Polly, my aunt named her and she was 50 years old when I was five.

      That was a beautiful photo of the Macaw parrots, and oil painting would be great of them.