Carmen – Military Macaw
Carmen was bred to be an education bird. She was received at the World Bird Sanctuary as a baby, and handfed and fostered by our staff. She is a very smart and a quick learner. She is so smart, in fact, that she has learned to fly loops around the amphitheater wherever she is performing, along with her friend, Trinidad. In addition to her prodigious flying abilities she also has learned to recycle, give kisses and do a left shoulder roll. Carmen also talks. She says “hello”, “step up”, and a number of other phrases, as well as responding to certain questions during a show. If asked what a rooster says, she crows like a rooster, and if asked “Can you wave?”, she raises her foot and waves to the audience.
She has a very sweet personality, likes to lick anything within reach, and enjoys flying, climbing and hanging upside down from her perch. Carmen is a traveling bird, which means she spends most of the spring and summer entertaining at venues such as the North Carolina Zoo, Silver Dollar City in Branson, and the Milwaukee County Zoo. Even though she is rarely seen here in St. Louis, she has a huge following in the cities where she appears during the summer show season.
Species: Military Macaw
Latin Name: Ara militaris
Description: mostly green in color with the head a slightly paler shade; has a red frontal patch, with a white bare facial area barred with narrow black lines; flight feathers are blue; red tail bordered with blue; the large strong beak is grey-black; the iris is yellow; appears similar to and may be easily confused with the larger Great Green Macaw
Sex: sexual maturity reach at 2-4 years
Age: 50-60 years
Length: 27.8″ (average)
Weight: 2-2.4 lbs.
Habitat: arid woodlands and subtropical forests at elevations of 600 to 2600 meters, higher than most other macaws range
Status: listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List due mostly to deforestation and capture for the pet trade; now listed by CITES as protected
Range: A.m. militaris found in Peru, Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela; A.m. mexicana occupies area of Mexico; A.m. boliviana found in Bolivia and Argentina
Behavior: a very noisy bird that lives in large flocks; leaves roosts in large flocks at dawn and head to feeding areas; nest in the tops of trees and in cliff-faces over 600 ft.; these birds are monogamous and remain together for life; female lays 1-2 eggs which only she will incubate for approximately 26 days
Diet: seeds, fruits, nuts, berries and other treetop vegetation; beaks well adapted for cracking hard nuts with ease; known to visit clay riverbanks and feed on the clay deposits which are believed to detoxify the poisons found in their diets; possibly ingested for the dietary salt which their normal diet lacks
Vocalization: in the wild makes a variety of loud cracking and shrieking sounds, including a loud kraa-aak
Other Information: very intelligent birds easily taught to mimic human speech; learns behaviors taught to them by humans very easily since they are a very social bird