CARMEN – MILITARY MACCAW
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Hatch Year: 2001
Arrival to WBS: 2001
Reason for Residence: hatched in captivity
Carmen was hatched by a local parrot breeder and kindly donated to World Bird Sanctuary to be used for educational programs. She ended up joining our Zoo Show department where she learned how to fly circuits around the show arena. Shortly after her zoo show debut, she was introduced to another Military Macaw named Trinidad and now the two of them fly in tandem during the shows!
Along with several verbal cues, Carmen has also learned to stick out her tongue at people, but only when they do it to her first! Carmen and her pal Trinidad love to be flipped upside down where they both pose as hats or purses in people’s hands. She also enjoys little more than a nice long shower, and between shows if there happens to be a rain shower her trainers will often be kind enough to hold her out in the falling rain so she can take a proper bath. A kind hearted and trusting bird, Carmen quickly climbs into the hearts of everyone who works with her.
SPECIES: MILITARY MACAWL
CONSERVATION STATUS: VULNERABLE
Military macaws are estimated to only have a breeding population of 2000-7000 individuals and is continuing to decrease. There are two main threats to the species, as it is trapped at high levels for the pet trade as well as being affected by habitat loss.
Scientific 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: no visible difference between male and female
Age: up to 60 years
Weight: 2 lbs
Habitat: In South America, these macaws prefer wooded mountain foothills with humid forest and canyons, while in Mexico, they use a slightly wider range of habitat types, including semi-arid woodland and pine-oak forest. They do not seem to be restricted to pristine habitat, with reports from Peru and Mexico that they will use shade-grown coffee plantations and other agricultural land.
Range: from Mexico as far south as Argentina, but its range is very fragmented and in South America consists of a series of scattered populations along the length of the Andes. There are former range areas in western Mexico where it is now extinct.
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
– Their name originates from the similarity of their coloration to that of military uniforms, green coats and red berets.
– 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.