Military Macaw


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Scientific Name:

  • Ara militaris.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 blacklines; flight feathers are blue; red tail bordered with blue; the large strong beak is grey-black; the iris is yellow; appears similar to and maybe easily confused with the larger Great Green Macaw.
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