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What is a Green Wing Macaw?

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  • Written By: Alyssa Simon
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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A green wing macaw is a type of large parrot that comes from the tropical rain forests in Central and South America. The bird's scientific name is Ara chloroptera. "Ara" means strong in Greek, and "chloroptera" is a Greek compound word that means green wing. Green wing macaws can grow up to 36 inches (0.91 meters) and can be identified by their yellow eyes and black beak as well as their brilliant coloring. Their heads, shoulders and chests are typically red, and the feathers on their wings are mixed shades of green and blue.

The birds are also known as maroon macaw, red and blue macaw or red and green macaw, among other names. Macaws in the wild are seldom seen alone. They are usually spotted in either pairs or small flocks of up to 12. They mate for life, and the female will lay two to three eggs during its breeding season. The eggs hatch after about 28 days, and the baby macaws are ready to leave the nest after three months.

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Green wing macaws are considered to be quite intelligent and can be trained to perform tricks as well as learn to repeat a few words. Some types of macaw parrots are thought to be aggressive, but green wings are generally gentle, which makes them a popular pet choice. A green wing macaw may do well in a small family and have a reputation for being social and playful. They can live more than 60 years in captivity, so choosing to own one can be a life-long commitment.

Their diet in the wild consists of berries, nuts and seeds. A macaw in captivity can thrive on store-bought bird food if the feed is heavily fortified with fruit or vegetable pieces and sunflower seeds. Due to its large size, a green wing macaw requires a very large cage, plus plenty of room in which to walk around and exercise. Plus, individuals should take its large wingspan into account when planning a space for the parrot to live.

Individuals should also take care to provide a green wing macaw with plenty of salt, which is essential to its diet. In the wild, the parrots are drawn to clay deposits in the rain forest that contain rich amounts of salts and minerals. These clay hills are popularly known as macaw licks.

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