When you look at macaws, it feels like their sole purpose was to fulfil the Nature with colours. With so many different varieties of macaws, each with beautiful bright coloured feathers, it won’t be too hard to understand why anyone would be fascinated with them.
Is your little one fascinated by these colourful birds? Do they want to know more about the macaws? If that is the case, then look no further. We made a list of 11 amazing macaw facts for kids that will cover anything and everything that your kids want to know about them
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Macaws for Kids
With big bodies, long tails, strong beaks and powerful talons, macaws are one of those birds which will mesmerize you when a flock of them flows by. Strikingly beautiful colours and loud calls, one cannot miss these birds. So, without further ado, let us jump into the amazing macaw facts!
1. Macaws are the largest type of parrots
It is already known that the macaws form a part of the parrot family. But did you know that the parrot family consists of about 376 species of which the macaws tend to be the largest ones?
The scarlet macaws are, in fact, the largest macaws in the world! They have a massive wingspan of almost 3 feet and can weigh up to 2 pounds!
In case you are interested to know more about the majestic and colourful scarlet macaws, you can check out our article on the same here- 11 Amazing Scarlet Macaw Facts for Kids.
2. Macaws love living in the tropical rainforests
Macaws can be found throughout Central America, Mexico and South America. Although these birds generally prefer rainforests, they can be found in other areas like the woodlands and savannahs.
In the Amazon rainforest, one is ought to find the blue and yellow macaws, the scarlet macaws, the red and green macaws and many others from their massive family.
3. These majestic birds have a very peculiar relationship with clay
Yes, you read that one right. Although this fact is yet to be hundred percent proven, this is a widely accepted theory.
It is said that the macaws are mostly vegetarians who feed on fruits, nuts, berries and seeds. What is surprising about their diet is that it is often found that flocks of macaws are nibbling away at clay.
Why they do it is yet to be understood, although it is widely accepted that the clay helps them in digestion and protection from certain poisons that might be present in the cherries or seed that they consume on a daily basis.
4. Macaws can look colourful but are well adapted to their environment
There are many species of macaws sprawled across the tropical rainforests. Most of them come in different bright colours. It can be extremely mesmerizing to watch them fly by.
You might be thinking that how can birds, which are so colourful, adapt and camouflage in their environment? Well, in the tropical rainforests of Central and Southern America, these birds fit in very well. This is because the rainforests are dotted with colourful fruits and flowers which works perfectly for these colourful creatures.
5. These birds are extremely loud creatures
This one is a no brainer. We all have seen parrots at least once in our lives if not macaws. And we all know how noisy parrots can get.
Well, it turns out that their relatives are very similar to them when it comes to vocalisations. Macaws are extremely vocal and noisy creatures. It is very likely that you will hear a macaw before you see one.
Macaws use their vocalisations for a lot of purposes like marking their territory, communicating and identifying their respective partners.
6. All macaws mate for life
Macaws typically reach the age of sexual maturity 3 or 4 years after they are born. After this, they choose one partner with whom they spend the rest of their lives together.
What is even more interesting about the macaws is that they do not just get together with their mates for the sole purpose of breeding, unlike owls. They spend a great deal of their time together, sharing food, caring for the chicks and even flying really close to each other. Pretty romantic, isn’t it?
More Stuff You’ll Love: 11 Amazing Barn Owls Facts for Kids
7. Macaws can outlive human beings!
Macaws can fall among that category of birds that can live for a really long time. Typically, macaws can live up to the age of 60 years in the wild.
This long period can also become longer and can stretch up to 80 or even 100 years! They have the capability to outlive their owners in case they are kept in captivity.
These long lives of the macaws can be attributed to the reason that they usually do not have a lot of natural predators. While eagles, jungle cats and snakes may occasionally prey on them, macaws are not their first choice of prey.
8. Macaws hardly have any natural predators
While it can be hard to believe, it is indeed true. Because of their sheer size, strong curved beaks and wicked talons, not a lot of animals and birds try to mess with the macaws.
Although snakes, jungles cats and eagles may sometimes attack them, especially the hatchlings in the nest, the macaws are not their first choice of prey.
9. Macaws are highly intelligent birds
Macaws are highly intelligent and social birds with a particularly well developed vocal-learning centre in their brains. Although they cannot speak, they are able to mimic certain human phrases and noises from their environment.
If trained well, macaws are even capable enough to distinguish different shapes and colors and that is fascinating! Additionally, they have a wide range of vocalisations for communicating within a flock.
What is the most interesting fact about these majestic birds is that it has been noticed that the parents use individualised calls for each baby, thus giving them a name!
10. The Amazonian tribal people use colourful feathers as the headdress
When you have thousands of beautifully coloured birds living somewhere and shedding their colourful feathers, might as well make great use of them.
That is exactly what the indigenous people and the tribal people of the Amazon do. When we think of these people, it is likely to paint an image of a person with a beautiful headdress that is colourful and made from the feathers of the macaws.
However, these headdresses are not just for aesthetic purposes. It also signifies mythical powers and beliefs of these people. For example, the Waiwai shamans believe that one must be sporting the colours of the majestic scarlet macaw while calling out to the Sun.
11. Most macaw species are declining in population or are endangered
This is probably the most heart-breaking part of the article. Although there are 22 identified species of macaws, almost all of them are under threat of some kind.
Five of the species are already extinct; three of them are critically endangered. These three are hyacinth, red-fronted and blue-throated macaws.
Another four have been categorised as endangered and the rest are on the verge of population decline. This is due to human beings and their illegal poaching.
The charismas of these birds have made them easy targets to capture and sell as exotic birds and to other places like circuses. Additionally, deforestation also has played a major part.
Different types of Macaw parrot species
Macaws are highly beautiful birds that come in many colours and shapes. At least 22 different species of macaws have been identified, all of them unique in their own ways. Below, is a list of all the different kinds of macaws.
- Scarlet macaw
- Hyacinth macaw
- Spix’s macaw
- Blue-and-yellow macaw
- Red-and-green macaw
- Lear’s macaw
- Red-shouldered macaw
- Great green macaw
- Military macaw
- Chestnut-fronted macaw
- Blue-throated macaw
- Blue-winged macaw
- Glaucous macaw
- Golden-collared macaw
- Red-fronted macaw
- Red-bellied macaw
- Blue-headed macaw
- Cuban macaw
- Martinique macaw
- Lesser Antillean macaw
Also want to know about some other parrot species, read these articles:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Macaws are generally vegetarians and love eating fruits, nuts, seeds and berries. Although occasionally, they might feed on insects.
Macaws prefer the tropical rainforest and hence can be found throughout Central and Southern America.
On average, a full-grown macaw can weigh from anywhere between 1.8 to 2 pounds.
Yes, macaws do eat bananas.
No, macaws do not hunt and eat meat as they are vegetarians for the most part. Occasionally, they might feed on insects.
Macaws prefer to build their nest in the holes of the trees in the rainforests.
The Aguaje Palm trees are extremely favoured by the macaws to live in.
A group of macaws is called a flock.
There is no fixed age as to when macaws start talking. Some might start talking at 3 months old while it may take another 12 months.
Yes, macaws are highly vocal creatures and talk a lot.
Macaws can live for at least 60 years, if not more. Occasionally, it can stretch to 80 or 100 years.
The rarest macaw in the world is the Spix macaw.
Unfortunately, yes, all the species of macaws are endangered or critically endangered.
That was it, folks! You have reached the end of the article ’11 Amazing Macaw Facts for Kids.’ Hopefully, you and your little one had a great time learning about these majestic, colourful and highly vocal birds.
Although they are beautiful to look at, try not to make them your pets as these birds thrive in their environment the most. Have a great day!