Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth Macaw/Blue Macaw Facts
Size Up to 3.2 ft (1 m)
Speed Up to 34 mph (55 km/h)
Weight 3.3-3.7 lb (1.5–1.7 kg)
Lifespan 40-50 years
Food Nuts, fruit
Predators Egg thieves: crows, toucans, skunks
Habitat Brazil, Bolivia
Order Parrots
Family True parrots
Scientific name Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
Characteristics Biggest parrot, blue plumage
The Family of the Blue Macaws

Only four species belong to the family of the blue macaws: the Hyacinth macaw, the Lear's macaw, the Glaucous macaw and the Guadeloupe amazon. Sadly, the Glaucous macaw and the Guadeloupe amazon are extinct already. The best-known species is the hyacinth macaw, which is often just called blue macaw.

The King of the Parrots

With 3.2 ft (1 m), the hyacinth macaw is the tallest macaw, but not the heaviest. It only weighs 3.5 lb (1.6 kg), while the flightless kakapo reaches 6.6-8.8 lb (3-4 kg).

Hyacinth Macaw Hyacinth Macaw - Photo: mlorenz/Shutterstock

This Bill Cuts Steel!

Ok, this might be a little exaggerated, but when a hyacinth macaw cuts a nut in two, the edges are as clean as if the bird had used a steel blade. The biteforce of the blue giant macaw is also quite impressive: 550 lb (250 kg). This is enough to cut a broomstick in half. But the bird prefers macadamia nuts and coconuts most of the time.

Strong, Tough, and Gentle

Blue macaws are known for their patient, gentle, and good-tempered manner. They are also called “gentle giants”.

Hyacinth Macaw Hyacinth Macaw - Photo: Uwe Bergwitz/Shutterstock

Blue Macaws Use Tools

There are situations in the life of a blue macaw in which its strong bill proves useless. Then the birds often use tools in order to break nuts – for example a wedge-shaped piece of wood, which helps them to cleave the nut in two. Before they do this, they wrap the nut into a leave, so that it cannot roll away. Only few animals actually use tools. This is seen as a sign of higher intelligence.

Use of Physical Strength

Even though hyacinth macaws are rather tall and heavy, they love to hang on branches with their heads down in order to reach their favorite food.

Hyacinth Macaw Hyacinth Macaw - Photo: zahorec/Shutterstock

Endangered Species

The blue macaw belongs to the endangered species. It loses more and more of its habitat because many forests are cleared for cattle farming or agriculture. Its beautiful plumage is used by locals to manufacture jewelry or sell it to tourists. The blue macaw is also a popular pet and therefore often removed from its accustomed environment. In Germany, blue macaws can only be kept as pets if you have a special permit.


Blue macaws stay together for their entire lives and mostly breed once a year. The female lays one or two eggs. The young birds hatch after about 29 days. After six months they are ready to live on their own.

Hyacinth Macaw Hyacinth Macaw - Photo: Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock

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