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Red-fronted macaw

Scientific Name: Ara rubrogenys

The red-fronted macaw is a large member of the parrot family. They have bright green body feathers, with red on their head and shoulders, and blue in the tail. Juvenile red-fronted macaws have less red colouration than the adults. They have a very small range limited to a small area of Bolivia.

Red-fronted macaws are social birds: in addition to their stable breeding pair bond, which is typical for macaws, they can be found in groups of up to 30. Communication is important for this species with frequent mutual preening between individuals in a pair. Loud vocalisations are normal in the flocks, but more frequent in larger groups.

The breeding season for the red-fronted macaw is between October and March. Chicks fledge around 70 days after hatching. Nests are built in cliffs and usually several pairs will nest in the same area, forming a small colony.

Red-fronted macaws eat a variety of plant types including several cactus species and perform an important role in spreading seeds for these tough plants. The dryness of their habitat means that there are frequent food shortages and the red-fronted macaws will eat groundnut and unripe maize crops at these times.

The red-fronted macaw is classed as Endangered. Habitat destruction, as land is converted for agriculture, is the main problem. Unfortunately, as there is less habitat and less food available the macaws target those crops and are killed as pests.

Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Distribution: Bolivia
  • Habitat: Scrublands
  • Diet: Leaves, Roots, Seeds
  • Weight: 450 – 650g
  • No. of young: 1 – 3
  • Life Span: 50 years


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