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Education

The Splendid and Vivacious Hyacinth Macaw

February 20, 2017

Big, blue, and beautiful - the Hyacinth Macaw is only one of many types of parrots that call South America, particularly Brazil, home. With striking cobalt feathers and contrasting yellow rings around the eyes and beak, these birds are certainly eye-catching but little is actually known about them publicly. We know that they are the largest of all parrots with a wingspan of more than four feet long, and prefer to eat the fruit of palm trees, but subjects such as behavior and lifespan are still incredulous. For instance, most people don’t know that the Blue Macaw can live to be up to sixty years old!

This lack of knowledge but extreme popularity as a pet is one of the factors of endangerment of the Blue Macaw species. Freshly hatched and fledging Macaws are often stolen from their nests and sold into illegal pet trades causing the populations of young, healthy Macaws to plummet. In fact, according to the WWF-UK, the illegal trapping of this macaw has caused the wild population to decline to fewer than 3,000, possibly even less. And since Blue Macaws only lay one or two eggs, with usually only one hatchling surviving, the birds do not have the opportunity to repopulate their habitat - which is another major factor contributing to their classification as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The habitats for Blue Macaws consist of large tree holes for nesting and a regular supply of hard palm fruits for food, but the destruction and deforestation of vital habitats such as the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil have left these birds without food and without a place to nest. However, conservationists have not been idle; there has been a recent pledge by the Brazilian government to triple the area of protected forest in the Amazon to 25 million hectares, in line with the WWF Forests for Life campaign. Also, there are organizations such as The American Bird Conservancy, World Parrot Trust, and World Parrot Welfare Alliance whose mission is to protect and study these precious birds. Not to mention companies, such as ours, that dedicate our trade to reforestation and the conservation of the Brazilian rainforests.

The Hyacinth Macaw is displayed on our 52% Dark Milk Blend. 

Sources: http://www.wwf.org.uk/filelibrary/pdf/parrots.pdf, http://www.bluemacaws.org/en-gb/articles/hyacinthine-macaws-in-the-wild, http://www.arkive.org/hyacinth-macaw/anodorhynchus-hyacinthinus/, https://www.parrots.org/


Links to organizations to learn more: https://abcbirds.org/?s=macaw, https://www.parrots.org, http://thegabrielfoundation.org/

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