Military macaw(Ara militaris)
Genus – ara
The Military macaw is 70.5 cm (27.8 in) long on average, 99–110 (33–43 in) across the wings and weighs 900–1,100 grams (2–2.4 lbs). Military macaws are mostly green with light blue and yellow flight and tail feathers and a bright red patch on their forehead. Their face is bare and white in color with black striations. The large strong beak is grey-black and the iris is yellow.
The Military macaw inhabits small areas of both Central and South America, from Bolivia to western Mexico, western Venezuela and north-western Argentina.
Military macaws live in pairs or family groups. They are also often seen in flocks with as many as 40 birds in communal roosts on cliff faces or in tall trees, where they go to sleep at night. They are very noisy and make themselves conspicuous at the time of dawn and dusk, while they fly between the roosting and feeding areas. During such flights, mating pairs fly close together. When at rest during the day, the birds perch in the tops of exposed dead trees. Military macaws migrate seasonally to eat particular fruits, and move about locally in many regions. Their beaks are used as a “third hand” when they move about or climb in trees, enabling them to climb easily with the help of their feet and beak. Military macaws are often heard before they are seen, identified by their loud screeching and croaking.
Military macaws eat seeds, nuts, berries and fruits, as well as other kinds of vegetation while they are up in a tree.
Military macaws are monogamous, remaining together for life. During courtship they perform aerobatics as part of flight displays. The breeding season takes place between January and March, though it may vary depending on the country. They nest in cavities, mostly in a hole in a treetop, but also in canyon cliff-faces, where their nest may be set up in rocky crevices or fissures, about 200 m off the ground. 2 or 3 white eggs are laid. Incubation is about 28 days to a month, by the female, who is fed by the male during this period. The male then brings her food for their chicks. The young fledge at about 12 weeks old. Military macaws reach sexual maturity after two to four years.
Military macaws can live about 50–60 years in the wild.
In captivity, a parrot's owner becomes the bird's flockmate. This bird is not a pet that you can buy and ignore; these birds need interaction and mental stimulation. If you don't oblige them, you will pay the price in wrecked property, bitten fingers, and frustration.
The cage itself needs to be large—at least 2.5-feet by 3-feet wide and 5-feet tall. If you can, create a dedicated bird-safe room. Be sure to include a large perch inside the cage and have a play stand for time outside its home. The Military macaw may become territorial with its cage; limit putting your hands in the cage while the bird is inside it.
You will need to clean the bird's cage on a regular schedule. Clean the perches and toys once a week, wash the floor of the cage once a month, and thoroughly sanitize the rest of the cage once a year.
Consider the costs of owning one of these parrots before rushing out to get one. Veterinary bills, quality feed, toys, and cages add up. If you can't give your bird the best of everything, consider holding off on adopting one until you can.
In the wild, Military macaws feast on seeds, berries, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Pet Military macaws should eat a similar diet made up of a high-quality seed or pellet mix and fresh bird-safe fruits and vegetables. Macaw owners often find that their bird likes to join them for dinner. You can feed them nutritious "people food" on occasion, including small amounts of protein like chicken. If it's healthy, natural, and generally considered "good for you," it should be good for your bird as well. The exceptions are avocado, chocolate, and rhubarb, which are toxic to birds.
Depending on its size, a macaw will eat about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of parrot mix and about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of fruit and vegetables every day. You can feed it once in the morning upon waking and at dusk before it goes to sleep. Remove all uneaten food before bedtime.
In the wild, Military macaws fly several hundred miles a day. In captivity, regular exercise is essential. Owners should make sure that their pets are allowed a minimum of 2 to 4 hours of playtime outside of their cages every day. This activity time gives the birds a way of stretching their wings, exercising their beaks, and will provide mental stimulation as a bonus.
Military birds are active, so occupy their time with tasks and activities. Bird-safe toys are a must. One of their favorite activities is chewing, so wood will be your go-to, even if it's just tree branches. This bird will also appreciate swings, ropes, link chains, and bells. Toys are also excellent distractions for this curious parrot that may otherwise spend its time screeching, feather-plucking, or chewing things around your home.