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Hyacinth Macaw

Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
Conservation Status: 
Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay.
Várzea (whitewater floodplain forests) and savanna adjacent to tropical forest.
Hyacinth macaws primarily consume hard nuts from palms, although they also feed on fruits and vegetables. Their large hooked beak is particularly adept at cracking open nuts, surpassing other macaw species in efficiency. Their high-fat nut-based diet grants them a superior means of obtaining food. Tool use has occasionally been observed in both wild and domesticated birds. Macaws seem to utilize a stick to stabilize the nut while chewing into it. Additionally, the tongue possesses a bony structure that enables it to puncture fruit.
Hyacinth Macaws form monogamous mating pairs. They typically lay two eggs, but usually, only one fledges successfully as the first-hatched chick secures the majority of the food. The mother assumes the responsibility of rearing the young while the father attends to the mother. The Hyacinth Macaw fledges after 110 days but remains with the parents for 6 months. Sexual maturity is attained at 7 years of age. Nests are constructed in hollows of Panama trees, which produce seeds that attract Toco Toucans. Unfortunately, Toco Toucans also prey on hyacinth eggs, accounting for over half of all destroyed hyacinth eggs. Nevertheless, Hyacinth Macaws rely on Toco Toucans for seed dispersal, as they nest in Panama Trees. Reproductive success is generally low, ranging from 7% to 25% annually. However, the species' longevity usually compensates for the low birth rates.
The primary threats to Hyacinth Macaws are habitat loss and extensive exploitation for the pet trade. As an estimate, for every hyacinth macaw that actually reaches its destination abroad to become a pet, five more die during transportation.
The United States has the largest market for the exotic pet trade, with approximately 85% of wild-caught birds being imported or smuggled into the country. Poachers often fell nesting trees to extract chicks from nest holes, which not only eliminates that generation of macaws but also permanently eradicates the nesting site. Consequently, the population of Hyacinth Macaws is in decline.