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Military Macaw

Ara militaris
Conservation Status: 
South America
Tropical forests

Military Macaws get their name from their green camouflage feathers and bright red patch resembling a military officer's uniform.

They are plant foragers, eating nuts, fruits, flowers, and other parts of plants with their strong beaks. They observe other members of their flock to learn which foods are appropriate to eat. Their social learning also extends to the calls that each flock makes, which are slightly different than the sounds of flocks from other areas.

Military Macaws form long-term pair bonds with their mate, displayng courtship behaviours like preening and regurgitating food. During nesting season, the pair selects a tall tree cavity. Both will use their beaks to excavate the hole and modify it as needed. They lay 2 to 3 eggs, which are incubated for 26 to 28 days before hatching. The chicks remain in the nest with their parents for about 12 weeks. They continue to stay with their parents for up to several more months to learn survival behaviours.

Like other Macaws, the species is protected by the CITES treaty that restricts international trade of wild-caught individuals in an attempt to stabilize their population. This species is Vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss and illegal capture for the pet trade.

They can live up to 60 years.