Jamaican red macaw

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Jamaican red macaw
Ara gossei.png
Hypothetical restoration of a Jamaican red macaw by Joseph Smit, 1907
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Ara
A. gossei
Binomial name
Ara gossei
Location of Jamaica

The Jamaican red macaw (Ara gossei) may have been a species of parrot in the family Psittacidae that lived on Jamaica, but its existence is hypothetical.

Possible depiction from 1765

The only reported specimen was shot on Jamaica around 1765, and was later seen by a Dr. Robertson when it was stuffed. It is now lost. Robertson sent a description of it to Philip Henry Gosse, who published his own description in 1847:[2]

Basal half of upper mandible black; apical half, ash coloured; lower mandible, black, tip only ash coloured; forehead, crown, and back of neck, bright yellow; sides of face, around eyes, anterior and lateral parts of the neck, and back, a fine scarlet; wing coverts and breast deep sanguine red; winglet and primaries an elegant light blue. The legs and feet are said to have been black; the tail, red and yellow intermixed (Rob.)[3]

Robertson stated the bird had never been seen or figured before, and that it was very different from any macaw he had ever seen. One 1765 illustration is thought to depict this bird, but has also been suggested to be an imported Cuban macaw.[4] The parrot was considered identical to the Cuban macaw by some 19th-century naturalists, but was given its own binomial by Rothschild in 1905.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International 2004. Ara gossei[dead link]. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Archived 2014-06-27 at the Wayback Machine Downloaded on 24 July 2007.
  2. ^ a b Hume, J. P.; Walters, M. (2012). Extinct Birds. A & C Black. ISBN 140815725X.
  3. ^ https://archive.org/details/extinctbirdsatte00roth
  4. ^ Olson, S. L.; E. J. Maíz López (2008). "New evidence of Ara autochthones from an archeological site in Puerto Rico: a valid species of West Indian macaw of unknown geographical origin (Aves: Psittacidae)" (pdf). Caribbean Journal of Science. 44 (2): 215–222.