List of macaws

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The list of macaws includes 19 species of macaws including extinct and critically endangered species,[1] and does not include several hypothetical extinct species that have been proposed based on very little evidence.[2]

Species in taxonomic order[edit]


The three well-established species in the genus Anodorhynchus are monotypic:[1]

Common and binomial names[1] Image Description Range
Glaucous macaw
(Anodorhynchus glaucus)
Anodorhynchus glaucus.jpg 70 cm (27.5 in) long, mostly pale turquoise-blue with a large greyish head. It has a long tail and a large bill. It has a yellow, bare eye-ring and half-moon-shaped lappets bordering the mandible.[3] South America
(probably extinct)
Hyacinth macaw
or hyacinthine macaw
(Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)
Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus -Australia Zoo -8-2c.jpg 100 cm (39 in) long, 120-140 cm (48-56 in) wingspan. It is almost entirely blue and has black under the wings. It has a large black beak with bright yellow along the sides of the lower part of the beak and also yellow eyerings.[4] South America
Lear's macaw
or indigo macaw
(Anodorhynchus leari)
Rákosův pavilon 4 ara Learův.jpg 70 cm (27.5 in) long, mainly blue and the head is a slightly paler blue. It has bare pale yellow skin at the base of its beak and orange-yellow eyerings. It has a large blackish beak.[5] Brazil


Common and binomial names[1] Image Description Range
Spix's macaw
or little blue macaw
(Cyanopsitta spixii)
55–57 cm (22–22 in) long. Various shades of blue, including a pale blue head, pale blue underparts, and vivid blue upperparts, wings and tail.[6] Brazil (probably extinct in the wild)


Common and binomial names[1] Image Description Range[7]
Great green macaw
or Buffon's macaw
(Ara ambiguus)
Ara ambigua1.JPG
85–90 cm (33–36 in) long. Mostly green, red on forehead, green and blue wings[8] Central and South America, from Honduras to Ecuador
Blue-and-yellow macaw
or blue-and-gold macaw
(Ara ararauna)
Ara ararauna -Singapore BirdPark-6.jpg
80–90 cm (31.5–35.5 in) long. Mostly blue back and yellow front. Blue chin and green forehead. The upper zone of the bare white skin around each eye extending to the beak is patterned by lines of small dark feathers. Panama, Colombia through to south-central Brazil.
Green-winged macaw
or red-and-green macaw
(Ara chloroptera)
Ara chloroptera -Gatorland-6.jpg
90 cm (36 in) long. Mostly red, with blue and green wings. The bare white skin around each eye extending to the bill is patterned by lines of small red feathers. South America, from Colombia through to northern Paraguay (formerly northern Argentina)
Blue-throated macaw
(Ara glaucogularis)
Ara glaucogularis-2-1c.jpg
75–85 cm (30–34 in) long. Blue upperparts and mostly yellow lowerparts, blue throat. Areas of pale skin on the sides of the face are covered with lines of small dark-blue feathers, with pinkish bare skin at the base of the beak.[9] North Bolivia
Scarlet macaw
(Ara macao)
Ara macao - two at Lowry Park Zoo.jpg
81–96 cm (32–36 in) long. Mostly bright red, with red, yellow and blue in the wings. There is bare white skin around the each eye extending to the bill. Mexico to Colombia and the Amazon Basin.
Military macaw
(Ara militaris)
70 cm (28 in) long. Mostly green, red forehead[10] Discontinuous distribution in Mexico and along the Andes from Venezuela to north Argentina.
Red-fronted macaw
(Ara rubrogenys)
Red-fronted Macaw Ara rubrogenys National Aviary 2112px.jpg
55–60 cm (21.5–23.5 in) long. Mostly green. red forehead and red patch over the ears, pinkish skin on the face, red at bend of wings, blue primary wing feathers[11] Central Bolivia
Chestnut-fronted macaw
or severe macaw
(Ara severa)
Chestnut-fronted Macaw (Ara severa) -Southwicks Zoo c.jpg
46 cm (18 in) long. Mostly green, chestnut forehead, red at bend of wings Panama and South America in the Chocó and Amazon Basin
Cuban macaw
(Ara tricolor)
Extinct ca. 1885
A. tricolor.jpg
50 cm (20 in) long. Red forehead fading to orange and then to yellow at the nape of the neck, dark brown bill paler at the tip; orange face, chin, chest, abdomen and thighs; upper back mainly brownish red, and the rump and lower back blue; brown, red and purplish-blue wing feathers; upper surface of the tail was dark red fading to blue at the tip, and brownish red underneath.[2] Extinct - formerly endemic on Cuba and probably also on Isla de la Juventud (previously called the Isle of Pines).[2]
Lesser Antillean macaw
or Guadeloupe macaw
(Ara guadeloupensis)
Lesser Antillean Macaw.jpg
Tail feathers 15–20 inches long. Similar colour as the scarlet macaw, but smaller with an entirely red tail. Known from descriptions and possibly paintings and subfossils. Extinct - Guadeloupe
St. Croix macaw
(Ara autocthones)
Ara autocthones holotype tibiotarsus.jpg
Only known from sub-fossil bones found at two archeological sites.[12] Extinct - Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and central Puerto Rico



Common and binomial names[1] Image Description Range
Red-bellied macaw
(Orthopsittaca manilata)
Orthopsittaca manilata -Brazil-6.jpg
46 cm (18 in) long, mainly green, burgundy red patch on the belly, blue forehead and upper wings, and a grey tint to the breast. The underwings and undertail are dull yellow. Bare mustard yellow skin covers most of its face. South America


Common and binomial names[1] Image Description Range
Blue-headed macaw
or Coulon's macaw
(Primolius couloni)
Blue-headed Macaw RWD2.jpg 41 cm (16 in) long, mostly green with head, flight feathers and primary coverts blue. The uppertail has a maroon base, a narrow green center and a blue tip. The undertail and underwing are greenish-yellow/ The bill is pale greyish-horn with a black base. Unlike most other macaws, the facial skin and lores are dark greyish.[13] South America
Blue-winged macaw
or Illiger's macaw
(Primolius maracana)
Primolius maracana -Palmitos Park -Gran Canaria-8a.jpg 40 cm (16 in) long, mostly green, the upperside of some of the wing feathers are blue, and the underside of the wings are yellowish, the tail-tip, crown and cheeks are bluish, and the tail-base and a belly-patch are red. The iris is amber. The bare facial-skin is yellowish, which may be white in captivity, the beak is all black[14] South America
Golden-collared macaw
or yellow-collared macaw
(Primolius auricollis)
Primolius auricollis -Panaewa Rainforest Zoo, Hawaii, USA -two-8b-2c.jpg 38 cm (15 in) long, mostly green, yellow band on the back of the neck, tail feathers have are red at the base fading to greens and blues, dark brown or black forehead, pink legs, the beak is dark grey with a paler grey tip South America


Common and binomial names[1] Image Description Range
Red-shouldered macaw
or Hahn's macaw
(Diopsittaca nobilis)
Diopsittaca nobilis -pet-2-4c.JPG
30 cm (12 in) long, mostly green, with dark or slate blue feathers on the forehead and crown. The wings and tail have feathers that are bright green above and olive-green below. The leading edges of the wings, especially on the underside, are red. The irises are orange, and the featherless skin on the face is white. There are three subspecies. South America


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.004)". 2008-07-05.
  2. ^ a b c Fuller, Errol (1987). Extinct Birds. Penguin Books (England). pp. 148–9. ISBN 978-0-670-81787-0.
  3. ^ "Species factsheet: Anodorhynchus glaucus". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  4. ^ "Species factsheet: Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  5. ^ "Species factsheet: Anodorhynchus leari". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  6. ^ "Species factsheet: Cyanopsitta spixii". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  7. ^ Collar N (1997) "Family Psittacidae (Parrots)" in Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 4; Sandgrouse to Cuckoos (eds del Hoyo J, Elliott A, Sargatal J) Lynx Edicions:Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-22-9 pp.420-425
  8. ^ "Species factsheet: Ara ambiguus". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  9. ^ "Species factsheet: Ara glaucogularis". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  10. ^ "Species factsheet: Ara militaris". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  11. ^ "Species factsheet: Ara rubrogenys". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  12. ^ Olson, Storrs L.; Edgar J. Máiz 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.
  13. ^ "Species factsheet: Primolius couloni". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  14. ^ "Species factsheet: Primolius maracana". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 24 July 2008.

See also[edit]