|At Apenheul Primate Park, Netherlands|
Distribution of the green-winged macaw
This is the largest of the Ara genus, widespread in the forests and woodlands of northern and central South America. However, in common with other macaws, in recent years there has been a marked decline in its numbers due to habitat loss and illegal capture for the parrot trade.
The green-winged macaw can be readily distinguished from the scarlet macaw. While the breast of both birds are bright red, the upper-wing covert feathers of the green-winged macaw is mostly green but can occasionally sport a few yellow feathers above the band of green (as opposed to mostly yellow, or a strong mix of yellow and green in the scarlet macaw). In addition, the green-winged macaw has characteristic red lines around the eyes formed by rows of tiny feathers on the otherwise bare white skin patch; this is one of the biggest differences from a scarlet macaw to the casual viewer. Iridescent teal feathers are surrounded by red on the tail. If seen together, the green-winged macaw is clearly larger than the scarlet macaw as well.
In terms of length, this species is second only in size to the hyacinth macaw, the largest of the macaws. The red-and-green macaw attains a total body length of 90 to 95 cm (35 to 37 in) in adults. Twelve adults were found to average 1,214 g (2.676 lb). A weight range of between 1,050 and 1,708 g (2.315 and 3.765 lb) has been reported. While its weight range is broadly similar to that of the hyacinth, the average weight of the red-and-green macaw is slightly surpassed by both the hyacinth and great green macaws, and amongst all living parrots additionally by the kakapo.
The green-winged macaw generally mates for life. The female typically lays two or three eggs in a nest made in a hole in a tree. The female incubates the eggs for about 28 days, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 90 days after hatching.
Aves Argentinas, a partner of BirdLife International is leading the re-introduction of the species in Argentina. The bird which has not been seen for some years and is listed as critically endangered in Argentina was released in Iberá Provincial Reserve (Spanish: Reserva Provincial Iberá) in the north-eastern province of Corrientes. The birds are from zoos and breeding centres in Argentina and were released in 2015.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Ara chloropterus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Red-and- Green Macaw". Avibase.
- Cameron, M. (2012). Parrots: the animal answer guide. JHU Press.
- CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses, 2nd Edition by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (2008), ISBN 978-1-4200-6444-5.
- Alderton, David (2003). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Caged and Aviary Birds. London, England: Hermes House. p. 235. ISBN 1-84309-164-X.
- "BirdLife Macaws return to Argentina". BirdGuides. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
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