Bird of the Week, May 13, 2011
Great Green Macaw


The Great Green Macaw is the second largest macaw in the world (after the Hyacinth Macaw); a gorgeous, bright green bird with streaks of blue and yellow in the wings and complements of red in the tail and above the large, black bill. Its raucous, early morning calls were once commonly heard throughout majestic tropical forests from Honduras to Ecuador. Now, the species is considered globally endangered, with a remaining population estimated at fewer than 3,700 individuals in small, fragmented populations. 


Major threats are habitat destruction from logging, conversion of land to agriculture and cattle pasture, poaching for the pet and feather trades, and hunting.  In Central America, the life cycle of the Great Green Macaw is greatly correlated with the mountain almond, itself endangered due to logging.  In Ecuador, Great Green Macaws are reportedly shot as a crop pest.


Expansion and development of protected areas and effective protection and management of existing protected areas, along with increased education and outreach to local communities, is required to conserve this species.  To that end, ABC is working to protect a small population of Great Green Macaws in northwest Ecuador, where it has helped its partner Fundación Jocotoco buy and develop the 10,000-acre Río Canandé Reserve.



Help ABC conserve this and other species at international bird reserves!

Photo: Great Green Macaws,; Range Map: ABC