Lear’s macaw

South America


Anodorhynchus leari


Captive breeding and massive aviary trade are two major reasons for its rapid population decline. Destruction of forest grounds leads to loss of roosting, feeding, and breeding sites.

It was in 1856 that French biologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte first described the Lear’s Macaw which exclusively inhabits restricted ranges in the Brazilian state of Bahia. This large parrot species is one of the two remaining blue macaws in the wild, with Hyacinth Macaw the other one. Its name is a tribute to the parrot-loving British poet Edward Lear.

Also known as the Indigo Macaw, it can grow up to 75 cm and 950 g in length and weight, respectively. It is predominantly blue in colour although its head has a paler hue. It has black beak, grey feet, and orange-yellow eye rings.

Before it forages or builds its nest, a group of males ‘scouts’ the area to warn against potential predators. Its signature call can be heard in long distances and it can fly up to 35 miles per hour to escape attackers. It feeds mainly on licuri palm nuts although it also eats other seeds, flowers, and fruits.