Hyacinth macaw

(Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)


Hyacinth macaw IUCN VULNERABLE (VU)


Facts about this animal

The hyacinth macaw is the largest parrot species reaching a total length of 100 cm. Its plumage is completely cobalt-blue. The periophthalmic ring and band around the lower mandible are yellow. The very large bill is black and but lacks the tooth-like ridges common with other Macaw species. This is reflected in the scientific name Anodorhynchus meaning "bill without teeth". The legs are dark grey and the iris is black. Breeding season is from August to December. A clutch consists typically of two eggs, which are incubated for around 28 days. The chicks fledge after three months, and they remain dependent upon their parents for food up until six months of age. The food consists of seeds, nuts, especially of palm trees, palm fronds and fruit. Like other macaws, the hyacinth uses clay licks.

Did you know?
that a macaw’s tongue is dry, slightly scaly, and has a bone inside it? All of this makes it an excellent tool for breaking open and eating hard-shelled nuts and seeds.


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
Name (English) Hyacinth macaw
Name (French) Ara hyacinthe
Name (German) Hyazinthara
Name (Spanish) Guacamayo jacinto
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Randy Reads



Range South America: Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay
Habitat Tropical and subtropical forests, savannas, grasslands and swamps
Wild population 6,500 in 2003, of which 5,000 were in the Pantanal (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 359 reported to ISIS (2009)

In the Zoo

Hyacinth macaw


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 11D of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Sarah Ian

Why do zoos keep this animal

Macaws are large, conspicuous and attractive birds, which are good ambassador species for the conservation of neotropical forests. They have an interesting anatomy and behaviour, and are thus also of educational interest. Zoos may keep macaws also for animal welfare reasons as they may have to take care of confiscated birds, or former pet birds.

The hyacinthine macaw is an endangered species, and there are coordinated ex situ-breeding programmes in place at some regional associations.