Hyacinth Macaws by KenG ()
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For years, one of the most frequently requested birds I get is the Hyacinth Macaw, but it wasn't until I started working on a project for the Field Museum that this wonderful macaw finally came to life within my bird series.
There are three main populations left in the northern part of South America; in the Pantanal region of Brazil and adjacent eastern Bolivia as well as northeastern Paraguay, in the Cerrado region of the eastern interior of Brazil (Maranhão, Piauí, Bahia, Tocantins, Goiás, Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais), and in the relatively open areas associated with the Tocantins River, Xingu River, Tapajós River, and the Marajó island in the eastern Amazon Basin of Brazil.
Hyacinth Macaws prefer palm swamps, woodlands, and other semi-open wooded habitats. They usually avoid dense humid forests, and in regions dominated by such habitats, they are generally restricted to the edge or relatively open sections (e.g. along major rivers). In different areas of their range these parrots are found in savannah grasslands, in dry thorn forest known as 'caatinga', and in palm stands, particularly the Moriche Palm (Mauritia flexuosa).
This macaw is endangered with about 6,500 mature individuals left and rapidly decreasing. This very rapid population decline is suspected to have taken place over the last three generations, on the basis of large scale illegal trade, habitat loss and hunting. This is based on a precautionary assumption of a generation length of 15 years. The Hyacinth Macaw is protected by law in Brazil and Bolivia, and commercial export is banned by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). There are a number of long-term studies and conservation initiatives in place; the Hyacinth Macaw Project in the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso do Sul, has carried out important research by ringing individual birds and has created a number of artificial nests to compensate for the small percentage of sites available in the region. The Minnesota Zoo with BioBrasil and the World Wildlife Fund are involved in Hyacinth Macaw conservation.
Hyacinth macaws eat nuts from native palms, such as acuri and bocaiuva palms. Macaw beaks are so strong that they are even able to crack coconuts.
Rendered in Poser 2012 without postwork. Model Credits: Hyancith Macaws (from Songbird ReMix Cool and Unusual Birds 3), branch from Perching Places and Pose Pack2 poses used. Backing Photo: Me)
Image Comments (12)
A WONDERFUL render! I was privileged at a parrot show to have one of these magnificient creatures on my arm...and then he made his way up onto my shoulder. I have parrots and I know that the shoulder is NOT a good place to have them...too much risk of a bite...however MY parrots are on the small side, while these beauties are REALLY big...I kept an eye on that beak, knowing that they can break into a Brazil nut like we crush an egg...but he was very gentle fortunately!!