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Agapornis lilianae - Lilian's lovebird (1) Agapornis roseicollis - Peach-faced lovebird (2) Alipiopsitta xanthops - Yellow-faced Parrot (1) Alisterus amboinensis - Moluccan King Parrot (1) Alisterus scapularis - Australian King Parrot (4) Amazona aestiva - Blue-fronted Amazon (12) Amazona agilis - Black-billed Parrot (5) Amazona albifrons - White-fronted Amazon (6) Amazona amazonica - Orange-winged Amazon (5) Amazona arausiaca - Red-necked Parrot (1) Amazona auropalliata - Yellow-naped amazon (3) Amazona autumnalis - Red-lored Amazon (8) Amazona barbadensis - Yellow-shouldered amazon (5) Amazona brasiliensis - Red-tailed Amazon (1) Amazona collaria - Yellow-billed Parrot (6) Amazona farinosa - Mealy Amazon (2) Amazona festiva - Festive Parrots (1) Amazona finschi - Lilac crowned Amazon (13) Amazona guildingii - St. Vincent Amazon (7) Amazona imperialis - Imperial Amazon (1) Amazona l. bahamensis - Bahama Parrot (5) Amazona l. caymanensis - Grand Cayman Parrot (5) Amazona l. hesterna - Cayman Brac Parrot (5) Amazona lilacina - Ecuador Amazon (4) Amazona ochrocephala - Yellow-crowned Amazon (3) Amazona oratrix - Yellow-headed Amazon (21) Amazona rhodocorytha - Red-browed Amazon (2) Amazona tucumana - Tucumán Amazon (2) Amazona ventralis - Hispaniola Parrots (3) Amazona versicolor - Saint Lucia Amazon (1) Amazona vinacea - Vinaceous-breasted Amazon (3) Amazona viridigenalis - Red-crowned Amazon (31) Amazona vittata - Puerto Rican Amazon (18) Amazona xantholora - Yellow-lored Amazon (1) Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus - Hyacinth Macaw (5) Anodorhynchus leari - Lear's Macaw (3) Ara ambiguus - Great Green Macaw (8) Ara ararauna - Blue-and-Gold Macaw (30) Ara ararauna - Blue-and-Gold Macaw (12) Ara chloropterus- Green-winged macaw (12) Ara glaucogularis - Blue-throated Macaw (9) Ara macao - Scarlet Macaw (40) Ara militaris - Military Macaw (7) Ara rubrogenys - Red-fronted macaw (1) Aratinga acuticaudata - Blue-crowned Parakeet (4) Aratinga auricapillus - Gold-capped conure (1) Aratinga canicularis - Orange-fronted Parakeet (7) Aratinga erythrogenys - Red-masked Parakeet (15) Aratinga holochlora - Green Parakeet (7) Aratinga jandaya - Jenday conure (3) Aratinga leucophthalma - White-eyed Parakeet (1) Aratinga mitrata -Mitred Parakeet (14) Aratinga nana - Olive-throated Parakeet (2) Aratinga pertinax - Brown-throated Parakeet (1) Aratinga solstitialis - Sun Conure (2) Aratinga strenua - Pacific Parakeet (1) Aratinga wagleri - Scarlet-fronted Parakeet (1) Barnardius zonarius - Australian Ringneck (1) Bolborhynchus lineola - Barred Parakeet (1) Brotogeris chiriri - Yellow-chevroned parakeet (3) Brotogeris jugularis - Orange-chinned Parakeet (2) Brotogeris pyrrhoptera - Grey-cheeked Parakeet (2) Brotogeris versicolurus - White-winged Parakeet (1) Cacatua alba - Umbrella Cockatoo (8) Cacatua ducorpsii - Solomons Cockatoo (1) Cacatua galerita - Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (50) Cacatua goffiniana - Tanimbar Corella (8) Cacatua haematuropygia - Philippine Cockatoo (8) Cacatua leadbeateri - Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (4) Cacatua moluccensis - Salmon-crested Cockatoo (10) Cacatua ophthalmica - Blue-eyed Cockatoo (1) Cacatua p. pastinator - Muir's Corella (6) Cacatua pastinator - Western Corella (5) Cacatua sanguinea - Little Corella (43) Cacatua sulphurea - Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (15) Cacatua tenuirostris - Long-billed Corella (10) Callocephalon fimbriatum - Gang-gang Cockatoo (11) Calyptorhynchus banksii - Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (56) Calyptorhynchus baudinii - Baudin Cockatoo (39) Calyptorhynchus funereus - Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (14) Calyptorhynchus lathami - Glossy Black Cockatoo (19) Calyptorhynchus latirostris - Carnaby's Cockatoo (98) Chalcopsitta cardinalis - Cardinal Lory (1) Charmosyna amabilis - Red-throated Lorikeet (1) Charmosyna diadema - Caledonian lorikeet (1) Charmosyna placentis - Red-flanked lorikeet (1) Conuropsis carolinensis - Carolina Parakeet (5) Coracopsis n. barklyi - Seychelles Black Parrot (7) Cyanoliseus patagonus - Burrowing Parrot (5) Cyanopsitta spixii - Spix's Macaw (11) Cyanoramphus auriceps - Yellow-crowned Kakariki (4) Cyanoramphus cookii - Norfolk Parakeet (2) Cyanoramphus malherbi - Orange-fronted parakeet (13) Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae - Red-crowned Kakariki (17) Cyanoramphus ulietanus - Society parakeet (1) Cyanoramphus unicolor - Antipodes Island Parakeet (3) Cyanoramphus zealandicus - Black-fronted parakeets (1) Deroptyus accipitrinus - Hawk-headed parrot (1) Diopsittaca nobilis - Red-shouldered macaw (1) Eclectus roratus - Eclectus Parrot (10) Enicognathus leptorhynchus - Slender-billed parakeet (1) Eolophus roseicapilla - Galah (20) Eos squamata - Violet-necked Lory (2) Eunymphicus uvaeensis - Ouvea parakeet (1) Forpus coelestis - Pacific Parrotlet (1) Forpus conspicillatus - Spectacled Parrotlet (1) Forpus cyanopygius - Mexican Parrotlet (1) Forpus passerinus - Green-rumped Parrotlet (2) Geoffroyus geoffroyi - Red-cheeked Parrot (1) Glossopsitta porphyrocephala - Purple-crowned Lorikeet (1) Graydidascalus brachyurus - Short-tailed Parrot (1) Guaruba guaruba - Golden conure (3) Hapalopsittaca fuertesi - Fuerte's parrot (2) Lathamus discolor - Swift Parrot (26) Leptosittaca branickii - Golden-plumed Parakeet (2) Lophopsittacus mauritianus - Raven parrot (1) Loriculus vernalis - Vernal Hanging Parrot (1) Lorius chlorocercus - Yellow-bibbed Lory (1) Lorius domicella - Black-capped Lory (1) Lorius domicella - Purple-naped Lory (2) Lorius garrulus - Chattering Lory (5) Lorius lorry - black-capped Lories (1) Melopsittacus undulatus - Budgerigar (25) Micropsitta keiensis - Yellow-capped pygmy parrot (1) Micropsitta pusio - Buff-faced pygmy parrot (1) Mopsitta tanta - Danish Blue Parrot (1) Myiopsitta monachus - Monk Parakeet (95) Nandayus nenday - Black-hooded Parakeet (4) Neophema chrysogaster - Orange-bellied Parrot (49) Neophema petrophila - Rock Parrot (1) Neophema pulchella - Turquoise parakeet (2) Nestor chathamensis - Chatham Islands parrot (1) Nestor meridionalis - Kaka (28) Nestor notabilis - Kea (51) Nestor productus - Norfolk Island Kaka (1) nNeophema chrysogaster - Orange-bellied Parrot (2) Northiella haematogaster - Blue bonnet Parrot (1) Nymphicus hollandicus - Cockatiel (7) Ognorhynchus icterotis - Yellow-eared Parrot (5) Orthopsittaca manilata - Red-bellied macaw (1) Pezoporus flaviventris - Western Ground Parrot (16) Pezoporus occidentalis - Night Parrot (11) Pezoporus wallicus - Eastern ground parrot (2) Pezoporus wallicus - Eastern ground parrot (1) Pionites melanocephalus - Black-headed Caique (1) Pionus menstruus - Blue-headed parrot (2) Pionus senilis - White-crowned Parrot (1) Platycercus elegans - Crimson Rosella (8) Platycercus eximius - Eastern Rosella (4) Poicephalus fuscicollis - Brown-necked Parrot (1) Poicephalus robustus - Cape Parrot (7) Poicephalus senegalus - Senegal Parrot (2) Polytelis alexandrae - Princess Parrot (4) Polytelis anthopeplus - Regent Parrot (8) Polytelis swainsonii- Superb Parrot (16) Primolius auricollis - Yellow-collared macaw (1) Probosciger aterrimus - Palm Cockatoo (4) Psephotus chrysopterygius - Golden-shouldered Parrot (3) psephotus haematonotus - Red-rumped parrot (1) psephotus varius - Mulga parrot (1) Psittacara chloroptera - Hispaniolan parakeet (1) Psittacella brehmii - Brehm's Tiger-parrot (1) Psittacula alexandri - Red-breasted Parakeet (1) Psittacula columboides - Malabar Parakeet (1) Psittacula cyanocephala - Plum-headed Parakeet (5) Psittacula derbiana - Derbyan Parakeet (5) Psittacula echo - Mauritius parakeet (3) Psittacula eupatria - Alexandrine Parakeet (18) Psittacula eupatria - Alexandrine Parakeet (5) Psittacula finschii - Grey-headed Parakeet (1) Psittacula himalayana - Slaty-headed Parakeet (1) Psittacula krameri - Ring-necked Parakeet (62) Psittacus erithacus - African Grey Parrot (45) Psittacus erithacus - African Grey Parrot (27) Psittrichas fulgidus - Pesquet's Parrot (1) Pyrrhura albipectus - White-breasted Parakeet (1) Pyrrhura caeruleiceps - Perijá Parakeet (2) Pyrrhura griseipectus - Grey-breasted Parakeet (2) Pyrrhura molinae - Green-cheeked Conure (1) Pyrrhura orcesi - El Oro Parakeet (3) Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha - Thick-billed Parrot (9) Strigops habroptilus - Kakapo (88) Tanygnathus lucionensis - Blue-naped Parrot (4) Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus - Scaly-breasted Lorikeet (1) Trichoglossus rubritorquis - Red-collared Lorikeet (2) Trichoglosus haematodus - Rainbow Lorikeets (18) Vini kuhlii - Kuhl's Lorikeet (1)
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Entries in Ara macao - Scarlet Macaw (40)

Saturday
Mar072015

How the scarlet macaw returned to Copán, Honduras

Scarlet macaws reintroduced at Copán archaeological siteAmid the ancient city, now a weathered imitation of its former glory but still doused in force and grandeur, a series of stony heads catches the eye. They line the court where the ancient Mayan ball game was played. Nobody really knows what the rules were, only that it often took on a literal life or death importance that makes baying football crowds look tame. The competitors were sometimes sacrificed as an offering to the gods afterwards.

The stone heads are not human, however. They’re of scarlet macaws, which would have had a near ubiquitous presence in Copán during its era of greatness between the 5th and 9th centuries AD. The Mayans regarded the scarlet macaw as sacred, with its flamboyant tail feathers often used as decorations for the costumes of the kings. But until recently, the bird’s attention-grabbing squawky cries had as good as disappeared.

People come to Copán – in western Honduras – to see the extraordinary ruins. But on the way to the main plaza, they now have to pass through a gauntlet of noise and bright feathers. A feeding station and release aviary has been placed by the ancient site. And it’s all part of a bid to bring back Honduras’ national bird to an area where it had almost disappeared.

Loss of habitat had been a major factor in the scarlet macaw’s decline, but people (illegally) keeping them as pets was also critical. And most of the birds being released to fly free over the ancient ruins are the offspring of these rescued pets.

The breeding takes place amongst the tropical gardens of Macaw Mountain, a privately funded venture in a former coffee plantation a few kilometres away. “Part of the problem is that the macaws are monogamous,” says Macaw Mountain’s José Antonio Martinez. “If one is taken as a pet, the other doesn’t find a new mate.”

Some of the rescued birds are in heartbreaking state – they’d been kept in cages too small, and the stress had let to them trying to clip their own wings or pull out their own feathers. Most wouldn’t survive in the wild, and Macaw Mountain is effectively a retirement home.

But from the rag-tag bunch of misfits, four breeding pairs have been matched. Since 2011, twenty of their offspring have been kept safe in the park, then given special training and released. It’s hoped that these will in turn start breeding with the few wild birds left around the ruins.

“Looking after them here gives them a better chance of survival,” says Carlos. “They’ll have four to eight chicks here, most of which will make it. In the wild, perhaps two will survive – there are plenty of predators for which they make an easy feed.”

The fully grown macaws are a different matter, however. Few birds manage to look so elegant yet so handsome at the same time. At Copán, they seem to have a strutting confidence about them. Some aren’t quite ready to fly free yet, but the aviary and feeding station are the last steps before they will fly off and soar freely over the place where the great ancient civilisation regarded them with such reverence.

Sunday
Feb222015

Call to rewild: Volunteer helps protect macaws

Jennifer Miller conducts a daily check on some macaws that will soon be released back into the wild. Photos courtesy of Jennifer MillerFor the last month, Jennifer Miller has woken up at 5:30 a.m. to the sounds of howler monkeys and macaws outside of her jungle campsite in the Islita Peninsula of Costa Rica.

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Wednesday
Nov262014

Macaws bring harmony to Caracas' chaos

In this Nov. 19, 2014 photo, macaws perch on an antenna in Caracas, Venezuela. The city of around 6 million people does not seem welcoming for exotic birds. But the macaws supplement the food they forage with snacks the birders leave for them. They are a common site sitting on the ledges of high-rise buildings or perched on antennas. While solid figures don’t exist, the population of macaws in Caracas is estimated to be several hundred. CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — In one of the world's most hostile urban jungles, the spectacle of rainbow-colored tropical birds streaking across the late-afternoon sky has become a natural respite from rampant crime and choking pollution.

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Thursday
Jan162014

What’s Behind the Mysterious Behavior of Amazonian Macaws?

Veterinarian Zoltan Szabo measures one of the chicks. TAMBOPATA, Peru — It’s 6:15 a.m, and Annie Hawkinson is 120 feet off the ground, peering into a nest box lashed to an ironwood tree. She throws a towel over the female scarlet macaw inside, then reaches in and grabs one of the two chicks. Mama macaw squawks and shuffles out from beneath the towel. Hawkinson repeats the maneuver and grabs the second chick, then lowers the ungainly pair to the ground in a padded bucket. She waits near the nest, where the macaw is now preening and appears unperturbed.

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Wednesday
Aug142013

Mexican Park Releases More Scarlet Macaws into the Wild

Another 10 Scarlet Macaws fly free.A breeding programme in Mexico makes its third release of macaws into the wild this year a part of its effort to revive the country's struggling population of scarlet macaws.

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