Blue-winged Macaw
Primolius maracana

Guacamayo Maracaná

Of 43 cm.. of length and a weight of 265 g..

The Blue-winged Macaw (Primolius maracana) It is increasingly rare and exotic.

This small Macaw has the forecrown marked with a narrow band of black color that fades into blue in the area of the crown; the ear-coverts and both sides of the neck are blue, becoming green in the area of the nape.

Upperparts olive green with light tint in the rump and in the uppertail-coverts. Small, large and medium-sized inner coverts are green; the large external coverts blue.

The flight feather blue color above, (a bit of green in high schools), of yellow olive color below. The underparts green, slightly more yellow than the upper. Upper, the tail mostly blue, but the green central feathers, Red opaque in the Center, and with blue tips; undertail, the tail opaque yellow olive.

The bill horn, Black base; bare skin of the lores and cheeks top of grey colour with bluish and dye crossed in front lines of small black feathers: the irises yellow; legs grayish pink.

Both sexes similar; female possibly smaller and duller plumage compared to males.

The immature they have a paler plumage and less red coloration in the forecrown. The red spots in the abdomen and back they are stained yellow. Edges of color Horn in its bill. The tail is short and the eyes brown.

  • Sound of the Blue-winged Macaw.
[audio:HTTPS:// Maracana.mp3]


They inhabit in tropical and subtropical forests of Evergreen and deciduous forests (including the rainforest of the Atlantic and the Savannah of the Closed) with apparent preference for forest edges or forests near water.

At the north end of Bay, Brazil, inhabits wooded galleries of Tabebuia caraiba in the area caatinga next to the Spix's Macaw, where the birds avoid flying over open field, preferring to remain among the trees.

There are reports of these birds to 1.000 meters above sea level. Generally in small flocks, except when playing.


Evidence of breeding in December (Brazil) and February (Argentina). Nest in the cavity of a tree. The average size of the clutch is three to five eggs and the period of incubation is of 25 days.


Observed birds take the seeds of Melia azedarach introduced in the northeast of Brazil; no more details about the diet, Although it is known that they also forage in the fields of cereals and maize, which leads to his persecution by farmers.


Distributed by East of South America from south Amazon.

In Brazil stretching from the South of For, South of Maranhão (including a record on the coast) and to the West by Piauí, Pernambuco, Bay, Tocantins, Goiás and Minas Gerais, Brazil, Mato Grosso, with a recent recolonization in the State of Rio de Janeiro and records in Rio Grande do Sul until 1930.

In East Paraguay and time back in the northeast of Argentina, in Missions and North of Currents.

Apparently resident, with a significant decline in recent decades, probably due to the large scale deforestation.

In the news rare and local; the remaining population common only in the Sierra Negra, Pernambuco, and Serra do Cachimbo, For in Brazil.

Scarce in Paraguay, where it seems to persist in small fragmented populations; previously common in Argentina, now apparently extinct. A small number in captivity.

They are distributed in several protected areas, at least in small quantities. Legally protected in all the States of the area.


• Red list category of the UICN current: Near Threatened

• Population trend: Decreasing

The population of the Blue-winged Macaw It is estimated that it may be in the band of 2,500-9,999 individuals in total, which is equivalent to a strip between 1,667-6,666 mature individuals.

A population decline moderately rapid and permanent is suspected it may be due to the habitat loss, the capture for the cage bird trade and the persecution as a pest Crop.

Its decline It is only partly explained by the deforestation, Since it has disappeared from areas where have apparently disappeared suitable habitats (Juniper and Parr 1998).

They suffer from the capture for the bird trade cage. 183 individuals came to the EE.UU. from Paraguay between 1977 and 1979 (Chebez 1994).

At least in Argentina his downfall may have been caused largely by the persecution of the Blue-winged Macaw consider them a pests for crops (Et Bodrati to the., 2006).

  • Conservation Actions Underway:
    CITES Appendix I and II.

    – Has been recorded in numerous protected areas in Brazil, but Serra do Cachimbo is unprotected and the Serra Negra biological reserve is to only 10 km (Wege and Long 1995, Clay et to the., 1998).

    – Twenty birds have been released in Bahia, Brazil, with the intention of correlate differences in the ability to survive in nature with differences of history in captivity (Waugh, 1997).

  • Conservation Actions Proposed:
    – Collate data from past records of specimens to provide an improved assessment of the distribution and status of the Blue-winged Macaw.

    Monitor known populations to assess trends.

    – Investigate the impact of the trade.

    Protect habitat in areas known to hold high concentrations of the species and develop breeding programs in captivity to extend even more this.

Maracana macaw in captivity:

During the decades of the seventies and eighties, the Blue-winged Macaw It was considered quite uncommon in captivity in United States and in other countries. The Busch Gardens of Florida they were one of the first installations of breeding successfully and is probably responsible for that this species is so common in aviaries around the country today. The fact is that the Blue-winged Macaw It has become very common and is currently also in the pet market while it is considered vulnerable in the wild.

Evidence shows that the Blue-winged Macaw It adapts well to captivity. Despite the apparent inbreeding, This species is still prolific in captivity, and we have obtained a minimum of three (or possibly more) generations in Aviary everything United States.

Today several generations are produced in captivity this species. As this species is very rare in nature, they are increasing the quantities in captivity. This species would be a perfect candidate for future release programmes.

They have reports an exemplary live after 31 years in captivity. In captivity, these animals can be raised from the 6 years of age

Mutations in captivity:

There are rumors in Europe the existence of a variety of Lutino. Although there is no evidence of the fact through any photography of the same or other forms of documentation. No other mutation has not been documented.

Alternative names:

Blue-winged Macaw, Blue winged Macaw, Illiger’s Macaw (English).
Ara d’Illiger, Ara maracana (French).
Blauflügelara, Maracana, Marakana, Rotrückenara (German).
Maracanã-verdadeira, ararinha, Maracanã, maracanã-do-buriti (Portuguese).
Guacamayo Maracaná, Maracaná afeitado, Maracaná de Dorso Rojo, Maracaná lomo rojo (Spanish).
Maracaná de dorso rojo, Maracaná lomo rojo (Argentina).
Maracaná afeitado (Paraguay).

Scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae
Genus: Primolius
Scientific name: Primolius maracana
Citation: (Vieillot, 1816)
Protonimo: Macrocercus maracana

Blue-winged Macaw images:


Blue-winged Macaw (Primolius maracana)


– Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
– Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr
– Macaws. A comprehensive guide by Rick Jordan


(1) – Blue-winged Macaw (also known as Illiger’s Macaw) at Palmitos Park, Gran Canaria, Spain By Teijo Hakala from Jyväskylä, Finland (PapukaijaUploaded by Snowmanradio) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(2) – Blue-winged Macaw (also known as Illiger’s Macaw). Two captive By TJ Lin (originally posted to Flickr as illiger’s macaw) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(3) – Blue-winged Macaw (also known as Illiger’s Macaw). Two captive By TJ Lin (originally posted to Flickr as illiger’s macaw) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(4) – Illiger’s Macaw also called Blue-winged Macaw (Primolius maracana) at Iguaçu Bird Park, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil By Arthur Chapman [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(5) – Blue-winged Macaw (also known as Illiger’s Macaw Monte), Two in a tree hole in Alegre, For, Brazil By Sidnei Dantas (originally posted to Flickr as Primolius maracana) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sounds: Eduardo D. Schultz (Xeno-canto)

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