Blue and Gold Macaw

Ara ararauna

Colorful and Charismatic

These South American birds are highly intelligent and congregate in massive flocks in the wild. They are very social, colorful animals with a penchant for loud vocalizations.

About the Species

Blue and gold macaws are some of the largest parrots on earth, with long tail feathers that spread like a fan while in flight.

These large parrots have beautiful ultramarine plumage along their backs and bright yellow feathers on their undersides. They are gregarious birds who are rarely seen outside of large groups or in pairs. Often found eating and socializing in rainforest canopies, they are common throughout most of tropical South America and up into parts of Panama. Populations in certain areas are threatened or endangered. These macaws were once plentiful on the island of Trinidad, but can no longer be found there; this is an example of local extinction. One of the best ways to help protect macaws is by using recycled paper products and making sure to recycle aluminum cans, since both of these resources come from the Amazon and can contribute to deforestation.

Words From the Experts


Diego is our blue-and-gold macaw. He can be seen, most days, on exhibit with our green-winged macaws in the Spectrum News 13 Children's Garden. Diego loves interacting with our guests!


Did You Know?

Macaws have more taste buds on their tongues than any other type of bird!



Eastern Panama and South America


Tropical forests, swamps, savannas


Height: 76-86 cm, Wingspan: 104-115 cm, Weight: 995-1380 g


Seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetation


Harpy eagles, hawk eagles, orange-crested falcons, humans

Natural Defenses

Strong, sharp bill; sharp claws; flight; predator mimicry


Females will lay 1-2 eggs in the cavity of a tall, dead tree


Least Concern

Life Expectancy

30-35 years in the wild, up to 50 years in human care

  • Saving Animals From Extinction
  • Culture Builds Florida
  • Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums