Ara chloropterus.....................................................................By Gideon Scheepers

Range and Habitat

Greenwings originate from South America, south from Bolivia; their range overlaps that of the Blue & Gold Macaws as well as the smaller Severe and Illigars. These brilliantly coloured parrots are often seen in large flocks, which gather at various clay licks, especially in the Tambopata national Forest conservation area.

These parrots are very large and bulky, with vivid green and red colouration. They have huge beaks, and are very noisy.


They are generally not the easiest macaws to breed and they will sometimes take many years to become compatible and settle down to breed. Many of these parrots have been sold due to not breeding for many years only to lay eggs shortly after arriving at their new homes.

My first hen was acquired due to her male dying and she started plucking severely. At the time I only had a male Scarlet macaw, so I put the two together, and after about two months she went to nest. We immediately separated them into two different camps and I bought a male, which was about 4 years old. They were paired up but it took about 1 year for them to accept each other. They started inspecting the nest box a few months later and promptly destroyed it. The next one was built and reinforced, and the put up in their suspended aviary. While I put it up the female promptly climbed out of the aviary and into the nestbox.

The nestbox as I said was readily accepted and the male immediately became very territorial, not even allowing me to feed them, my daughters have to feed them now. They promptly destroyed their perches; they over preen each other, and became very rowdy. When I visit them the male comes to the front and tries to maul me, and the hen peers out of the nestbox and gives me a very gruff "hello". She will not allow me to look at the eggs at all and taking chicks is a very traumatic experience for both keeper and parrot. The hen will physically climb into the inspection door opening as I open it and block the whole doorway.

They lay 2-3 eggs and incubation lasts 26-28 days. The female does all the incubation, but the male will stand guard at the entrance and also feeds the incubating female. When the chicks hatch the male will also feed the chicks in the nest after the first week about.

We remove the chicks at about 3 weeks old as generally the hen take great care of the chicks.
The chicks are fairly easy to feed if you use a large syringe or some folks use a bent up spoon. The are ready feeders with their heads out of the tub searching for food.

For handrearing we use Kaytee Exact as well as our own mixture , and have no ill effects using either, Our own tried and tested recipe is just a whole lot cheaper.


There are presentlty no known mutations, if you know of any please send a photo with a description and some history to Gideon


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