Ara maracana ...................................................................By Gideon Scheepers
These parrots are mostly green with the forehead, abdomen and rump red. The crown is blue, the head, nape and cheeks are a turquoise bluish-green. Wings and primary-coverts are blue with the edge of wing bluish-green. The tail-feathers are blue with maroonish brown tips and underside of the tail is olive-yellow. The under wing-coverts being olive-green; bill black. Bare cheek area whitish yellow ; iris orange-red; feet flesh-coloured. They grow to a length of 40-44 cm.
Eastern Basil ,eastern Paraguay and northeast Argentina.They are mainly forest Dwellers usually near water courses as well as coastal forests. Have become fairly rare because of extensive deforestation and are endangered in Paraguay. They are listed as CITES 1. Usually be seen in pairs or groups outside the breeding season , pairing off as breeding season draws near. The flight odd jerky movements. Their call is very raucous.
Aviculture & Housing
First captive breeding on record was in 1931 at London Zoo, where 2 young were reared . They are noisy in early mornings and late afternoon otherwise pretty quiet. Captive bred birds are usually quiet. Very hardy and not susceptible to illness. They love to bath. Need lots of fresh non-toxic branches to satisfy their need to chew.
Breeding in Aviculture
They breed well in Aviculture and can be prolific breeders once settled, they prefer to breed in relatively dark places. We use nestboxes 30 x 30 x 40 cm. high. They usually have clutches of 4 to 5 eggs. Incubation lasts 24-26 days and chicks fledge after 12 weeks. They do not tolerate nestbox inspection and keep disturbances to a minimum while breeding, as this could result in damage to eggs. They are prolific breeders having up to 3 clutches per year.
I only know of a cinnamon coloured halfsider in the wild, if you know of any please send a photo with a description and some history to Gideon
They make great pets, learning to say a few words, they love being cuddled.
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