Anodorhynchus leari ........................................................By Gideon Scheepers
Lear's Macaws are generally a dull cobalt blue with the head down to the breast and abdomen a greenish-blue. The bare facial area around base of the huge black bill is a pale yellow as is the periopthalmic ring. The iris is dark brown and the feet are grey. They are about 75cm in length. They also have a yellow stripe on either side of the black tongue.
Range & Habitat
Lear's are from a small area in northeast Bahia, northern Brazil. They live in partially open areas with caatinga vegetation and nearby sandstone ridges. They are only found in areas that still have original habitat. They are usually seen in groups of 8 to 30 birds, less often in pairs. These parrots will roost in hollows and crevices .In the last two months of 2002, we have heard some great news on the Lear's Macaw front. Carlos Yamashita of IBAMA (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Natural Renewable Resources) reports that in a recent Lear's census it is indicated that Lear's numbers are up to 246 individuals! That's a substantial increase from 170-180 animals back in the late 1990's.
They eat the palm fruits of Licuri palm (Syagrus coronata), nuts, berries and fruit.The Licuri is a slow growing palm that seldom reaches more that about ten meters in height. Although the Lear's occasionally eat other foods, it is essentially dependent on the seeds of this one species of palm for its entire diet. So the conservation of the bird is inextricably linked to the health and distribution of the palms - as the Licuri goes, so does the Lear's. Efforts are made to counteract the effects of fire, cattle, goat damage to these palms by having enclosed licuri palm plantations
Breeding in Nature
They start their breeding season from December to May, They will start finding hollows in crevices and hollows in sandstone cliffs, The hen lays a clutch of 1 or 2 eggs measuring 57.0 x 38.4 mm, incubation lasts 28-30 days. The young fledge at 90 days of age and remain with the parents for extended periods.
Housing in Aviculture
They should have a long flight of about 10 meters, and due to the noise factor should also have an ajoining shelter. It must be constructed of heavy gauge mesh. Perches should be sturdy and nestbox robust. These parrots were allowed to fly free in the collection of the Duke Of Bedford, but unfortunately they strayed and were shot. This I find highly irresponsible and absolute stupidity, as these birds were scarce even in those days. And this in the same country, that today sentences a great parrot breeder (Harry Sissen) for trying to save and probably breed these rare parrots. This is also the country, which refused entry into the country a single male from South Africa, to pair up with a single female in Britain. This shows what efforts are put into trying to save these great birds.
These parrots have a specialised diet and only the best quality food
should ever be provided for parrots. Read diet in nature.
This is very rare, and only 2 known breeding have occurred. Clutch is 2 eggs and fledging period 90 days. Sturdy nest should be provided.
There are presently no known mutations , if you know of any please send a photo with a description and some history to Gideon
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