The Buffon's Macaw



  • Common Name:  Macaw - Buffon's
  • Other Common Names:  Buffon's Macaw, Great Green Macaw, Grand Military Macaw
  • Scientific Name:  Ara ambigua
  • Group:  
  • Origin or Range:  South America
  • Relative Size:  Much Larger Than Average
  • Average Lifespan:  ??? years
  • Compatibility:  Average
  • Category: Parrots

Macaws are known to be a group of some of the most beautifully colored and intelligent birds in the world. Though a very popular pet, their numbers are dwindling in the wild rapidly, and they are nearer to extinction than is comfortable.

Hailing from far-off Colombia in the Baudó Mountain range, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the Buffon's Macaw is a brightly-colored bird of various shades of mostly green and blue. An intelligent and gorgeous breed, the Buffon's Macaw does not generally gather in great flocks. Rather, they tend to stick to parties of five or six birds, staying within a single area until whatever available food source has depleted. Once common on both sides of the Panama Canal, this beautiful bird has all but vanished in the wild. Large-scale clearance of wet and dry forests has reduced their habitat.

The Ley Forestal de Ecuador (Forestry Law of Ecuador) heavily penalizes the illegal hunting and captivity of this protected species. The enforcement of these laws up until now has been mostly weak, and the Buffon's Macaw continues to hang precariously close to the edge of extinction.

The beautiful Buffon's Macaw has yellowish-green feathers with a forehead and feather-lines of red (with a slight tinge of blue on the back of the head, for the males). A bare cheek area with black feather-lines turns a pinkish color when excited, causing the appearance of a blush. The feathers underneath towards the back are light blue, while the top side of the tail is a lighter, reddish-brown with blue on the edges. The bill is black with a pale tip and the eyes are generally yellow. The body is usually about 26-34 inches in length with a wingspan of 44 to 50 inches and weighs in at between 1200-1600 grams.

Seeds, nuts, fruits and berries collected in trees are the diet that sustains a Buffon's Macaw in the wild. Hopefully, with tougher enforcement of species endangerment laws, we will not lose these beautiful birds.

There is currently no special breeding information in our website for this parrot.


STARescue, Inc.

Copyright 2004 [Southeast Texas Avian Rescue, Inc.]. All rights reserved. Revised: 12/10/11