Lear’s Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) | Indigo Macaw Profile

Lear’s macaw

Lear’s macaw, scientific name Anodorhynchus leari, also called the indigo macaw, is a big all-blue Brazilian parrot, a member of a giant group of Neotropical parrots generally known as macaws. It was first described by Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1856.

Lear’s macaw is 70–75 cm (28–30 in) lengthy and weighs around 950 g (2.09 lb). It’s metallic blue with a faint, usually barely seen, tinge of inexperienced, and a yellow patch of pores and skin on the base of the heavy, black bill.

The Lear’s macaw is a big, stunning blue parrot that has an extended tail. Napoleon’s nephew, Lucien Bonaparte, first described them in 1858, from an illustration by Edward Lear, the well-known British nonsense poet.

Nevertheless, this macaw stayed elusive within the wild and was solely accepted in 1978 as a definite species when lastly naturalist Helmut Sick situated the wild inhabitants. Its head, neck, and underparts are greenish-blue, whereas the remainder of its body is violet/indigo.

It has naked pores and skin around its eyes, and the bottom of its decrease beak is pale yellow.

Like Nice Inexperienced, Army, and Blue-throated Macaws, these stunning parrots are well-liked cage birds that can be extremely sought by unlawful poachers.

An ABC-supported reserve — Canudos Organic Station — now supplies a protected haven for Lear’s Macaw, and the species’ numbers have elevated from a couple of dozen within the late 1980s to about 1,300 as we speak.

This macaw is uncommon with an extremely restricted vary. Its lifespan can exceed 30–50 years.


At first of every day, a bunch of two or three males will “scout out” potential roosting or feeding websites.

They would be the first to return to the roosting space at sundown. The “scouts” will quietly perch for about ten minutes within the tallest tree, and, as soon as happy of no hazard, they name loudly to the opposite birds, who then observe them to the positioning.

If there’s a hazard, the advanced social gathering will sound out with their loud signature calls, warning the group.

Lear’s macaws’ contact calls sound like gurgling and their alarm or sentinel calls are a harsh croaking.

The Lear’s macaw takes its identity from Edward Lear, a well-known artist-poet of the mid-1800s who painted macaws and created nonsense rhymes.

Macaws are inquisitive and playful and are good at mimicking human vocalizations.
Every Lear’s macaw eats as much as 350 nuts every day, and estimates are that one macaw wants around 450 fruit-bearing palms to feed it.

Macaws crack open the laborious shells of nuts with their massive, robust beaks to get to the chicken inside.

They normally take away a cluster of about 10-20 nuts and eat their means by them. They could take a cluster to a tree close by and eat the nuts there.


Lear’s macaw is 70–75 cm (27.5–29.5 in) lengthy and weighs around 950 g (2.09 lb).

The physique, tail, and wings are darkish blue and the pinnacle is a barely paler shade. It has a space of pale-yellow pores and skin adjoining to the bottom of its beak, and orange-yellow eye-rings. It has a big, blackish beak and darkish gray toes.

Lear’s macaw is just like the bigger hyacinth macaw and the marginally smaller glaucous macaw.

The hyacinth macaw might be distinguished by its darker plumage, lack of greenish tinge, and in a different way formed patch of yellow pores and skin adjoining to the bottom of the bill. The glaucous macaw is paler and has an extra greyish head.

The Lear’s Macaw (also called the Indigo Macaw) was recognized to science for 150 years from commerce birds earlier than ornithologist Helmut Sick found a breeding website in 1978.

Habitat loss, looking, and trapping for the pet commerce diminished their numbers rapidly, and by the late 1980s, there have been solely 70 recognized birds left within the wild.

Habits and Lifestyle

Lear’s macaws are social, diurnal, territorial, and noisy birds. Lear’s macaws normally type teams of round Eight to 30 birds, and, to a lesser extent, there are pairs or smaller teams of families.

They’ve conspicuous loud calls and are normally noticed flying or perched on the outermost limbs of bushes or palms. Usually, as many as four people roost in a single crevice or hole of 30 – 60 m (100 – 200 ft) in excessive sandstone canyons.

Within the daytime these birds relaxation up in shady bushes or licuri palms, the place they’ll additionally feed on the fruits of the palm.

They are often noticed preening one another, croaking from time to time. Lear’s macaws are shy birds, and, when alarmed, fly upwards, calling loudly. Then they could circle briefly earlier than they land once more on a tree (once they think about it protected), or they’ll fly off.


When a bunch of macaws is looking for meals or a brand new nesting floor, a small advance social gathering of males “scouts out” the approaching terrain.

As well as, when the hazard is discovered on these hunts for brand new territory, the macaws let lose their signature name which might be heard for miles.

The macaw can attain flight speeds as much as 35 miles per hour to flee predators or poachers.


The first food plan of Lear’s macaw is the licuri palm nuts (as many as 350 per day), but in addition Melanoxylon, Atropha pohliana, Dioclea, Spondias tuberosa, Zea mays, Schinopsis brasiliensis, and Agave flowers.

Mating Habits

Lear’s macaws are monogamous, pairs staying collectively for all times. Breeding takes place between February and April. Pairs will construct their nests on the sandstone cliff faces. The feminine lays 1 – 2 eggs and incubates them for around 26-28 days.

The nesting feminine leaves the nest only for brief intervals to eat, as her younger are depending on her for feeding and heat. As soon as the younger have grown protecting feathers, the mom will steer clear of the nest for longer intervals.

In the evening, each mother and father roost within the nesting space. Chicks that survive to about three months, once they fledge, will stick with their mother and father for a time period after leaving their nest. They attain sexual maturity at around 2 to four years of age.


Lear’s macaw’s fee of copy is one or two eggs per 12 months throughout their mating season from December to May.

Nevertheless, not all pairs of birds mate usually or in any respect. Juveniles attain sexual maturity around 2–four years of age.

Distribution and habitat

For over a century after it had been described, the whereabouts of the wild inhabitants were unknown. It was finally rediscovered in 1978 by ornithologist Helmut Sick in Bahia within the inside northeast of Brazil.

Some thought the chook was a hybrid or variant involving the same hyacinth macaw, however, this concept was quickly deserted, as plumage, measurement, and proportions of Lear’s macaw differ from these of its shut family.

It’s recognized from two colonies at Toca Velha and Serra Branca, south of the Raso da Catarina plateau in northeast Bahia. In 1995, a roosting website holding 22 birds was situated at Sento Sé/Campo Formoso, 200 km (120 mi) to the west.

Lear's Macaw

Lear’s macaw inhabits stands of licuri palm. This habitat, whereas by no means plentiful, is at present estimated to be around 1.6% of its authentic cowl.

Cattle that reside close to its nesting grounds usually stand on the roots of younger licuri palms, killing them, so inflicting a big lack of meals for these birds.

Actually, although the lifespan of those palms might be 30–150 years, most bushes don’t make it over 8–10 years. Lear’s macaw additionally requires a sandstone cliff through which to nest.

To nest there, they apply their saliva to the sandstone which softens it, then excavate small crevasses utilizing their beaks and scrape the mud out of their soon-to-be nests with their toes.

Conservation standing

In 1983, the worldwide inhabitants were estimated to quantity simply 60 birds. Inhabitants in 2010 were estimated as between 1100 and 1200 people. It’s at present listed as an endangered species (CITES I).

In addition to habitat loss, Lear’s macaw has traditionally suffered from looking and extra not too long ago trapping for the aviary commerce.

Varied conservation organizations underneath ICMBio, together with native ranchers and different unbiased organizations, are working to assist preserve the species.

Fundação Biodiversitas created the Canudos Organic Station in 1993 to guard the sandstone cliffs utilized by the macaws to nest.

Present Lear’s macaw conservation initiatives are managed underneath the authority of the Brazilian Institute of Surroundings and Renewable Pure Sources.

The Committee for the Conservation and Administration of the Lear’s Macaw advises the institute on the conservation of Lear’s macaw.

The committee consists of Brazilian and worldwide organizations and people. In 2009, the conservation standing of the species was downgraded to endangered from critically endangered by the IUCN.

This was prompted by a rise within the inhabitants, which primarily based on annual 2009 counts on the Toca Velha and Serra Branca roosting websites is estimated to be 1000 people.

Other Recommended Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *