Entry on the Lear's Macaw in Parrots, Cockatoos and Macaws

(Page 148) by Edward. J.BOOSEY published in 1956.

(Website biographical information: Edward. J.Boosey founded the Keston Foreign Bird Farm in Kent, England with Alec Brooksbank in 1927, which became famous for its extensive breeding stock of parrots and parakeets, especially cockatoos and macaws and he was regarded as the leading authority in the breeding of the latter. At the time the above book was published he was Vice-President of the Avicultural Society and a regular contributor to the Society's magazine as well as other avicultural publications. He worked closely with Hastings Russell, the then Marquess of Tavistock and later 12th Duke of Bedford, and produced the eight plates published in Tavistock's Parrots and Parrot-like Birds in Aviculture in the 1920s.



(Anodorhyncus (sic) leari)

Lear's Macaw is a smaller and less richly coloured edition of the huge and imposing Hyacinthine. It also is hyacinth blue, but of a less intense hue, and the feathers of the breast have paler edges. The head and neck are strongly washed with a slaty-grey colour. Male and female are alike.

Length: 28·5 inches, as against the Hyacinthine's 34 inches.
Habitat: Brazil.

A single Lear's as a pet is a delightful bird, very tame and gentle and it will learn to talk a little. The blue macaws have the reputation of being the gentlest members of the whole family, which is just as well considering the tremendous power of their really enormous bills. I refer of course to tame unmated specimens. A breeding pair would probably be just as savage as their large, parti-coloured relatives are apt to be when breeding. These can be very savage indeed and it would be no joke to be attacked by a ferocious pair of macaws. The well-known French aviculturist, Monsieur Decoux, had before the war a pair of the large brilliantly coloured macaws - I rather think they were Red and Yellows-at liberty and they went to nest in an old hollow tree in his garden. So savage did they become, however, (particularly, I believe, singling out the postman for their attacks) that they had to be confined, thus putting an end to a very interesting liberty experiment.

Lear's Macaw is an extremely hardy bird, and commenting on this fact in his book Parrots and Parrot like Birds Lord Tavistock wrote: "The species is excessively hardy. A bird in my possession, when in rough importation plumage flew into the top of a bare oak tree and stayed there for more than forty-eight hours during a spell of raw January weather. When at length he decided to come down he was not a penny the worse for his long fast and exposure."

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 " Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret "

( If you drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will soon find a way back)

Horace (65-8 BC)