Entry on the Hyacinthine Macaw in Foreign Birds for Cage and Aviary

(Part II) by Arthur G. BUTLER published in London in 1909.

HYACINTHINE MACAW (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus).

The adult bird is cobalt-blue, slightly paler on the head and neck, and duller below than above; the base of the inner webs of the flights and the underside of the wing and tail feathers black; the beak black, with the lower mandible yellow at the base; the feet blackish, the naked skin round the eyes yellow, the iris brown. The female is probably rather smaller than the male with a smaller, shorter perhaps narrower beak. Hab., Central Brazil and Mattogrosso.

Burmeister says of this bird : "It is less shy than the blue and yellow Ara, but is nowhere so abundant or met with in such numerous flocks. According to Aug. de St. Hilaire, one invariably only sees it in pairs. The same observer is certain that this species properly bears the name Ararauna among the natives."*

There can be little doubt that, as is the case with Macaws generally, this bird lays two or three eggs, but from books at my disposal I have not been able to obtain much information as to its wild life. Not being a very common bird even on the Amazon river, it is not surprising that it is not very freely imported, and consequently commands a high price. Russ speaks of it as having only been seen occasionally in zoological gardens, but the Hon. and Rev. F. G. Dutton says that he has possessed one, and most bird-lovers in this country will remember the fine specimen formerly belonging to Mr. Fulljames. The latter gentleman spoke of the bird as perfectly amiable to its keeper, but spiteful to strangers. The first example exhibited at the London Gardens was purchased in 1867, since which date other examples have been acquired.

* Bates also mentions this as its native name.

Latest News

  • Tuesday 9th July 2024

    There is a short interesting article in the July 2024 issue of the German magazine "Papageien" about the setting up of a nature conservation centre for Spix’s Macaws  in the São Paulo zoo. Under the guidance of biologist Fernanda ... Read More »


 " 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)