Entry on the Spix's Macaw in Foreign Birds for Cage and Aviary

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

SPIX'S MACAW (Cyanopsittacus spixii).

The colouring is blue, the head and neck being somewhat greyish; the feathers of the back, upper wing-coverts, rump, upper and under tail-coverts with paler margins; flights with blackish inner webs; breast and abdomen slightly greenish; wings and tail below blackish. Feet blackish; naked lores and skin round eyes black; iris pale yellow.*

The female is a little smaller than the male, and has a. narrower and smaller beak, with shorter terminal hook. Hab., province of Bahia.

I can discover nothing as to the wild life of this species from books in my library.

A good illustration, taken from a living example, purchased by the Zoological Society, is published in their proceedings for 1878. It was the first example that Dr. Sclater had ever seen alive. Writing in The Avicultural Magazine in 1897, the Rev. F.G. Dutton says he has only seen two (one of them being the above-mentioned bird), and he found both of them ill-tempered. On the other hand, Mr. Fulljames tells us (The Avicultural Magazine, March 1898) that his Spix's Macaw "is one of the best-tempered birds in the collection." Canon Dutton evidently has not seen the example deposited at the Gardens in 1894. Russ only speaks of the bird as being extremely rare.

As all bird-keepers know well, it is impossible to be certain of the character of any species from a study of one or two examples only. Even in the case of birds, which are generally ill-tempered and malicious, amiable individuals may occasionally be met with. Moreover, circumstances may alter cases, and a Parrot chained by the leg to a stand may be excused for being more morose than one in a roomy cage.

* Burmeister describes the lores and cheeks as quite naked and yellowish white; Dr. Sclater says that the lores and skin surrounding the eyes are black.

Latest News

  • Saturday 23rd March 2024
    More welcome news about the Spix’s macaws in the wild

    Welcome news about the re-introduced Spix’s macaw. Last weekend the field staff in Brazil were monitoring nest boxes and discovered a pair with three newly-hatched chicks. They took video footage and this is available on the ACTP website

    ... 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)