The 2nd annual meeting of Hyacinthine Macaw breeders and keepers

This meeting included the curious presentation by Dr Petra Wolf of the Hanover Veterinary School on feeding behaviour of macaws

At the beginning of last month I attended the 2nd annual meeting of Hyacinthine Macaw breeders and keepers in Germany, which took place in Porz, an eastern suburb of the city of Cologne. This meeting moderated by well-known German breeder Norbert Hebel included a presentation by Dr Petra Wolf of the Hanover Veterinary School on feeding behaviour of macaws. This was based on a study carried out at Loro Parque, Tenerife, comparing the behaviour of three different macaw species - Hyacinthine Macaws, Blue-throated Macaws and Blue and yellow Macaws - with different food stuffs. The study is in German and highly technical with numerous tables, but I am putting the summary in English and German on the website very shortly.

One very interesting finding was how little water Hyacinthine Macaws required daily. It is already known that Lear's Macaws in the wild get their daily liquid intake from squeezing small gooseberry-sized licuri palm fruits. The Hyacinthine Macaw appears to survive on what amounts to a thimbleful of water or as Dr Wolf put it equivalent to a small schnapps glass each day.

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