The Blue and Gold macaw or Blue-and-Gold macaw (Ara ararauna) is closely related to other large neotropical parrots including the scarlet macaw, military macaw, red-and-green macaw, and yellow-collared macaw. The Blue and Gold Macaws are native to South America, specifically southeastern Brazil near the coast of Paraguay. Blue and golds come in two subspecies; Ara ararauna ararauna is found in south eastern Brazil while Ara ararauna caerulea can be found in Santa Catarina State on the Brazilian coast. Blue and gold macaws live wild along over 100 km of coastal Atlantic forest that includes patches of mangrove swamp in southern Brazil, in countries in South America such as Paraguay and Argentina.
Blue and gold macaws have also been introduced to many islands from the coast of Brazil including The Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Aruba, Curaçao, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Belize. Blue and Gold Macaws have established themselves on Aruba Island after a re-introduction program. Blue and Gold Macaws are kept captive around the world by parrot breeders for breeding purposes or companionship.
Blue and Gold Macaws can learn a large vocabulary of words that include phrases with some degree of comprehension of what they are saying. Blue & Golds reach sexual maturity at about 4–5 years of age. Blue-and-gold macaws typically live from 35 to 50 years in the wild, while Blue and Gold Macaws kept as pets can live more than 70 years if well cared for. Blue and Gold macaws are listed by the IUCN/SSC Pacific Regional Management Plan as a Species of Least Concern due to its wide distribution and stable population.
The Blue and gold macaw is a large, mostly-blue South American parrot with a scarlet chest and blue underwings. Native to tropical South America, the Blue and gold macaw inhabits humid evergreen forests. Blue and gold macaws are about 75 cm long from the tip of their tails to the top of their heads. They have bare white faces – surrounded by naked blue skin, which gives them their name – as well as whitish thighs and prominent red tail-covert feathers. Blue and Gold Macaws do not normally eat seeds or other plant foods as they lack the necessary enzymes needed for processing them; instead they primarily feed on fruits, nuts, berries, blossoms, leaf buds tender shoots, palm fruits (especially the seeds, and to a lesser extent the fleshy mesocarp), and certain palm nuts. Blue and Gold Macaws are monogamous breeders nesting in natural cavities or hollows high up in large trees. Blue and Gold Macaws form life-long pair bonds with their chosen mates, often remaining near each other for years unless one dies, at which time they will seek out a new mate. Blue and gold macaws nest in holes found in tall trees
They reproduce by laying eggs that hatch after 28 days of incubation. Blue and Gold Macaw chicks spend 90 to 100 days as nestlings before fledging, or taking flight from the nest for the first time. Blue and gold macaw chicks leave the nest earliest when less food is provided by parents, indicating that leaving the nest earlier minimizes the risk of starvation. Blue and Gold Macaw chicks are dependent on their parents for feeding and protection from predators until they fledge at around 90 days old. Blue and gold macaws have lived up to 70 years in captivity; however, the Blue and gold macaw’s average lifespan is between 40-50 years.
A Blue and Gold Macaw symbolizes happiness, joyfulness, fascination with life, companionship (for which it often forms strong pair bonds). Blue and Gold Macaws can be very affectionate pets, if 10 years or older. They are demanding parrots requiring substantial financial investments necessary to provide them with enough toys for entertainment not to mention proper care and nutrition Blue and Gold Macaws can be trained to mimic sounds and words which they display in mating rituals. Blue and Gold Macaw chicks are very dependent upon their parents for feeding them until they fledge at around 90 days old.