Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus)

Great Green Macaw

Great Green Macaw

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Ara ambiguus | [authority] Bechstein, 1811 | [UK] Great Green Macaw | [FR] Ara de Buffon | [DE] Bechsteinara | [ES] Guacamayo Ambiguo | [NL] Grote soldatenara | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Ara ambiguus LA e Honduras to w Ecuador
Ara ambiguus ambiguus e Honduras to nw Colombia
Ara ambiguus guayaquilensis w Ecuador


There are twelve macaws in the Ara genus. Macaws are very distinctive birds, and possibly the best known, with their distinctive screeching call, sharp hooked beak, colourful plumage, very long tails and naked area around the eyes and cheeks. They are seen in most zoos, bird collections and anywhere else exotic wildlife is likely to be found. The species or the genus Ara are social birds which in the wild iive in flocks of 40 to 50 individuals composed by family groups of two to four animals.
They form pairs, and this social structure is kept when big flocks of hundreds of individuals are constituted. The species of the Ara genus vary greatly in size and colour with all of them having a similar body shape. Ara macaws have long tail feathers and large, broad heads with beaks that are extensive and strong. The most noticeable taxonomic feature of these birds is the area of bare skin on either side of the face. These bare patches can be completely bare or be covered in rows of small facial feathers surrounding the eyes. These markings vary between each macaw species.

Physical charateristics

Very large, green macaw. Red frontal band above huge black bill. Bare facial area with black lines. Flight feathers blue above and olive below. Blue lower back. Orange tail. Facial lines more reddish in older (especially female) birds.

Listen to the sound of Great Green Macaw

[audio: Green Macaw.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Andrew Spencer

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 85 cm size max.: 90 cm
incubation min.: 29 days incubation max.: 31 days
fledging min.: 70 days fledging max.: 80 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Latin America : East Honduras to West Ecuador. Ara ambiguus occurs as two subspecies. The nominate race occurs from Honduras to north-west Colombia, and the race guayaquilensis in western Ecuador. In Panama, it is locally fairly common (near Cana, Alturas de Nique) on the Caribbean slope and fairly common in Darien (and adjacent Colombia), and occurs in Serran

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