Green-winged Macaw (Ara chloropterus)

Green-winged Macaw

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Ara chloropterus | [authority] Gray, 1859 | [UK] Green-winged Macaw | [FR] Ara chloroptere | [DE] Grunflugelara | [ES] Guacamayo rojo (Arg), Guacamayo Aliverde | [NL] Groenvleugelara


Monotypic species


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

The adult plumage of the Green Winged Macaw is mostly red. A slightly darker red than the Scarlet Macaw and, apart from the size difference, they are easy to tell apart as the Green Winged Macaw has green patches on their wings (hence their name), while the Scarlet Macaw has yellow patches. Their head, upper back and wing bends are red, then green runs along their back and over their wings, finally their flight feathers and lower back are blue. Their tail is red with the feathers tipped in blue. Their upper beak is blackish and their lower beak grey in colour. Their exposed skin is a light grey, their legs grey and their iris’s orange.

Listen to the sound of Green-winged Macaw

[audio: Macaw.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 110 cm wingspan max.: 120 cm
size min.: 90 cm size max.: 95 cm
incubation min.: 25 days incubation max.: 26 days
fledging min.: 90 days fledging max.: 26 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


South America : Amazonia, Southcentral


Humid lowland evergreen forest, generally up to 500 m, but also penetrating tropical deciduous forest and gallery woodland in savanna and llanos, and even undisturbed caatinga vegetation. In Panama, occurs up to 1,000 m in terra-firme rainforest, and nesting in large trees. In Argentina, exists, or used to exist, presumably in Atlantic-type forest.


Macaws pair monogamously for life. The female lays 2-4 eggs in a nest in a hollow tree mostly high in the canopy. Females lay between 1-3 eggs that hatch after 28 days of incubation. The young begin to leave the nest after about 100 days. Female stays on the nest while the male brings her food. After hatching (24-25 days) both parents care for the chicks, feeding them with a special liquid from their beaks. The chicks stay in the nest for about 14 weeks, but they will remain with their parents for up to 2 years. Sexual maturity is reached at about three years.

Feeding habits

Their diet consists of seed, nuts, fruit, berries and buds and they will spend most of their day feeding in the treetops. Along with other types of Macaws and other parrots the Green Wing Macaw frequents clay licks. Eating the clay is said to aid digestion and to remove the toxins from their bodies, enabling them to eat unpalatable fruit.

Video Green-winged Macaw


copyright: Pere Sugranyes


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Much of northern South America, ranging from Panama to Paraguay and east to the Guianas and Trinidad, and south to Argentina.
Green-winged Macaw status Least Concern


Resident throughout range.

Distribution map

Green-winged Macaw distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *