Reproduction in the Wild
The Blue-winged or Illiger's Macaws attain reproductive maturity when they are 2 to 4 years old.
Most breeding activities in Brazil have been observed between December to February.
The average clutch consists of two eggs which are incubated for about 29 days to hatching.
Both parents feed and protect the young, which fledge (leave the nest) when they are about 11 weeks old; but they will remain with their parents for about another year.
In the 1990s, a female Blue-winged Macaw was paired up with the last Spix's Macaw known to have existed in the wild.
Please refer to the story of the Last Spix's Macaw.
The needs of these rare parrots cannot be adequately covered on this site and an experienced breeder of endangered species should be consulted. However, below, we are covering the basics:
To accommodate their need to exercise, pairs should ideally be set up in a spacious outdoor aviary of nine by five by six feet, with an indoor shelter, and should be kept above 60 degrees Fahrenheit until acclimatized, when they can tolerate down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The breeding season usually begins in December (later in colder climates) and may go on until June or July. In the wild they breed from March to June.
They are generally good breeders and may produce 2 to 3 clutches a year, averaging 1 to 3 eggs that are incubated for about 29 days. The young fledge at about 11 weeks. In the wild, they remain with the parents for up to a year.
They are very shy while breeding and prefer a dark quiet room or shelter. Provide a nesting box of eight and a half by 16 by 12 inches with a small opening of about 3 inches. It's best not to disturb them or inspect the nesting box, as they may damage their eggs in fright if you do. The young fledge about 12 weeks after hatching and should be removed at that time as some parents that are eager to start another clutch may severely pluck them in an effort to force them into independence. Also, handraising chicks and frequently handling them will result in tame birds for the pet market.
- Info on weaning chicks
Parent birds needs calcium supplements at all times, but especially so before and during the breeding season.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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