Two prevalent species of Macaw found in Manu are the Scarlet Macaw and Blue and Yellow Macaw. They travel in flocks eat fruits, nuts and seeds. Often Macaws carry the seeds in their stomach and distribute them through the jungle to spread new species in new areas. Macaws also eat clay in Manu which is believed to be an anti-toxin or neutralizer for the poisons found in some of the seeds they eat.
There are several species of Macaw found in the Amazon. Some of these are the Blue and Yellow Macaw (Ara arrauna), Red and Green Macaw (Ara
chloroptera), Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao), and Military Macaw (Ara militaris).
There are a number of other less common Macaws that can be researched by secondary students should the instructor wish to travel in this direction.
These are the Caninde Macaw (Ara Glaucogularis), the Great Green Macaw (Ara
ambigua), Yellow-naped Macaw, (Ara auricollis), Lafresnaye's Macaw (Ara
rubrogenys), Red Bellied Macaw (Ara
manilata) and others. Scientific names are provided solely to make research
on the world wide web easier. (Sweeney, Roger G., Macaws, Barrons
Educational Series, Inc. 1992.)
Blue and Yellow Macaw
The Blue and Yellow Macaw is a few inches short of a yard in length.
It is quite distinctive with the bright yellow breast and bright blue back. It is found throughout the Amazon Basin from Panama to Bolivia. The Blue and Yellow Macaw is the one most frequently seen in captivity. It is seen on television and in the movies. Blue and Yellow Macaws are bred in captivity and this has saved a number of the wild species from the pet trade.
The Scarlet Macaw is slightly smaller than the Green-Winged Macaw. It is a few inches short of one yard in length. It is found all over the Amazon Basin in low lying areas. It can be found as far north as southern Mexico, Central America and Bolivia. The Scarlet Macaw has been a victim of the pet trade more than other Macaws.
Red and Green Macaw
This is one of the largest Macaws found in the Amazon. It is about one yard in length. This Macaw if found mostly in northern South America from Panama to Paraguay. It is usually found in low lying areas of rainforest and is seen in many parts of the Amazon.
The Military Macaw is one of the smaller members of the species at a few inches over two feet long. The Military Macaw has three subspecies. One species is found in Mexico, another in Venezuela and Peru, and the third in Bolivia and Argentina. The Military Macaw can also be found in areas of higher altitude unlike other members of the species. It is not necessarily a rainforest bird. (Sweeney, Roger G., Macaws, Barrons Educational Series, Inc. 1992.)
This same activity can be completed with just the drawings downloaded from this site. Additionally, narrative can be of a more simple nature from background material provided.
High School Extension:
The biology and diversity of the species of Macaw can be explored along with the areas of frequency as shown by maps that can be researched. High school students can also visit the local zoo, contact the ornithologist and research specific problems related to Macaws in captivity. Research reasons for depleted populations in the wild. Explore the issue of the illegal wildlife trade in rare and exotic birds in the Amazon basin.