Blue Macaw Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

You may have heard of a popular movie about a bright blue bird that was taken to Brazil and released into the wild. This lesson is about the Little Blue Macaw, the same bird from the movie. Read on to find out about these rare birds.

Was that a Little Blue Macaw?

You wouldn't think that the whole world would get excited about one bird, but that's exactly what happened when a Spix's Macaw, also called the Little Blue Macaw, was spotted recently in Brazil. Why was everyone so excited? This was the first time anyone had seen a Spix's Macaw since the year 2000! It's one of the rarest birds in the world.

Little Blue Macaw
macaw

A farmer spotted the bright blue bird, and the next morning his wife and daughter captured it in a video. When scientists saw the video, they were thrilled! Scientists thought the Spix's Macaw was extinct in the wild. Because they hadn't been seen for so many years, scientists believed there were none left except for those in captivity.

Where Did It Get That Name?

A little over 200 years ago, while on an expedition in Brazil, Johannes von Spix caught a bird that was (at that time) unknown to most ornithologists. Ornithologists are scientists who study birds. This bird was named Spix's Macaw after the man who first found it.

It was almost another 100 years until this type of macaw was seen again in Brazil by a scientist but even then, not much information could be gathered about the bird because it was so shy and difficult to find.

Even now, we don't know much about the Little Blue Macaw. Unfortunately, there are less than 150 of them left in all the world and none of them are living in the wild. When scientists first became interested in studying the Spix's Macaw, there were only three of them left in the wild and they were really difficult to find.

Since scientists can't study them in their natural habitat, we don't know much about them. That's why scientists are so excited about the recent sighting of the Little Blue Macaw; maybe there are some of these beautiful birds left in the wild after all!

Beautifully Blue

Spix's Macaw isn't also called the Little Blue Macaw for no reason - this bird is really blue! It's got bluish-gray feathers and a bright blue tail and wings. The blue is brightest in the tail feathers and gets lighter toward the head. There is a ring around each of its eyes that has no feathers; the skin there is dark grey.

Little Blue Macaw
spix

Even though their name has the word 'little' in it, they're not really very small. Most adult Little Blue Macaw grow up to 22 inches long, which is just under two feet.

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