Blue & Yellow 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.

Have you ever heard a bird talk? Blue and Yellow Macaws are very smart and can learn to repeat words that they hear. Read on to find out more about where these colorful birds live, what they eat, how they help the forest, and their family life.

Is That Bird Eating Dirt?

If you were exploring a rainforest in South America, you might see a Blue and Yellow Macaw on the bank of a river eating the claylike soil. He's not eating it for food. These large colorful birds eat many fruits and seeds in the rainforest. Some of these have toxins, or poisons, in them that could make the birds very sick. They've learned that if they eat the soil on the riverbank, the toxins in the fruits won't hurt them! There are certain minerals in the soil that help keep the macaws healthy.

A Blue and Yellow Macaw in Flight.

The Blue and Yellow Macaw is found in many places in South America and a few places in Central America, in areas with a warm and rainy climate. Scientists aren't sure how many of them are currently living, but they have labeled them as an ''uncommon'' bird.

Big Bright Birds

Their backs are covered with bright blue feathers, and their undersides are covered with yellow feathers. Their tails have very long blue and yellow feathers. They may have some green around their eyes, on their heads, and on the tips of their wings. They have very large bills that are blackish-gray, and their eyes are yellow.

Blue and Yellow Macaws

When full grown, they can be up to three feet long, mostly because of their very long tails. You might hear a Blue and Yellow Macaw before you see it; they're shy and will fly away making loud screeching noises when they're startled.

That's Some Beak!

Blue and Yellow Macaws have very large, strong beaks that are shaped perfectly for cracking open and crushing seeds, nuts, and fruits. Sometimes they drop seeds as they're flying or eating, so they help the environment because they distribute the seeds around the entire rainforest.

Their Strong Beaks Break Open Seeds

Blue and Yellow Macaw Families

Blue and Yellow Macaws find partners that they stay with for life. Females will lay two or three eggs every one or two years. She'll care for the eggs for about 3 1/2 to 4 weeks until they hatch. The babies are born blind and without feathers, so the mother must care for them. She brings them food that she regurgitates (pronounced re-GUR-juh-tayts). That means she eats the food herself and then spits it back out for the babies to eat.

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