The Green Macaw is another species for which bird watchers and eco-tourists in general visit the Maquenque Refuge, the San Carlos River Basin and Boca Tapada. Together with the Red Macaw, they are the only two species of macaws in Costa Rica.
Beautiful large birds
The great green macaw (Ara ambiguus), also known as the Buffon's macaw or the great military macaw, is a Central and South American parrot found in Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador. Two allopathic subspecies are recognized; the nominated subspecies, Ara ambiguus ssp. ambiguus, occurs from Honduras to Colombia, while Ara ambiguus ssp. guayaquilensis appears to be endemic to the remnants of dry forests on the southern Pacific coast of Ecuador. The nominated subspecies lives in the canopy of tropical rainforests and in Costa Rica is generally associated with the almond tree, Dipteryx oleifera.
An endangered species
Large Green Macaws are the largest parrots in their natural range, the second heaviest species of macaw (although they are relatively shorter than other large macaws such as the Red and Green Macaw and therefore somewhat shorter, and the third heaviest parrot species in the world. This species averages 85-90 cm (33.5-35.5 in) in length and 1.3 kg (2.9 lb) in weight. They are mainly green and have a reddish forehead and pale blue feathers on their back, rump and upper tail. The tail is brownish red with very pale blue tips. The naked facial skin is patterned with lines of small dark feathers, which are reddish in older parrots and females. Juveniles have grey rather than black eyes, are more dull in colour and have shorter tails with yellow tips.
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