A large parrot known as the Glaucous Macaw is now extinct or very close to extinction. They are all South American natives and relate to the Hyacinth, Lear, and Spix’s Macaws, which are all fragile, or extinct in the wild. We will dig out the reasons why and which factors have involvement in their distinction. If you are interested to discover more about the Glaucous Macaw and their extinction, be our journey mate till the end. 

Table of content

  • A little about the glaucous macaw
  • The history and area of origination
  • Diet and care
  • Body appearance
  • The current situation in the wild
  • Reasons for extinction
  • Conclusion

A littele about the glaucous macaw

They look the same as some other breeds of macaws but are unique in features and coloring. Based on reports, occasional claims of sightings and bird trading have been made, suggesting that a few glaucous macaws might still exist in captivity. However, the genuine concern lies with the global glaucous macaw population. Currently, only an estimated 10 to 20 glaucous macaws live in captivity. Notably, no glaucous macaws have been observed in the wild since the second half of the 19th century. It indicates that these parrots are officially extinct in their natural habitat and are on the brink of extinction even in captivity.

What is the lifespan of Glaucous Macaw?

Glaucous macaws were common to had a lifespan of 50-80 years.

What is the behavior of this macaw?

In normal, Glaucous Macaws are the gentle birds, unlike other species member. Rest of the macaws are noisy and destructive.

The history and area of origination

The Glaucous Macaw was formerly discovered in Brazil’s State of Paraná, northward in northern Argentina, northeast Uruguay, and northern Argentina. Their preference was to live around the main rivers, including Corrientes and Argentina, and these are the areas where they were spotted most frequently. The bird had already become scarce by the end of the 1800s; by the turn of the century, there had only been two reports of sightings. The only change since then is a reduction in sightings.

The Glaucous Macaw is generally listed as “Critically Endangered—Possibly Extinct” on the red list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN estimates that there’re just 20 left in the wild and that habitat degradation from farming, house construction, and killing and trapping for the pet trade business is to blame for the species’ extinction. There have been several attempts to find live species, but none of them have been successful.

Diet of Glaucous Macaw

A Glaucous Macaw’s diet consists of various foods essential for its well-being:

  1. It predominantly feeds on palm nuts, a primary source of nutrition.
  2. The macaw enjoys consuming fruits like mangoes, papayas, and bananas, which provide vital vitamins and minerals.
  3. Vegetables such as carrots and leafy greens serve as crucial supplements.
  4. The bird occasionally indulges in small insects and larvae to ensure proper digestion.

Overall, a balanced diet rich in diverse nutrients is imperative for the Glaucous Macaw’s health and vibrant plumage, making it a magnificent sight in its natural habitat.

Body appearance


The Glaucous Macaw is a huge parrot that is around 28 inches (70 cm) in length and has the usual long tail and wide beak of Macaws. With a light to medium grey head, they have a turquoise-blue body. Each bird has a featherless pale yellow ring, and yellow lappets in the form of crescents surround the bottom portion of the beak. Its mandible has a golden eye ring and half-moon-shaped lappets on either side.

Is Glaucous largest macaw?

No, it is not largest macaw. Talking about the most giant, it is none other than Hyacinth Macaw that raises to 4 feet.

The current situation in the wild

From the second half of the 19th century, the appearance of these birds is zero. The final sighting of glaucous macaws was in Brazil in 1936. Due to habitat degradation and trapping, these parrots were no longer seen in their indigenous environment as of 1992. According to biologists, these parrots are imperiled in the wild. However, only a few are still alive in captivity. Some glaucous have persisted in El Palmar National Park in the Argentine area, and although their presence still endures but is imprisoned, adequate living space is still rumored to exist. This led to a recommendation in 1980 to up-list the species to critically endangered status.

A survey on the historical range of the Glaucous Macaw in Brazil came into focus in 1999, thanks to a team of researchers from the World Parrot Trust. According to the investigation, there were no birds in any of the regions. The latest recorded sightings and local reports in Mbaracayu date from the 20th century, according to a small number of published local reports. On the other hand, research on avian extinction trends was carried out in 2018. Both the severe habitat loss of glaucous macaws and the absence of any sure sightings in forests came into focus.

Reasons for extinction

  • The devastation of Important River Basins
  • The environment of the Glaucous Macaw has changed dramatically.
  • the removal of Yatay palm trees; the practice of hunting by hunters and traders; the spread of disease
  • Disappearing palm orchards.
  • Lack of Glaucous Macaw nesting locations; scarcity of food

Which macaw is the rarest?

Some people claim that Glaucous Macaw is rarest among the family, but majority of the evidences are in favor of Spix Macaw.


If any Glaucous Macaws are still alive, Brazilian law is protecting them. Moreover, it’s conceivable that there may be a tiny population of these parrots. In the wild, the glaucous macaw is an extinct species of macaw. Parrots in captivity are few, but they do exist. People frequently mix up Lear’s Macaw and Glaucous Macaw. They are similar in proportions and designs but have different colors. So. They look like glaciers when they fly over river basins, but they are extinct.

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Hello, I am Matthew Isaac have a passion for birds and a wealth of knowledge in the field. As someone who has dedicated my career to working with birds, I am excited to share my expertise through my writing. My articles cover many birds related topics, including their behavior, biology, habitats, and conservation. Whether you are a seasoned bird watcher or just starting to explore the world of avian creatures, my articles will provide valuable insights and practical advice that will help you deepen your understanding and appreciation of birds. From bird identification and species-specific information to bird care and welfare, I am committed to sharing accurate, helpful, and engaging content that will inspire and inform readers from all backgrounds and levels of experience.