We are so thrilled you are here to learn about macaws or, as they are referred to within the Mayan culture, Guacamayas. While you may not know exactly what they are called, when you see a macaw, they are unmistakable. Part of the parrot family, these birds are truly magnificent, and we are excited to tell you these 10 interesting facts about what makes them so special.
If you want to learn even more about macaws, why not come to Puerto Vallarta to meet them for yourself? Our Vallarta Adventures tour guides would love to help you shake tail feathers with these playful parrots during your next vacation.
1. Macaws are one of the world’s most colorful birds
A macaw’s unique appearance is akin to a human fingerprint. Ranging in color from the brightest red through to turquoise, yellow and bright indigo, these birds are a sight to be seen. What’s amazing is that each bird’s coloring is distinct to where they live and their vibrant colors actually blend quite well with the Amazon’s rainbow-colored plants and foliage.
2. Macaws fall in love and stay that way
Unlike the vast majority of animals, once macaws find a mate, they tend to stay together for the rest of their lives. They raise their babies together, groom one another and can be seen flying so close to one another it’s as if they are holding hands…we mean, wings.
3. While macaws range drastically, in terms of size, they are the world’s largest parrots
There are more than 350 types of parrots and macaws are the largest of them all. Weighing up to four-ish pounds with lengths of more than three feet, macaws are extremely sizable for birds. Not to mention their gorgeous wings can span up to five feet – or 60 inches.
4. Macaws can live for a long time
By animal kingdom standards, macaws are a long-lived bird. While living in the wild, their average lifespan is around 60 years. However, under the right conditions, they can live up to 100 years. Domesticated macaws often have to be put in their owner’s will because they may outlive them!
5. They can mimic human speech
Not to be confused with talking per say, but macaws are celebrated worldwide for their ability to copy their human counterparts. These amazing creatures can be taught words and encouraged to practice until they can repeat them perfectly. Even wild macaws use very specific clicks to communicate with one another, and they are very advanced in terms of their vocal learning centre.
6. In keeping with their vocals, macaws can be very loud
These social butterflies love to hang out in large flocks. When you get up to 100 macaws together, their loud calls come together to make quite a racket. As they communicate with one another, macaws can be heard throughout the jungle.
7. They call the tropical rainforest home
Although they can be found in woodland and savannah areas, Macaws prefer to live in dense forests such as Mexico’s lush rainforests or the Amazon in Brazil.
8. Their beaks are extremely strong
Used for eating or as a means of force during an altercation, macaws’ beaks are not only distinct in appearance, but they are very strong. Some macaws can even use their beaks to crack coconut shells, which if you have ever tried to do with a hammer, you will understand how impressive that is.
9. Macaws’ tongues are very unlike ours
Not only are macaws’ tongues scaly and dry, but they actually have a bone in them. This bone is used for tapping into fruits, so while it’s a little strange to us, it’s very useful to them.
10. Their wings are not just aesthetically appealing
Macaws put their wings to good use and they can fly up to 15 miles each day in search of food.
Come make friends with Vallarta’s macaws!
We hope you enjoyed learning some fun facts about macaws. While reading about these beautiful birds may be fun, there is nothing better than seeing them in real life. If you want the extraordinary opportunity of seeing these rainbow-colored creatures in person, join us on our Las Caletas Beach Hideaway where we will take a guided tour around the island to meet many of its friendliest feathered residents – the macaws!
Our Vallarta Adventures tour guides look forward to helping you learn even more and make wonderful memories with one of our region’s favorite birds. Reach out to us today to book your tour and let’s fly away!