Great Green Macaw – good news

The Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus) is treated as a ‘sensitive species’ in Costa Rica by birding data banks and the following post therefore has no guide to precise location. I’m very happy to report, however, that the species is present regularly and in numbers at several sites in the Caribbean region.

We ended 2018 on a high note with our excursion to the Caribbean lowlands, where the most notable sighting was that of a pair of loudly calling Great Green Macaws. Larry Waddell captured one of them with his camera as they flew over.

Happily, this species seems to be now making an excellent recovery in Costa Rica and visitors to the Caribbean lowlands should not be too surprised if they encounter it. Its raucous call and large size make it unmistakable. Our party of 4 was treated to an early morning fly-over shortly after we drove the relatively short distance down to the Caribbean from Turrialba.

On one of his earlier Caribbean excursions John Beer took the following fine photos of an individual feeding on jabillo fruit but perched in a guarumo tree:

This post will be my last for this year, but the New Year will bring wonderful birding in Costa Rica. The recovery of the Great Green Macaw, which was almost eradicated from the country by the turn of the last century, brings us hope and inspiration. We can now find it in several different locations in the Caribbean region. where it is no longer such a rarity. Its raucous cry and great size make identification a simple matter, although even a small flock can be surprisingly hard to find once the birds have entered the canopy. Keep a look out when you’re in the Caribbean!

Readers of German might be interested in an article (Bechsteinaras) in the journal GAV, which discusses in detail the Great Green Macaw. Here is the URL: http://www.gav-deutschland.de/

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