Military Macaw Nests in Trees: If Not High, Then Deep

David R. Waugh


Throughout its geographical distribution the threatened Military Macaw (Ara militaris) is normally associated with using realtively inaccessible cliffs for nesting. However, on the coast of Jalisco in Mexico, a population of the subspecies mecicanus nests in trees, which brings about different ecological constraints. The Loro Parque Fundacion supported by Dr. Katherine Renton of the National Autononomous Univeristy of Mexico, and her team to study the population, with the objective to help its conservation. The researchers have recently reported the results of their studies on the nest-selected of these macaws.

The firs point they make is that these Military macaws are like other larger-bodied secondary cavity-nesters, being constrained to use cavities of sufficient size to permit access, while also selecting characteristics to reduce predation. The researchers located tree-cavity nests of Military Macaws in tropical dry semi-deciduous forest; and for each nest they determined cavity characteristics, and....

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