Red-bellied Maea-ws Reared at Loro Parque

Rosemary Low


The red-bellied (Ara manilata) is a
distinctive small macaw about 20in
(SOcm) in length . Most macaws have
part of the !ores feathered but the
totally bare !ores and yellow facial skin
distinguishes manilata from all others.
This species is mainly green, with blue
on head and wings and a maroon patch
on the lower abdomen. Undersides of
tail and flight feathers are olive yellow.
The bill is black and the iris is dark
It occurs throughout most of the
Amazon basin, its distribution coinciding
with that of Mauritia palms on
which it feeds. Common in the wild, it
is rare in captivity, although quite a few
have been exported from Guyana in
recent years.
I believe that the most suitable
environment for captive birds is an outdoor
aviary in a warm climate and a
spacious indoor aviary in a cooler
climate. A small cage should not be
At Loro Parque the red-bellied macaw
was represented by a pair in the offexhibit
breeding centre and by two

males on exhibit, when I became curator
in February 1987. The pair had been
in residence at least four years without
attempting to breed. This is not an easy
subject in captivity, being extremely susceptible
to stress, also to obesity. Few of
the wild caught birds which aviculturists
obtain survive more than two years,
unlike other Ara species which adapt
very well to captivity.

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