What is a Macaw?
That is a hard question to answer. If you asked an average person, they will probably describe a macaw as a very large, colorful parrot with a long tail. This description only defines 11 of the 17 species of macaws. The six macaws that don't fit this generalized description are not large, less than 19 inches in length, or very colorful.
There are four genera classifications of macaws. They are Anodorhynchus, Ara, Cyanopsitta, and Diopsittaca.
The genus Anodorhynchus contains three species, the Hyacinthine and Lear's macaws, the third, Glaucous macaw may or may not be extinct, it has not been seen in the wild for about a hundred years. But it has been rumored that there maybe a few left in the wild, the location has not and probably will never be disclosed. It also have been rumored that there maybe a few held in captivity.
The genus Ara is the largest group which contains 12 species. They are the Blue and Gold, Blue-throated (Caninde), Scarlet, Green-winged, Military, Buffon, Red-fronted, Severe, Coulon's, Illiger's, Yellow-collared, and the Red-bellied macaws. There was a 13th species called the Cuban macaw, but it is now extinct since 1864.
The genus Cyanopsitta contains only one species -- the Spix's macaw.
The genus Diopsittaca contains two species, the Hahn's and Noble macaws.
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