Indigo Macaw Anodorhynchus leari


The Indigo Macaw is a critically endangered resident of interior northeastern Brazil. These macaws are metallic blue throughout with a slight green tinge and have yellow on the bare orbital ring and in a semi-circular patch at the base of its lower mandible. These beautiful birds inhabit caatinga thornscrub vegetation with stands of licurí palm (Syagrus coronata) and pastures near sandstone cliffs which they use for nesting and roosting. Although this species had been known to science through traded birds, a wild population wasn't discovered until 1978. Since then, several smaller populations have been discovered, with a final population estimate of 140 birds being made in 1994. The Indigo Macaw may have never been common, but wide scale clearing or licurí palm stands and hunting for meat and for the pet trade have decimated populations of this bird. Drastic measures are needed to save this bird from following the same path as the similar, and now presumed extinct, Glaucous Macaw (Anodorhynchus glaucus).

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more


© Bret Whitney

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Indigo Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: