Each of our macaws has their own fascinating story to tell!
Perky, our first macaw at the Centre was purchased in memory of our special times we all had as a family living in the Caribbean in the 1980's! Our original Mr P was rescued from the dirty backyard of some illegal macaw trafficking scandal, at a time when drug running and trade in illegal animals was at one of its highest points. When we left the Caribbean we sadly had to leave Mr P behind, but we did ensure that he was rehabilitated back to the wild in Tobago. There he had a chance, at least, flying through the tropical rainforest, with a small group of other released macaws. We hope he is still there today?!
Our Perky here at the Centre, however, was born in 1995 and raised at Exmoor Zoo, on Exmoor. She is the scruffy one, with very little self respect for her feathers. She was very ill in 2005, but fortunately made a good recovery, and enjoys herself wrapping her feathers around her perches and branches. Perky has a very wide vocabulary, which she exercises in the early evenings when she returns to her night-time cage.
She has recently made good friends with Milo, and they are generally kept perching together for companionship and entertainment. We are not sure however that they will make a good breeding pair as Milo is a 'mixed' macaw.
Milo, our Catalina macaw (mixed Blue and Gold with a Scarlet Macaw), also has a drug related history. He is around 40-50 years of age, and was confiscated in London from a drug trafficker, who ultimately was jailed for his wrongdoings! Wow, what a story these animals could tell. He (Milo) became very attached to me on his first day of arrival, and has been a mixed blessing ever since. During his first year he spent a good deal of time saying zzvvvvt, and cutting the grass with his beak (no wonder he came with the name of 'Flymo'!). He even taught Perky how to cut the grass too! He has settled well into his new home (since 2006), although he is very jealous of my partner, Rod, with whom there is a real love-hate relationship. They do spend a good deal of time laughing at one another.
Marley was donated to the Centre when his owners left to live in Spain in 2008. Strangely, he was also called Milo when he arrived so we had to rename him a similar name that he would understand! He is the hyperactive one, and took a long time to settle, but we believe he is quite happy now and does the most talking - common expressions from any of the macaws are 'good morning, hello, pretty polly, who's a pretty parrot, ' They all are happily caged in the evenings in the same room and enjoy being part of our extended family of animals.
Natural History of the Blue and Gold Macaw
Blue and Gold Macaws are birds of the forests and they are often found near water. They fly in pairs or small family groups but large flocks can be seen congregating at roosting sites. They have been known to congregate together with Green Winged Macaws. During the dry months they tend to stay in dense forests but, during the rainy season, they travel considerable distances to secondary forests where they seek out fruiting trees.
They will start congregating to roost from before dusk and are most often seen in the early morning or late afternoon flying between roosting sites and feeding grounds. Their favourite roosting sites are tall trees. They tend to follow regular routes to and from sites, flying high above the tree tops calling loudly. Their call consists of a raucous cry.roosting
Their diet consists of the available fruits at the time. They especially like palms, nuts and seeds from high in the canopy. They are particularly fond of the jabillo fruit and will seek out the trees as the fruit ripens. They also eat leaves, insects and the insect larvae. Large numbers congregate on river banks with other parrot species to take the mineral clay that is exposed there.
Their nesting site is normally high in a hollow, in a dead palm tree. A normal clutch consists of 3 eggs, occasionally 4. Nesting is usually from December to May depending on the region.