Military Macaw(Ara militaris) Perhaps the smallest
of the large macaws at a length of 28 inches. It is divided into
three subspecies, A. militaris militaris, A. m. mexicana, and
A.m. boliviana. Each subspecies represents a different and distinct
population. The nominate form, A.m. militaris occurs in the eastern
tropics of Colombia to western Venezuela and south into eastern
Ecuador and northeastern Peru. The subspecies, A. m. boliviana,
is found in the tropical portions of Bolivia and northern Argentina,
and the northernmost subspecies, A. m. mexicana population is
located in Mexico from southeastern Sonora and Sinaloa south to
the Yucatan and perhaps into western Guatemala. These very distinct
populations are separated by thousands of miles of terrain.
Military Macaws were once very common in Mexico, but are now
listed as an endangered species due to the clearing of their habitat
for agriculture and capture for pets. While the remaining two
populations are not endangered, the entire species has been listed
on Appendix I of CITES to assure protection of the northernmost
race. Further, the Military, though smaller, is very similar in
appearance to the Great Green Macaw or Buffon's Macaw (A. ambigua),
which is even more endangered.
The Military Macaw readily breeds and is thus a common parrot
in American aviculture, though not as popular as the other, more
colorful macaws. It also has a reputation for being nippy and
thus requires more attention in the first year of life to maintain
a pleasant nature. On the plus side, it is the quietest and least
expensive of the large macaws to acquire.
Militaries do well in a large macaw cage as an indoor pet. They
enjoy toys and especially wood items, which they like to chew.
They can be trained to do most anything, including being potty
trained to the cage and they are reasonably good talkers