Great Green Macaw
The Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguous) is native to Central America and the northern areas of South America. It is the largest parrot in the region and endangered. Best estimates suggest the total Great Green Macaw population is less than 2,500 individuals due to extensive habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade.
The great green macaw is highly dependent upon one tree for food - the almond (almendro) tree pictured here. While they will eat the fruit and nuts of other trees, the almond is their favorite and plays an important role in their diet. They move through the rainforest to follow the nuts as they ripen. The trees also provide shelter and nesting hollows where these birds raise their young. Almond trees, however, continue to be harvested extensively for their high-quality wood. Forests are also destroyed to grow pineapples, bananas, African palm, and other crops throughout Central America.
This painting is a tribute to a wild Great Green Macaw I had the good fortune to see on a recent trip to Costa Rica.