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Date:11/21/2014 7:30:35 PM
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Hi PeeWee
Hello everybirdie, Zeena here with today's BOTM post. As we land in Brazil, we are cautioned to be very quiet so we don't disturb the Macaws. SHhhhhh!

The Spix's Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii), also known as the Little Blue Macaw, is a macaw native to Brazil.First discovered by German naturalist Georg Marcgrave, when he was working in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil in 1638 and it is named for German naturalist Johann Baptist von Spix, who collected a specimen in 1819 on the bank of the Rio São Francisco in northeast Bahia in Brazil.
The bird is a medium size parrot weighing about 300 grams (0.66 lb), smaller than most of the large macaws. Its plumage is various shades of blue, with a grey-blue head, light blue underparts, and vivid blue upperparts. Males and females are identical in appearance, the females being a little smaller on average. The Spix Macaw is reported to be extinct in the wild, with the disappearance of one last single male in 2000. All remaining Spix Macaws are now kept in several private breeding programs without the world. Due to their extremely small numbers none are available for public viewing. The largest colony of approximately 40 birds is currently owned by an Arab sheik who has been working on breeding these beautiful birds with the final hope that they will be able to be released into their former remaining habitat.
The Spix Macaws were destroyed in the wild by excessive deforestation and hunting. The colonies were ruthlessly killed, poached for the pet trade and shot for pure sport until they had been eliminated in their territory. The introduction of predators into their habitat, including rats, monkeys and feral cats also aided the quick decline in wild Spix populations. In recent years there have been isolated reports of Spix Macaws in land in protected, isolated locations but this has not been publicly verified, although it possibly might be true, to protect what remaining wild pairs there are.
A sad note, this past Wednesday PRESLEY, the second to last known wild-born member of the species flew to the Rainbow Bridge after a brief illness. Presley had been kept as a pet in the USA for years, but was returned to Brazil in 2008. He left no progeny. He was 40 years old at his death.
Presley's death is a blow to conservation efforts in both a symbolic and literal sense. Critically endangered, these native Brazilian birds (Cyanopsitta spixii) are believed to be extinct in the wild. Decades of deforestation and rampant wildlife trafficking have besieged the medium-size macaws, who also ended up having to compete for nest space with introduced Africanized honeybees.
Now with fewer then 100 living specimens, most closely related, the Spix Macaws future hangs in the balance. This spring heralded in the hatching of 5 babies, 3 of which were due to artificial insemination. Perhaps someday our grandchildren will be able to see the wild Spixs fly free once more.
with love and scritches Zeena 255116
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