There are 18 different species of parrots classified as Macaws, ranging from the magnificent Hyacinthine which weighs approximately 1300 grams (3 lbs.) to the petite Hahns which weighs about 165 grams (1/3 lb.). They all have graceful tails that are usually as long as their bodies or longer.
The large Macaws are brightly colored while the mini-Macaws are not nearly as striking. Most Macaws have bare skin surrounding their lower mandible (beak) but not all species have this characteristic.
They are very social and intelligent and can form a close bond with their owners and regard them as a mate.
They live in the warm, Neotropical regions from Southern Mexico through Central America and down into Central South America. Different species will live in different locales within a country.
There are several reasons for the decline of Macaws in the wild. The main reason today is the destruction of the rain forest and other Macaw habitat. Without proper nesting sites, these parrots cannot breed.
Another reason, of course, is the capture of Macaws for the pet trade. In the 1980s over one million parrots were reported captured in South and Central America to be sent to the United States, plus many many more for Europe and Asia.