Red tails flying free again

Spreads for web 3

By Sarah Williams
Along the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica awaits the Macaw Recovery Network’s “Wild Macaw Refuge and Breeding Centre”. There, dedicated staff and volunteers make every effort to promote an environment where colourful Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) and endangered Great Green Macaws (Ara ambiguus) can safely breed and raise their chicks in captivity. Those chicks grow to learn vital skills for survival in the wild and are released throughout Costa Rica to fly free with their wild Macaw friends.

At the centre in Punta Islita, nearly 100 non-releasable Macaws, which were rescued or confiscated, are given the opportunity to socialise and choose a partner of the same species, a decision they must make carefully since parrots tend to build bonds that last a lifetime.

Nyala and Simba are two Scarlet Macaws that met in a social aviary more than 10 years ago at the Breeding Centre. Staff noticed them becoming very comfortable and doing things like feeding and preening each other – it was clear they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

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