Parrot Paints Abstract Parrot Portraits, For Parrots

The Blue-throated Macaw is a very rare and on the verge of extinction parrot. It is originally from Bolivia but because of the illegal bird pet trade and loss of habitat due to land clearing, these parrots are almost gone from the wild. The capitive population in zoos around the world is much larger. Currently it is listed in the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered as there are only 100-150 left in the wild.

But if their future is up to Blu Lu, a female Blue-throated Macaw, who lives at the Bird Endowment in Texas there just might be a chance yet to help these parrots. Blu Lu has a talent for painting other parrots. With the help of her trainer, Barbara Heidenreich, Blu Lu has proven to be quite the prolific painter of abstract portraits of other parrots -- and it's all for a good cause too. The Bird Endowment has begun selling raffle tickets for a chance to win Blu Lu's one-of-a-kind works of art. The proceeds from the raffle will go towards protecting the world's few remaining wild Blue-throated Macaws.

As Barbara Heidenreich explains it, “We started with just touching the handle of the brush at firs. Over time she learned to hold the brush, touch it to paper, and eventually add more strokes. Her training is based in positive reinforcement. This kind and gentle method of teaching creates eager participants. Blu Lu flies right over when she sees the painting supplies are out.” See the video below.

The Blue-throated Macaw ~

The Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis; previously Ara caninde) is a macaw endemic to a small area of north-central Bolivia known as Los Llanos de Moxos. Recent population and range estimates suggests that about 100-150 individuals remain in the wild. The main causes of their demise is capture for the pet trade and land clearance on cattle ranches. It is currently considered critically endangered and the parrot is protected by trade laws. The Blue-throated Macaw lives in the savanna of the Beni Department of Bolivia, nesting in "Islas" (islands) of palm trees that dot the level plains. It is not a forest dwelling bird.

The Blue-throated Macaw is about 85 cm (33 in) long including the length of its tail feathers, and weighs about 750 g (27 oz). It has vivid colours with turquoise-blue wings and tail, and bright yellow underparts and blue undertail coverts. The throat is blue and continuous with its blue cheeks. It has a large black bill. Bare skin at the base of the beak is pink and pale bare skin on the sides of the face is partly covered with lines of small dark blue feathers. The adults have yellow irises and the juveniles have brown irises. It can be separated from the slightly larger Blue-and-yellow Macaw by the blue (not black) throat, the blue (not green) forehead and the lack of contrast between the remiges and upperwing coverts.

In the wild the Blue-throated Macaw often competes for nesting-holes in trees with the Blue-and-yellow Macaw, large woodpeckers and toucans. The number of suitable nest trees has been reduced by land clearing in its range.

They are relatively easy to breed in captivity, and the captive population is many times larger than the wild population. Individuals are kept in several zoos around the World, among them the Santa Cruz zoo in Bolivia. Several breeding and conservation schemes in zoos have now been set up to save this species. Other projects have been started to protect the remaining wild population, but at present numbers are still decreasing.

In the wild, within the palm groves of Bolivia, birds nest in tree hollows created in dead palm trunks, rotten knot-holes and dead limbs of trees. There is some evidence that parents maintain the third chick of a clutch with minimal food as an insurance against the loss of the older dominant chicks. If disaster should befall the larger chick the parent can switch to feeding the youngest and it will exhibit a constant growth curve from the day of active feeding. It is this physiological response that enables researchers to raise the third chick of a clutch in captivity and then return them to the wild nests when they are nearing fledge.

Blue-throated Macaws are early nesters and utilize these rare resources of nest holes before the other macaws are in breeding condition. This species has a very small population and is on the verge of extinction in the wild. It is listed on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered.
Source - Wikipedia

VIDEO Parrot Paints for Conservation

Blu Lu is a highly endangered blue-throated macaw. There are less than 300 birds left in the wild. Hatched in captivity, Blu Lu is an avian ambassador for the conservation project The Bird Endowment. ( Her artwork raises money for parrot conservation and other charities. She is named after blues singer Blu Lu Barker. She is trained by Barbara Heidenreich (

Blu Lu specializes in imagery that features parrot species commonly kept as companion animals. Each piece is unique. Here is your chance to own an original framed piece by Blu Lu and to help Bird Endowment in breaking the extinction vortex into which the Blue-throated Macaw has been thrust.

Blu Lu has generously created 15 original pieces which are to be raffled to benefit the Bird Endowment.

Responses to "Macaw paints abstract protraits of parrots to save her species in the wild (Video)"

Write a comment