Posts Tagged 'blue hyacinth macaw'

Happy 25th Birthday, Margaret!

National Aquarium is celebrating a very special birthday today: Margaret, our blue hyacinth macaw, is turning 25!

With the help of our Animal Programs staff, Margaret started her day off with a special enrichment surprise:

national aquarium hyacinth macaw

Hyacinth macaws are one of the largest species of parrot – they are typically 40 inches in length and can have a wingspan of up to 5 feet! They’re on of the few species of parrot that can even mimic human speech. Margaret can say “Hello” (and she loves to say it a lot!) and is learning to say her name!

national aquarium hyacinth macaw

Did you know? Hyacinth macaws have beaks specially designed for cracking the hardest nuts in the world, the Brazil nut!

In addition to a powerful beak, Margaret has some pretty powerful and nimble feet that help her climb trees, hold food and even play with toys (or in today’s case, rip through a present box filled with newspaper and treats!).

national aquarium hyacinth macaw

Hyacinth macaws can be found in parts of Brazil, eastern Bolivia, and northeastern Paraguay. Unlike most parrots that prefer tropical rain forest habitats, this species of macaw usually makes its home in lightly forested areas such as palm swamps and flooded grasslands! At the Aquarium, you can see Margaret during our Animal Encounters throughout the day.

Can’t stop by in person to wish Margaret a happy birthday? Leave her a note in the comments section or on our Facebook page

Super FISH Bowl: Our Fantasy Team Line-Up

As the competition between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers heats up in anticipation of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII, the National Aquarium, Baltimore and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco are enlisting the help of their aquatic animals to take their own friendly rivalry off the green and into the blue in the Super FISH Bowl!

You can’t have a #SuperFISHBowl without a strong team! As part of our fun wager, each organization is building their ultimate fantasy animal line-up!

Here’s who we’ve got out on the field:

Kicker – Blue Crab
Cornerback – Golden Lion Tamarins
Defensive Line – Sand Tiger Sharks
Fullback – Dolphins
Linebacker – Porcupine Fish
Quarterback – Blue Hyacinth Macaw (Margaret)
Center – Snapping Turtle
Wide Receiver – Tarpon
Tight End – Roughtail Ray
Coach – Octopus (Poulpe)
Referees – Banggai Cardinalfish
Cheerleader – Green Sea Turtle (Calypso)

Tell us your favorite player & they could be our fan-voted MVP!

An Easy DIY Thanksgiving Craft for the Kids (or the Birds)!

We like to theme our animal enrichments around the holidays A LOT. Not only is it a fun side project for our staff, but also gives us the opportunity to re-purpose and recycle materials that otherwise would have been discarded.

Sugar showing off her cardboard turkey!

One of our favorite materials to use for these enrichment items is cardboard! This year, we decided to make some special cardboard turkeys for our birds to play with. If not being used by birds to sharpen their beaks, these turkeys also make for some festive decorations!

Margaret went right into destruction mode. She can’t resist chomping on those wooden beads!

But these playful turkeys aren’t just for our birds – they are an easy do-it-yourself project for anyone looking for some Thanksgiving craft fun! Follow the instructions below to make your own!

Cardboard Turkey

Materials:

  • Cardboard cut into wedges, we used two per turkey
  • Popsicle sticks, if you are purchasing these we suggest going for the colored variety
  • Wooden beads
  • Scissors
  • Zip ties
  • Permanent marker

Directions:

  1. Cut the corners of your cardboard into wedge pieces, varying in size (we kept ours between 3 and 6 inches wide)
  2. Using your scissors, carefully poke a small hold in the center of each wedge
  3. Stick your popsicle sticks in the slits of the cardboard, leaving little space in between each stick
  4. Once your wedges have their “feathers”, use the zip tie to connect the beads and wedges to make the shape of a turkey
  5. Use your permanent marker to draw eyes on your turkey!

We hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Have a favorite Thanksgiving-themed craft? Tell us in the comments!

Orioles Magic: Our Birds Support The Birds!

Our National Aquarium birds (and reptiles) are proud that our hometown team, the Baltimore Orioles, are headed to the playoffs! They couldn’t help but break into song…

From all of us at the National Aquarium, Go O’s!

Happy Birthday Margaret!

The National Aquarium is celebrating a very special birthday today: Margaret, our blue hyacinth macaw, is turning 24!

Hyacinth macaws are one of the largest species of parrot. They are beautiful, smart, and can even mimic human speech. Margaret can say one word – “Hello” (and she says it a lot)!

Hello!

Macaws have four toes—two toes face forward and two face backward. These feet are called zygodactyl, and are great for perching on branches, climbing in trees, holding food and even playing with toys. Margaret’s favorite toys are actually old phone books! She hold them and tears out the pages one by one with her feet and beak.

Although Margaret is a BLUE hyacinth macaw, did you know that her feathers are actually a shade of grey? Light reflects off the top feathers in such a way that they appear bright blue. This is typical of most blue-colored birds. Her feathers are so sensitive to light, that she appears greenish when she’s wet!

Blue hyacinth macaw feathers from different angles appear to be different colors

Macaws eat primarily nuts from native palms, such as acuri and bocaiuva palms, but they also eat fruits and vegetables. Their beaks are strong enough to crack open coconuts. Fresh coconut is Margaret’s favorite treat!

Margaret is getting some very special presents for her birthday today (hint: it rhymes with shmoconut!)

Say happy birthday to Margaret and watch her open presents this afternoon at our 2:30pm Animal Encounter! 


Sign up for AquaMail

Twitter Updates


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 236 other followers