Spix's Macaw Cyanopsitta spixii Scientific name definitions

Christopher J. Sharpe, Guy M. Kirwan, Nigel Collar, and Peter F. D. Boesman
Version: 2.1 — Published June 27, 2022

Plumages, Molts, and Structure



The immature has darker blue plumage . See also Bare Parts.


The adult has the forehead, cheeks, and crown pale bluish gray, shading to blue gray on the nape, and becoming violet blue on the mantle, back, and rump; the same color extends to the upperwing coverts and flight feathers including the uppertail. The throat is pale gray; the feathers of the upper breast are bluish gray, with paler blue fringes that create a rather obscure scalloped effect; the lower breast and belly are similarly patterned, but overall somewhat brighter. The undertail is dark gray, and the underside of the flight feathers the same color.


No information.

Bare Parts


Black in adults; in young birds, there is a vertical horn-colored marking in the center of the maxilla (2).

Iris and Facial Skin

Iris mustard-yellow in adults; dark brown in young birds (2). Spix's Macaw has a bare mask-like area around the eye, extending to the maxilla. In adults, this is blackish gray, in immatures, it is whitish gray (2).

Legs and Feet

Dark brownish gray (2).


Linear Measurements

Total length 55–57 cm (2).

Linear measurements, in mm, from Juniper and Parr (2), but sample sizes unstated: wing length 247–299 mm, tail length 265–378 mm, bill length 31–35 mm, tarsus length 22–27 mm.


296–400 g (in captivity).

Recommended Citation

Sharpe, C. J., G. M. Kirwan, N. Collar, and P. F. D. Boesman (2022). Spix's Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii), version 2.1. In Birds of the World (G. M. Kirwan, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.spimac1.02.1