The Large Macaws: Their Care, Breeding and Conservation


Seldom is a book written with so much comprehensive material that reaches such a diversified audience as is done through the book, The Large Macaws: their Care, Breeding and Conservation. This book, authored by three experts in their field, covers with great detail the wonderful world of the large macaws. Material on eleven species of macaws are covered from an avicultural, veterinary, conservation and archaeological concept. These eleven macaw species include the Hyacinth, Buffon's, Green-winged, Scarlet, Blue & Gold, Military, Redfronted, Blue-throated Glaucous, Lear's and Spix's Macaws. The material in this book will be of great interest to not only the macaw pet owner and avi- · culturist, but to the scientific community, including veterinarians, college and university personnel, museum personnel, etc. The conservation material in this book is extensive and will be of great interest and help to field researchers, biologists, ecologists, etc. The scientific field research discussed in this book covers ecology, taxonomy, genetics, recovery projects and efforts, and reintroduction concepts and projects.

It is difficult to explain how detailed this book is. Subjects are not skimmed over but are given with accuracy and from every viewpoint that is known. Even though it covers a wide group of subjects, the avicultural information is simply outstanding. Covering in detail from identification, pre-purchase considerations, housing and nutrition to reproduction, natural and artificial incubation, and pediatric material just to mention a few, this book is an absolute must for the macaw breeder whether they are a beginner or very experienced.

This is a large formatted book measuring 9 by 12 inches. The color photography is outstanding and is shown not only for beauty but for information.
Much of the written material has a color photograph explaining it. This is great for identification of macaw subspecies to showing babies in many stages from hatching to weaning. The photography of macaws in the field whether at a nest or through the field, researcher's eyes, is both spectacular and informative. There are 350 color photographs in this book and many of them are one of a kind. Each chapter is begun with a full page color photograph depicting its contents. There are also a few spectacular surprise photographs. Not surprising as over 6,000 photographs were received from photographers around the world to assist the making of this book. This number was reduced to the 350 color photographs used in the book and they were taken by 77 photographers. Being a wildlife photographer myself, I can truly appreciate the photography in this book.

One of the unique chapters in this book is on anatomy and physiology. Joanne Abramson has broken new ground in this area. Every conceivable part of the anatomy of a macaw is superbly illustrated by Marsha Mello, from details of feathers to the bones in the feet, wings and many other parts of the skeletal structure. Most unique are the skull and cranium illustrations taken directly from the different macaw species showing their differences. In both juvenile and adult macaws these illustrations show exactly where cartilage and the bones are formed in each skull. Both internal (respiratory, avian egg structure, etc.) and external (eye, ear, preen gland, hatching macaw, etc.) areas of a macaw are shown. One unusual illustration is the hyoid apparatus or the hones of the tongue. Much of this work has not been done before. Marsha Mello has produced over 70 illustrations throughout this book, but her attention to detail and accuracy is best shown in the anatomy and physiology chapter.

The book, The Large Macaws: Their Care, Breeding and Conservation, has been the brain child of Joanne Abramson for several long years. I have personally been aware of the concept and beginnings of this book from the beginning. As is true with most of life's endeavors, a beginning concept is changed many times over during the process. So it has been with this hook.

Joanne Abramson has dedicated her life's work to the large macaws. The main thrust of her work has been towards reproducing these magnificent creatures in captivity. But with Joanne, it wasn't simply a matter of acquiring these large parrots to reproduce, hut to learn every aspect and detail about them that there was to learn. She is a keen observer and has the intuitiveness to allow her birds to teach her a thing or two. Through their behavior, Joanne has learned so much...