Let's talk about the rare blues

Three is not a crowd at the Jurong Bird Park as it welcomes two of the world's rarest macaw species - the Spix's macaw (right) and the Lear's macaw - to join the park's existing hyacinth macaw collection.

It is now the only zoological park in the world to host all three existing species of the blue macaw family.

The critically endangered Spix's macaw may be familiar to movie lovers. It is the species that inspired the main character Blu in the animation film Rio. Believed to be extinct in the wild, there are just over 150 of these birds left worldwide - all under human care.

The Lear's macaw is considered endangered, with about 1,300 left in the wild.

The birds can be seen at the Jurong Bird Park's Parrot Paradise exhibit from Nov 22.

These Brazil natives are on a 10-year loan, during which time the park hopes to use the birds as ambassadors for their species and in its conservation programme.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2017, with the headline 'Let's talk about the rare blues'. Print Edition | Subscribe