Ariel the baby Greenwing Macaw (Ara chloroptera)

I thought it might be interesting to post pictures showing the progression of a baby Greenwing Macaw. I've started to include videos of her from week 8 on.   Jen and I  decided to get this girl who was born November 6th, 2005 at my favorite aviary .   I'm not sure when or where but I went macaw crazy, I love these birds.  I think I'd ultimately like to add a Blue and Gold and Scarlet Macaw to our mix as well but for now Merlin and the Greenwing will be more than enough.  We won't be able to take her home for a good 6-9 months when she is weaned but we plan on visiting her quite often.  The first week we weren't allowed to take pictures because they didn't want light around her.  The second we could snap a picture through the incubator door using a high ISO setting on the Canon 20D.  The third week she was finally brought out of the incubator and we were allowed to touch her (briefly and under controlled situations).

Ariel's Growth
(Videos at Week(s) 8,9,10,11,12,18,31,39, 1 year 4 months, 2 years 1week)

Week 1: No picture - 77 grams (Born November 6th, 2005)

Week 2: 180 grams (November 21st, 2005)

Week 3: 300 Grams (Merlin is 450 for comparison) (November 27th,2005)

Week 4: 450 Grams (December 3rd, 2005)

Week 5: 716 Grams (December 10th, 2005)

Week 6: 900 Grams (December 17th, 2005)
Apparently the bird cut a toe early on and they grabbed a quick blood sample.  I think the aviary generally wouldn't have sexed her for another month or more.  Now we can start trying to think of names.  The girl is getting more of a personality and will beak our fingers and moan a bit.  Today was the first day she was brought out of the incubator room.  We got to hold her in our laps for five minutes before she was brought back.  One potential snag has occurred though.  The aviary has Scarlet Macaws and a mutual liking has grown between myself and a male named Chester.  Fortunately the aviary told us we could just keep playing with him as the Greenwing grew and make our mind up much later.  As it turns out there is a goodly waiting list for Greenwings and none for the Scarlet.  Our 1300 dollar deposit bumped us up to the top of the list for the Greenwing.  We will probably stick with this girl because Merlin is a needy little fellow and I'm not sure a Scarlet wouldn't cause jealousy problems but I have enjoyed interacting with the Ara Macao.

Chester and Rosy

Week 7: 1000 Grams (December 24th, 2005)
Well, this little girl seems to be a smaller Greenwing, we are told she'll top out around 1200 or so grams, that's fine Merlin is ~450.  She is a noisy little girl but started puffing up for us when we pet her for the first time today.

Here is Jen holding Chester, we are still 95 percent with the Greenwing but he is one beautiful boy.

Week 8: 1088 Grams
(December 31st, 2005)
We also decided to name her Ariel.  Ariel means light or lion of God, it is also a biblical name for Jerusalem.  Among certain myths Ariel is also an angel of wind, water, and nature.  Ariel's upper and lower beak do not join together properly.  Our aviary has been massaging her beak daily and using a dremel to stimulate the beak to correct the problem but there is a possibility she will need surgery to implant the equivalent of bird braces.  I really hope this doesn't happen.  We are assured it is standard but I am nervous about our little girl being put under gas.  Wish her luck on this one.  This was the first week our baby showed allot of awareness of us and was very responsive to talking to and scritching.  I've also posted a video of this visit.  She is going to be a little Greenwing.  The species tends to be in the 1200-1500 gram range but I'm guessing this beautiful little girl will be more like 1100-1200.  Today she also made allot more noise.  It is interesting.  Merlin screeches whereas Ariel makes a moaning noise.

Week 9: 1120 Grams (January 7th, 2005)
Ariel is definetly going to be small for her species.  Greenwings tend to be in between 1200 and 1500 grams and I doubt she'll reach 1150.  She is still beautiful though and is much more responsive to petting this week.  She doesn't perch yet but was able to hold on to my hand much more firmly this week when I picked her up.  Apparently she has also been flapping her wings quite a bit so sometime in the next month should see her perching and flying.  On a side note, a personal matter took the aviary's owner away for the week so Ariel has been under the care of her most trusted employee who also happens to work for Sally Blanchard. Sally Blanchard recently moved to Colorado and Ariel got to spend the week at her new place.    

Week 10: 1120 Grams (January 14th, 2005)
No change in weight, this little girl is going to be tiny. Her feathers are mostly in now although her tail still has a good few weeks and her crop and belly area are still a bit bare.  This week we set her on the floor and watched her waddle around. She has been attempting to perch but isn't there yet.  According to 'The Large Macaws, Their care, breeding, and conservation' Greenwings perch between 56 and 88 days and fledge between 78 and 93 days.  Since this is day 69 we can expect interesting things from Ariel over the next few weeks.

We pet her to sleep.

She still sits cross legged, we have a contemplative little Greenwing.

She waddled over here from the couch, it was her first steps for us.

Week 11: 1100 Grams (January 21st, 2005)
Ariel is now perching.  For those non-bird people following this thread there are three distinct events in a baby birds life before it should be allowed to go home.  These events are perching, fledging (flying), and weaning (feeding themselves). Ariel's next event, fledging, should take place in the next few weeks and she is already flapping her wings in expectation.  She still tires very easily so we only spend about 1.5 hours before heading home.  

HOUSTON, WE HAVE PERCHING, T-minus a few weeks or so and counting

Ariel Page 2