A genus of large blue macaws from open and semi-open habitats in central and eastern South America. It includes two extant species, the hyacinth macaw and Lear's macaw also known as the indigo macaw, and one probably extinct species, the glaucous macaw. At about 39 inches in length, the hyacinth macaw is the longest parrot in the world. Glaucous and Lear's macaws are exclusively cliff nesters; hyacinth macaws are mostly tree nesters. The three species mainly feed on the nuts from a few species of palms.
While blue macaws have been known from taxidermic and captive specimens since at least 1790, location of the Lear's macaw's endemic habitat wasn't known until 1978.
The glaucous macaw was extirpated in the 1800s by clearance for agriculture and cattle grazing of the yatay palm groves upon which it fed, though rumors of its continued existence persist. Lear's macaws have made a comeback from near extinction in the early 1980s (about 60 birds) to over 1000 as a result of conservation programs. Hyacinth macaws remain locally common within parts of their range, but their range has become fragmented into three known distinct populations in southern Brazil, eastern Bolivia and northeastern Paraguay; populations are declining due to extensive trapping for the pet trade as well as habitat loss.
Both hyacinth and Lear's macaws are listed on CITES Appendix 1.