Macaws are long-tailed, often colourful New World parrots. Macaws are native to Central America (especially Mexico), South America, and formerly the Caribbean.
Most species are associated with forests, especially rainforests, but others prefer woodland or savannah-like habitats.
Proportionately larger beaks, long tails, and relatively bare, light-coloured, medial (facial patch) areas distinguish macaws.
Sometimes the facial patch is smaller in some species, and limited to a yellow patch around the eyes and a second patch near the base of the beak in the members of the genus Anodorhynchus.
A macaw's facial feather pattern is as unique as a fingerprint. Macaws, like other parrots, toucans and woodpeckers, are zygodactyl, having their first and fourth toes pointing backward.
The majority of macaws are now endangered in the wild and a few are extinct.The greatest problems threatening the macaw population are the rapid rate of deforestation and the illegal trapping for the bird trade.