Question Sheet: Helping the Cause of Macaws


Before reading:

  1. Where do parrots live in the wild? 
  2. Why do people keep parrots as pets?

During reading:

  1. Why are researchers putting up artificial nests for macaws? 
  2. How do the artificial nests make it easier to study macaws? 
  3. Describe the mystery about macaw chicks that Hillaire and Quinteros are

    trying to solve. 

  4. Why did scientists stop saving the third and fourth chicks? 
  5. Why do scientists go to the clay lick every morning? 
  6. Why do the birds eat the clay?

After reading:

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantage of saving the third and fourth

    macaw chicks? 

  2. What do you think scientists should do? 
  3. Does making fake nests solve most of the problems for macaws? Why or why


  4. Why would macaws have more chicks than they can care for? 
  5. Should people be allowed to have macaws as pets? Why or why not? 
  6. What kind of person would become a scientist who studies macaws? 
  7. How are macaws different from other kinds of parrots? See (Macaw Landing Foundation).


  1. Plan your own trip to the Peruvian jungle. How would you get there? What

    things would you bring with you? What would you eat in the jungle? 

  2. Where else do macaws live besides Peru?


  1. Pretend you have gone on a four-day trip to the Tambopata Research Center.

    Write a fictional journal of your trip. What did you see? What did you do? What

    did you learn from the journey? 

  2. Do all parrots face the threats that macaws face? Pick a different kind of

    parrot and write a report about this bird’s lifestyle and habitat. You can find

    information about different kinds of parrots at, under the section

    called “Parrots by Species” (Parrots International).


  1. Imagine you are a scientist working in a forest with 100 large trees, and

    each tree has one macaw nest and one pair of parent macaws living in it. If 5

    trees get cut down every month, how many artificial nests would you need to

    build every year in order to end up with the same total number of nests? 

  2. If each of the 100 macaw families (each having 2 parent macaws) raises 2

    chicks per year, how many years will it take before you would have 1,000 macaws

    living in the forest? 

  3. If you saved the third and fourth chicks, so that each family produced 4

    chicks each year instead of 2, how much sooner could you have 1,000 macaws in

    the forest?