Hyacinth Macaws are crackers – and that's no insult! They are the best nut crackers you're ever likely to see.
They use their bumper sized beaks to crack large palm nuts, much too tough for any other animal to break open.
They are the biggest birds in the parrot family, reaching up to 100cm long. Many people think they're the best looking parrots, with deep blue feathers, a yellow ring around the eye and yellow near their black, curved beaks.
In the wild they live in South America, mainly Brazil, but numbers have fallen drastically. Over recent decades they were relentlessly hunted for the pet trade and also suffered as farms and urban developers took over large parts of the forests where they live.
The availability of the palm tree species from which they get the nuts to feed on is crucial for their continued survival. Pairs mostly nest in tree hollows, but sometimes in holes or caves.
Females usually lay two white eggs, which they sit on for 30 days, then chicks stay in the nest, getting stronger, for another 100 days.
Ours are on the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme, a carefully managed scheme overseeing the breeding of zoo animals in different countries.
You'll find our Hyacinth macaws in their large aviary to the rear of the Tropical Realm. We have an excellent record of breeding Hyacinth macaws and in 2008 welcomed the arrival of one more chick from our breeding pair, which have been at Chester Zoo since 1992.
Our breeding programme for these extremely rare birds continued to have success with a great new addition coming in July 2014.
By visiting our zoo you help us to continue valuable breeding programmes and research into the world's rare and exotic bird species.