Nido Adoptivo™ Is Building On Achievements, Moving Forward
The Nido Adoptivo™ annual funding campaign for the nest box project was originated and developed in 2007 by Bird Endowment's founder Laney Rickman in partnership with the Bolivian NGO Asociación Armonía to support the Blue-throated Macaw Conservation Program in the El Beni state of Bolivia, which is the endemic birds' natural range. This effort follows the “Saving the Blue-throated Macaw Ara glaucogularis: A Species Recovery Plan,” developed by Asociación Armonía and Loro Parque Fundación.
Each US$300 donation to sponsor a nest box for a year covers the costs of materials to build and monitor the nest boxes as well as fieldwork to locate and establish appropriate nesting areas where artificial nest boxes would be accepted by wild breeding pairs.
The Blue-throated Macaw is Critically Endangered with an estimated 420 - 480 adult birds in the wild. The objective of Nido Adoptivo™ is to increase the annual reproductive output of the Blue-throated Macaw wild population through a strategy, utilizing nest boxes attached to trees.
Since the program’s inception, an incredible 128 Blue-throated Macaws have fledged from the nest boxes on the Laney Rickman Reserve. For the first time, in 2017, a second-generation chick was raised by parents who both had fledged from these nest boxes. In 2021, a record of 9 breeding birds were confirmed to be ringed individuals, having fledged from these nest boxes in previous years and returning to breed, demonstrating the success of this program and the promise of future population growth.
As part of Armonía’s constant efforts to improve the nest box project, camera traps were set up for the first time in 2020 to better understand the breeding habits of the Blue-throated Macaw. See below videos by Bennett Hennessey with camera trap footage from the 2020, 2021, and 2023 breeding seasons.
The GRAPH above shows the cumulative number of successful Blue-throated Macaw fledges by year. Note the steepening of the curve after the 2017 and 2018 breeding seasons, with numbers of successful fledges increasing more rapidly.
It took 12 years for the first 64 fledges, but only 6 years -half the amount of time - for the latest 64. This steepening of the trend is most likely due to two significant factors:
a) 2018: Laney Rickman Reserve established by Armonía, protecting this crucial habitat
b) 2017: the first second-generation chick by parent birds with leg bands, indicating they had fledged previously from the nest boxes, reached sexual maturity in the wild, and returned to raise their own chick. Since then, the number of banded parent birds has generally increased each breeding season, an important indicator of increasing population recruitment where parent birds that had previously fledged from the nest boxes feel safe to return to raise their own chicks.
Graph by Armonía showing Blue-throated Macaw breeding attempts and the number of fledglings by year. A record of 15 chicks successfully fledged in 2023 from a record of 14 breeding attempts.