This study evaluated the health status and established hematologic and serum biochemistry parameters for free-living nestlings of the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) from the Brazilian Pantanal (19°51′–19°58′S; 56°17′–56°24′W), for four consecutive years (from December 2003 through December 2006). Physical examinations indicated that all the birds were in good health. Endoparasites and blood parasites were not detected in any of the nestlings, and ectoparasites seemed to be limited to Philornis sp. (Diptera: Muscidae). Significantly higher levels of total white blood cells and heterophils, glucose, total protein, triglycerides, and phosphorus were observed in females. In females, higher cholesterol levels and packed cell volumes were observed in older birds, and total white blood cell and heterophil counts were higher in young animals. In males, uric acid levels were higher in older individuals. Wild Pantanal Hyacinth Macaws feed on only two species of palm nuts (Acrocomia totai and Scheelea phalerta). This limited food habit has a strong impact on population size and may alter the clinical pathology parameters of these birds. Therefore, knowledge of blood levels in normal individuals is essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild macaws, to assess the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation strategies of this endangered species.
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Vol. 45 • No. 4