Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Southern Red-shouldered Macaw (Diopsittaca cumanensis)


French: Ara de Cuma German: Zwergara Spanish: Guacamayo noble sureño

Psittacus cumanensis

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

Brazil = Bay of Cuman, Maranhão


Commonly placed in genus Ara. Hitherto considered conspecific with D. nobilis, but differs in its all-whitish vs black or horn-stained black upper mandible (3); larger size as exemplified by bill, which is broader across the top (effect size for bill length 2.44, score 2); barer face, resulting from entirely bare nares and area between nares and eye vs nares part-covered with black bristles and feathers of forecrown wrapping around base of bill to below nares, filling area between nares and eye (2); green of hindcrown extending forward more to mid-crown, thus shaping the blue of forehead into narrow supercilium (1). Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. c. cumanensis (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) – N & E Brazil S of lower Amazon (E Pará and Maranhão to Pernambuco, Bahia and C Goiás).
  • D. c. longipennis Neumann, 1931 – extreme SE Peru and NE Bolivia to C & SE Brazil (Mato Grosso to Minas Gerais and São Paulo).
  • Descriptive notes

    33 cm. Mostly grass-green with bluish forehead, red greater underwing-coverts and wing-bend, with golden-olive underside to flight-feathers and tail. Sexes alike, although... read more


    High-pitched “kreeek-kreeek” or more throaty “ahk-ahk-ahk-ahk-ahk-ahk”, usually delivered in bursts... read more


    Natural savannas (including cerrado) and marshy areas with Mauritia flexuosa,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet presumably similar to that of D. nobilis; in Brazil, in São Paulo, the species is apparently an important predator of seeds... read more


    Copulation reported in SW Brazil in Oct. Nest in hole often in living palm, also in arboreal termitarium. In captivity: four eggs, size 32·... read more


    None reported.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Locally very common in C & NE Brazil, where recently recorded for first time in state of Sergipe. In Peru, known only... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Southern Red-shouldered Macaw (Diopsittaca cumanensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).