Blood Biochemical Values of Wild Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao macao) Nestlings and Adults Academic Article uri icon


  • Blood biochemical values are useful as indicators of disease in veterinary practice and for health assessments of free-ranging animal populations. We analyzed blood biochemical values for free-living nestling and adult scarlet macaws ( Ara macao macao) in southeastern Peru with an Abaxis VetScan VS2 portable analyzer with Avian/Reptilian Profile Plus rotors. The resulting data were used to create provisional age-independent reference intervals for this instrument for wild scarlet macaw nestlings, calculate blood biochemical ranges for this instrument for wild adults, and examine age-related trends in nestlings. Levels of 11 parameters were studied: albumin, aspartate aminotransferase, calcium, creatine kinase, globulin, glucose, phosphorus, potassium, total protein, sodium, and uric acid. Bile acid levels were generally below the instrument detection level and were not evaluated. Most values and their trends with bird age were comparable to those observed in captive large macaw nestlings. Albumin, aspartate aminotransferase, globulin, glucose, total protein, sodium, and uric acid levels increased with nestling age to adulthood. Creatine kinase, phosphorus, and potassium concentrations decreased with age to adulthood. Calcium concentrations did not change between nestlings and adults. These changes in values with age are broadly in agreement with values in other avian species and likely reflect physiologic and developmental changes as nestlings mature.

author list (cited authors)

  • Peruffo, L., Boyd, J. D., Hoppes, S., & Brightsmith, D. J.

citation count

  • 3

publication date

  • September 2016