Macaw

Hyacinth Macaw

Description and Range
The largest species of macaw, the brilliant-blue hyacinth grows to be up to 40 inches (1 m) long. The hyacinth macaw survives today in three known distinct population in southern Brazil, eastern Bolivia and northeastern Paraguay. It is possible that smaller, fragmented populations occur in other areas of its range.
Although it is difficult to estimate, some people believe there were more than 100,000 hyacinth macaws before the arrival of Amerindians in South America. In 1990, the wild population was estimated to be 2,500 birds. The world’s captive population is probably much larger, numbering in the thousands.
Location and Habitat
Hyacinth macaws are at home in the forests and grasslands of South America's Pantanal region, south of the Amazon River. Their habitat includes southern Brazil, eastern Bolivia and small portions of northeastern Paraguay.
Diet
Hyacinth macaws require more fat in their diets than other parrot species. Their main source of food in the wild is from palm nuts which have been passed through the digestive systems of cows.

Blue and Gold  Macaw Parrot

Physical Description: Blue and Gold Macaws are probably the most well-known. Their beautiful blue and contrasting yellow feathers have attracted people all over the world for many years. They look as if they were entirely blue before someone dipped their bottom half in yellow paint. Everything on the upper half of the bird – their heads, back, wings, and top of the tail – is blue. Everything on the under side – their chest and belly, under their wings, and under their tail – is yellow. They have a green forehead, and the same pale, fleshy face as all Macaws. Their white faces make the black feathering stand out, and give them a zebra-like pattern on their cheeks.

Average Lifespan: 40 – 60 years

Sexing: Sexing these birds requires a DNA test, as they are not sexually dimorphic and you cannot tell the sex just by looking at them.

Origin: South America ( Specifically, Panama south to Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay)

Train ability: As with most of the large Macaws, Blue and Golds are not for everyone. They are mischievous and can become quite destructive if bored. They tend to bond very strongly with their primary caretaker or other favorite person, and can be aggressive towards strangers if they are not properly socialized. We recommend purchasing a weaned, handfed baby. Birds naturally fledge from the nest and their mothers, so hand-feeding a baby you intend to keep for life is not the best idea. It will only cause more aggression later when the bird becomes confused and frustrated that it cannot leave the “nest.” Blue and Gold Macaws learn quickly and are easy to train with a little effort. They typically develop good vocabularies, and can be taught to perform tricks on cue. Sam, our resident Blue and Gold Macaw, will stand on his head, upside down, in the palm of your hand when prompted correctly. It’s quite amazing to see! It is one of the few Macaws that we will suggest as a first bird as they accept new people quite readily, have a great personality, and posses a great combination of friendliness and speaking ability. It is one of our favorite birds.

Loudness: Like all Macaws, the Blue and Gold Macaw can be pretty vocal at sunrise and sunset. Because of this, we don’t recommend them (or any of the large Macaws) for Apartment living. If you feel that a quieter, smaller bird is more appropriate for you, there are still many species to choose from.

Green Winged Macaws             
Green Wing Macaws the "Gentle Giants"
One of the larger of the Macaws, these stunningly red and green birds can be sweet in nature and powerful in attitude. Again, a very large cage is a requirement, not an option, and toys, toys, toys.

When weaned onto a pelleted diet, they appreciate fresh veggies and fruit daily, in addition to a high quality nut mixture. Variety in their diet is important not only for health but to prevent boredom.

Scarlet Macaw Parrot

Physical Description: Scarlet Macaws are probably the most eye-catching Macaw in the pet trade today. They are brilliantly red with splashes of gold, green, and blue on their wings. It’s almost as if they walked right through a rainbow! They have the typical pale, fleshy faces of all Macaws, but even the feathers on their cheeks are bright red! Unlike other Macaws, Scarlets have horn-colored beaks rather than the usual black.

Average Lifespan: 40 – 60 years

Sexing: Sexing these birds requires a DNA test, as they are not sexually dimorphic and you cannot tell the sex just by looking at them.

Origin: South America (Specifically extreme eastern Mexico to Amazonian Peru and Brazil)

Trainability: As with most of the large Macaws, Scarlets are not for everyone. They are mischievous and playful, and can become quite destructive if bored. They tend to “pinch bite,” so experienced bird owners do best with them; Scarlet macaws are not a great first bird. We recommend purchasing a weaned, handfed baby. Birds naturally fledge from the nest and their mothers, so hand-feeding a baby you intend to keep for life is not the best idea. It will only cause more aggression later when the bird becomes confused and frustrated that it cannot leave the “nest.” Scarlet Macaws have been known to be “one-person birds” – bonding very strongly with their primary care taker or other favorite person. If you’re searching for a family bird, we would suggest another species. We have also found that Scarlet Macaws do best when paired with an owner of the opposite sex. So, if you’re a male, you would want to find a DNA sexed female Macaw. Similarly, if you’re female, it would be ideal to find a DNA sexed male Macaw. Otherwise, you may find yourself caught in a battle for dominance with your Macaw later on in life. Scarlet Macaws learn quickly and are easy to train with a little effort. They can easily develop a good vocabulary, knowing a few key words and phrases to get what they want. Scarlet Macaws enjoy showers and will often bathe with their owners. Many enjoy being outdoors as well, so it is good to find a way to allow your Scarlet to play outside safely.

Loudness: Like all Macaws, the Scarlet Macaw can be pretty vocal at sunrise and sunset. Because of this, we don’t recommend them (or any of the large Macaws) for apartment living. If you feel that a quieter, smaller bird is more appropriate for you, there are still many species to choose from.

Buffon's Macaw Parrot

Physical Description: The Buffon’s Macaw is the larger cousin of the Military Macaw, and they definitely look related! In fact, they could pass for twins. The only noticeable difference between a Military Macaw and a Buffon’s Macaw is the size. Buffon’s Macaws are significantly larger than Military Macaws. They are dwarfed by none and can hold their own with a Hyacinth Macaw – the largest Macaw in the world. They are entirely green, with the exception of the red feathers on their forehead, and the blue flight feathers of their wings. The underside of their tail also has blue and red feathers in it.

Average Lifespan: 40 – 60 years

Sexing: Sexing these birds requires a DNA test, as they are not sexually dimorphic and you cannot tell the sex just by looking at them.

Origin: Central America (Specifically Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Western Colombia, and Ecuador)

Trainability: As with most of the large Macaws, Buffon’s Macaws are not for everyone. They are mischievous and playful, and can become quite destructive if bored. We recommend purchasing a weaned, handfed baby. Birds naturally fledge from the nest and their mothers, so hand-feeding a baby you intend to keep for life is not the best idea. It will only cause more aggression later when the bird becomes confused and frustrated that it cannot leave the “nest.” Buffon’s Macaws learn quickly and are easy to train with a little effort. They can easily develop a good vocabulary, knowing a few key words and phrases to get what they want. Buffon’s Macaws enjoy showers and will often bathe with their owners. Many enjoy being outdoors as well, so it is good to find a way to allow your Buffon’s to play outside safely. Generally, we find Buffon’s Macaws to be friendly, outgoing birds. They are not as rambunctious as some of the other Macaws, and enjoy spending quiet time with you just as much as they enjoy playing. Be carefull not to get hybrid Buffons/Military macaws as they are much smaller and not as nice.

Loudness: Like all Macaws, the Buffon’s Macaw can be quite vocal at sunrise and sunset. Because of this, we don’t recommend them (or any of the large Macaws) for apartment living. If you feel that a quieter, smaller bird is more appropriate for you, there are still many species to choose from.

About Macaw Parrots

The iconic macaw species represent most people’s idea of exotic tropical parrots. Scarlet macaw and Blue and Gold Macaw often feature in commercials and films for this very reason. These beautiful charismatic birds are highly intelligent, playful and loving companions.

These babies are enjoying some time in the garden: they get good perching practice on the table, though not too much at this stage as their bones are still forming and excessive perching could damage them. Watch out for more videos as they grow up...

Often talented talkers, macaws seem to have a particularly knowing grasp of that which is going on around them. They are therefore willing and receptive participants in training, be it house-training, behavioral modification or even ‘trick’ training - and trained they must be if you are to enjoy your bird to its full potential.

Omnivorous in their eating habits, they seem to delight in a variety of new and interesting foods, savoring their favorites like a gourmet.

Strong fliers, even in a home situation this should be encouraged for optimum health. Even large green winged macaws can be amazingly agile in the relatively small flying space of the average house once they have overcome their baby clumsiness! Having a large macaw flying from a perch to the hand never fails to be an exciting experience.

Video

Macaw Gallery(Slideshow)

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