Macaw

Macaws, the giants of the parrot world (Psittacidae), come with attractive colors and mimicking abilities tripled with friendly dispositions in most cases, making them good pets or companion birds. However, due to this, many of these have become endangered, with the Spix’s macaw possibly having become extinct in the wild. The glaucous macaw has also probably been driven to extinction, as there were only two confirmed sightings in the whole of the 20th century. The largest member of the macaw family is the hyacinth macaw, while the smallest is the Hahn’s macaw, being similar in size to some parakeets.

Macaw

Habitat: Where do macaws live in the wild

Macaws are usually seen mostly in rainforests, with some preferring savannahs and woodlands. They are endemic to the Americas, residing in South America, Central America, and North America (only up to Mexico).

Macaw Pictures

List of Macaw Species

Severe Macaw (Chestnut-fronted macaw) Hahn’s Macaw (Mini macaw) Green-Wing Macaw (Red-and-Green Macaw)
Blue and Gold Macaw Scarlet Macaw Hyacinth Macaw
Blue-headed Macaw Military Macaw Golden-collared Macaw
Great Green Macaw Blue-winged Macaw Red-bellied Macaw

Hybrid Macaw Types

Catalina Macaw (Scarlet x Blue and Gold) Calico Macaw (Green-winged x Military) Caloshua Macaw (Blue and gold x Hyacinth)
Camelot Macaw (Catalina x Scarlet) Harlequin Macaw (Green-winged x Blue and Gold) Shamrock Macaw (Military x Scarlet)

Endangered and Extinct Macaws (As per IUCN)

Glaucous Macaw (Critically Endangered) Lear’s macaw (Endangered) Spix’s Macaw (Little blue macaw)
Blue-Throated Macaw (Critically Endangered) Great Green Macaw  (Endangered) Red-fronted macaw (Endangered)
Cuban red macaw (Extinct) Saint Croix Macaw (Extinct) Cuban red macaw (Extinct)

Video: Different Types of Macaw

Macaw Mating and Breeding

Macaws in the wild are monogamous, meaning they keep the same partner for life, with their breeding season occurring between the seasons of spring to early summer. Most species lay 3-5 eggs which hatch after about 25-30 days.

Macaw Baby

Baby Macaw

Lifespan: How long do macaws live

Macaws are long-lived birds, with their lifespan ranging from 30 to 60 years or more. The smaller species have a shorter life than the larger ones, living for around 30 years, while the largest of the macaws can live to be 60 or upwards if given the right amount of care and enrichment.

Keeping them as pets

Macaw Bird Cages

Pet Macaw

Housing

Most macaw species are large, requiring sufficiently roomy cages to live in. They tend to make a lot of noise so it will be in your neighbors’ best interest to keep them in a sound-proof room/cage to minimize the sound they make. Place perches within the cage, and provide enough toys, including foraging toys. Let them out of their cage for a few hours each day, as exercise is quite important for their wellbeing.

Video: Free-Flying Macaws

Temperament and personality

Macaws are generally friendly and affectionate birds as long as they get enough attention and company of their owners. And it is important to build this bond between the pet and the owner as its enormous size makes a cranky macaw quite dangerous because its strong beaks have enough strength to separate a finger or two from its owner’s hand.

Their screeches reach a fever pitch during dawn and dusk, as in the wild those are the times when they call to let their flock know it is time to disperse from/come back to the nesting sites. They are also rather intelligent and inquisitive.

Macaw Feathers

Care

You will need to replace the food and water dishes within the cage every day with fresh and clean ones. The enclosure will also need to be disinfected at least once every 6-12 months. Clip the nails and trim the feathers at regular intervals. Macaws like to bathe, so make sure to provide it with a large bowl with sufficient water in which it can bathe, or you can also use a mist spray.

Macaw Flying

Feeding: What do macaws eat

You can give your pet macaw a diet of pellets. Other fresh food options include fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, and melon, as well as vegetables like carrots, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and celery. Never give a macaw chocolate and avocado, as they are toxic for all members of the parrot family. In the wild macaws eat nuts, seeds, fruits, leaves, stems, and flowers.

They are among the most omnivorous of parrots, and you may give your pet some meat from time to time for protein.

Pictures of Macaw

How to train a macaw: Few useful tips

  • Never use negative reinforcement when training a macaw. If they are unable to learn what you are training them, it is probably going to take a longer duration of time. You need to be patient and keep at it, without yelling at them or beating them with sticks.
  • Make yourself the best companion to your macaw. That will, in turn, endear you to your bird so much that that will be encouraged to pick up on what you’re teaching.
  • Always back up a well-learned trick, be it being able to mimic a word or spreading the wings, with a reward, preferably a bird treat. This will encourage them to learn faster.

Macaw Birds

Do macaws talk

The ability to mimic human speech varies between macaw species. The blue and gold, and the scarlet macaws tend to quickly pick up on words and can surprise you with a few now and then. But there are some who have only a moderate ability to mimic human speech, though they might still be able to copy sounds of the environment though, like doorbells and phone rings.

Video: Macaw Talking

Cost: How much is a macaw

Prices of macaws can vary widely depending on the species and their availability. It can cost you as little as a few hundred bucks to as high as in the thousands.

Macaw Images

Interesting Facts

  • Their strong beaks are one of their primary adaptations helping them to crack seeds, nuts and stems that they eat in the wild.
  • The feather patterns on the face of all macaw species are unique to themselves, much like human fingerprints, no two are the same.
  • The scarlet macaw is the Honduran national bird.