Get Detailed Information on Macaws- Macaw Temperament, Diet, Health, Care & More
Size: 20 - 42 inches
Life Expectancy: 30 - 80 years
Macaws are the most colorful members of the bird family. They are appropriately called winged rainbows - possessing powerful large beaks and long tails. They are considered the largest birds among the Parrots, in length and wingspan. The birds flaunt a unique blend of beauty, intelligence, inquisitiveness and other engaging traits that is almost legendary.
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Large, dark (usually black) beaks, and relatively hairless, light colored, medial facial (facial patch) areas distinguish macaws. Sometimes the facial patch is smaller in some species, and limited to a yellow patch around the eyes and a second patch near the base of the beak in the members of the Hyacinth Macaw. It has been documented that a Macaw's facial feathers are unique as a human fingerprint. They are typically brightly colored and long tails.
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Types of Macaws
The most popular types of Macaws are:
Blue and Gold Macaws
This member of the Macaw family is one of the most popular among pet birds. Their size and
bright plumage has always attracted human attention. The unique blend of blue, green and gold
is a true gift of Nature.
Know more about Blue and Gold Macaws
One of the noble looking Macaws is the Scarlet Macaw. A Scarlet Macaw has a loud voice and
can be quite vocal at times.
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The first thing that attracts you to a Hahns Macaw is the wonderful combination of blue and
green colors that stands out on a dull branch of a tree. Like most Macaws, the Hahns Macaw is
playful, talkative and a superb pet.
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The largest among the Macaw family, the plumage of the magnificent Hyacinth Macaw is predominately
a deep cobalt blue. A Hyacinth Macaw is smart and inquisitive.
Know more about Hyacinth Macaws
Green Wing Macaw
The Green Wing Macaw, known as the "Gentle Giant", is second in size only to the Hyacinth Macaw. The
Green Wing Macaw has a very sensitive, responsive, and affectionate disposition.
Know more about Green Wing Macaws
Origin of the Macaw
With a natural habitat extending from Mexico to South America, the Macaw has one of the most extensive ranges of all parrots. In the United States, Macaws were kept by the Pueblo Indians since 1100 A.D. Their native homes are the rain forests of Central and South America.
Macaws are intelligent, social creatures who can be taught to talk! Other features are like:
- All species of macaws have very powerful, large beaks and large macaws are capable of destroying household furnishings and can potentially cause considerable harm to both children and adults.
- They love exercise and playtime.
- They can perform tricks if trained properly.
- Macaws are noisy. Their vocalizations can be loud and they can screech extremely loudly! They do have a fairly good capability to mimic speech, although probably not as clearly as Amazons and African greys.
Macaws are playful and active, and have an exuberant personality to go along with their size. This makes them a very challenging pet. They are also very affectionate, and in turn require a good deal of time and attention from their owners to be happy. A wide variety of wooden toys or plain untreated chunks of wood to chew on should be provided. Toys meant to be taken apart to get at a treat are also a good choice, as are hanging toys and toys to climb on as long as they are safe.
They tend to be loud: in the wild their voices need to carry over long distances. This makes macaws very demanding birds to keep as a household pet. Additional complications arise from the intelligence levels of macaws and their negative responses to stimuli people may use on domestic pets, such as punishment.
Macaw As A Pet
Close bonding with the owner can only be possible if the Macaw pet is provided with proper training, diet and required freedom from their cage. Macaws need lots of attention from their owners. Though not too much of a talkative nature, Macaws can be awfully loud.
They are monogamous and mate for life. In captivity unmated macaws will bond primarily with one person - their keeper, and can often be quite affectionate and cuddly. Pet macaws thrive on frequent interaction and attention from their owners, and a lack of this can lead to their mental and physical suffering.
Learn how to fully train your Macaw and control his behavior
Macaws need a large, strong cage so be prepared to make a significant investment. The cage shape is also very important for the bird. Square or rectangular cages are more appropriate for parrots. Before buying the cage, do a thorough checking of the security mechanism. A simple latch is no challenge for a Macaw. The cage must be strong enough to withstand their significant beak strength of Macaws. A stainless steel cage is a good investment.
- A minimum of 24" W x 24" H x 18" D for smaller Macaws
- A minimum of 5 ft W x 6 ft H x 3½ ft D for larger Macaws
- Bar spacing: Not more than 4" apart
- Structural wire at least 3 mm thick
Learn more about Macaw cages
Macaws are no fussy eaters. A Macaw should be provided with proper diet to keep it happy and content. Wild Macaws feed on palm fruits. Whereas a pet Macaw's regular diet includes nuts, fruits, small sized pastas, cooked chicken or turkey and other bits and pieces of foods.
Since commercial food does not meet your bird's nutritional needs, a Macaw strives best on grains, fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds and meats.
- Many even prefer boiled vegetables to fresh ones.
- Give plenty of fresh water to your Macaw for a happy and healthy bird.
- Beware, that a Macaw can become bored with formulated diet that can trigger off negative behavior.
- Make a combination of small parrot mix and supplement with your bird's regular meals.
- Vitamin supplements can be added to their drinking water or sprinkled on their food.
- Make sure you never feed your bird avocado, cabbage, parsley and iceberg lettuce.
Remember, your pet's diet will improve its health and will keep it content.
What is the Ideal Diet For Your Macaw
Usually active, energetic and healthy, Macaw can suffer from common diseases like any other Parrots. These health issues are:
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- feather plucking
- beak swelling
- wheezing or coughing
- favoring one foot
- eye or nasal discharge
- red or swollen eyes
How To Keep Your How To Keep Your Macaw Healthy?
Free Online Seminars on Training Your Macaw: Join our training experts on one of our FREE online seminars and learn how to train and take care of your Macaw correctly.
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