The Macaw is a large bird that that many people own as a pet.
It is also extremely social and worth considering as a feathery companion.
There are numerous macaw species, and each one has their own unique color scheme. These birds are generally characterized by large beaks with a sharp downward curve. They can grow up to nearly 4 pounds and 39.5 inches in length from tail to beak. This is definitely one of the largest birds that are kept as pets.
The average lifespan of the macaw is about 50 years, but it depends on the species. The Scarlet Macaw can live up to nearly 100 years old with proper long term care.
Types of Macaws
Some of the most common types of macaws that are kept as pets include:
- Greenwing Macaw: This macaw species is known for being very social and friendly. It is also incredibly easy to train, especially from an early age. These birds have a mostly red body with green and turquoise colored wings.
- Hahn’s Macaw: The Hahn’s Macaw is the smallest of these bird species. They too are very easy to train, and can be extremely vocal. It has a beautiful green, orange and blue coloration.
- Hyacinth Macaw: The Hyacinth is the biggest of all the macaws. It has a mostly black body with some yellow around the mouth and eyes. These birds can be a real handful, so you have to be very patient.
- Hybrid Macaws: There are also hybrid macaws, which were selectively bred to produce a very specific color. They feature a wide variety of colors on their body, including green, blue, red, and yellow.
- Military Macaws: The Military Macaws have a friendly disposition and make for amazing pets. They like to be cuddled with and enjoy direct contact with their owners. These birds have a mostly green body with areas of blue and red.
The Macaw tends to be a very affectionate and playful bird. While the personality of each species is unique, these birds are generally friendly. Keep in mind that some macaws are noisier than others. There are certain species, like the Hahn’s Macaw, that are not great for apartment living for this reason.
Macaws are also known for being exceptionally intelligent animals. They are easy to train and can repeat many different words and phrases. This is just one of the things that give these birds so much character.
It is important to keep in mind that macaws are social creatures and love to engage in activities. You will need to spend a good amount of time with your macaw out of the cage each day. If you don’t provide it with enough stimulation, you are going to have one unhappy bird on your hands.
Macaws are naturally found in Mexico, Central America, and many parts of South America. There was a time when the Caribbean Islands were once home to numerous species of macaws. They can still be found in rainforests and grasslands all over the world, including Peru.
Caring for Macaws
In the wild, macaws tend to eat a variety of foods that include flowers, seeds, fruits, figs, and nectar. This bird requires a high-fat diet, so you will need to keep that in mind when buying food.
Bird food pellets with some fresh fruits and vegetables makes for a nice balanced macaw diet. If you give one of these birds any seeds, make sure they have a high fat content. You don’t want to give these birds seeds alone, as this can result in the bird getting sick.
Sunflower seeds and peanuts make for good occasional treats for a macaw, as they have plenty of fats in them. Seeds should only make up a very small percentage of this bird’s daily diet. If you give your macaw a healthy and balanced diet, it will live a very long time.
Most macaws are fairly large, so you need to keep that in mind when buying a cage. It is important that they are able to extend their wings all the way without hitting the sides. Make sure that you get a cage that is very sturdy, as these birds are big chewers.
Macaws definitely need multiple perches, toys and other things in their cage to stay active. These birds are very playful, so they need an enclosure that allows for that.
Because these birds are very social, you will probably want to keep the cage in an area of your home where people typically are. This will keep your bird’s intensely curious nature satisfied.
3. Common Health Problems
Macaws are particularly susceptible to Proventricular Dilation Disease or PDD, Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, beak malocclusion, and aspergillosis. You need to take these birds in to get regular checkups to avoid any major health problems.
You should keep your macaw’s flight wings trimmed down to reduce the chances of escape. All it takes is a window or door left open by accident for this to happen. You should go to a veterinarian to get the beak and nails trimmed when necessary.
Macaws can cost anywhere from $500 to nearly $20,000, depending on the species. The Hyacinth Macaw has an average cost of $10,000.
- Macaws have an average lifespan of around 50 years, but they can live much longer depending on the species and quality of care.
- These birds are known for being incredibly friendly and social in general.
- A macaw needs a high-fat diet that consists mostly of pellets, but the occasional seeds, veggies, and fruit is acceptable.
- Because macaws are large birds, you will need to get a big cage where they can easily spread their wings.
- Occasional grooming is necessary with these birds, including wing, nail, and beak trimming. Go to a veterinarian for to get this done.
- Macaws need to be stimulated and played with on a regular basis in order to stay healthy.