Macaw Parrot

Macaw Parrot


Macaw Parrot Years we’ve been rescuing displaced wild and exotic animals providing them a safe and comfortable home and allowing them to become ambassadors for their species by giving educational presentations to the public macaws like joy is one of the most iconic parrot type birds in the world and they always get cause from audiences they get lots of love from artists and nature enthusiasts they have been part of human culture for thousands of years and they’re sometimes kept as pets


Macaws are interesting and so very special but they can be very challenging to have as a companion in your home if
you don’t know what to expect which is why I wanted to talk about:

what makes a macaw macaw
so let’s get to know them by exploring what they are where they come from and how to care for them in captivity


what are macaw
So what are macaws? let’s start by classifying them
at first, it seems obvious what they are but as we get closer to their genus things aren’t always so clear
  • First up is Kingdom
  1. Animalia they are a living organism that can move so they’re not a plant they’re an animal
  2. Chordata they have bilateral symmetry and a notochord during development and a skeleton as an adult
    among other characteristics of this group of animals
  3.  Aves: they’re warm-blooded their body covering is feathers they have a toothless beak a
    four-chambered heart late hard-shelled eggs and have a really cool skeletal system that allows for flight in some species o
  4. Psittaciformes this is the group that includes all parrot type birds like cockatoos lorikeets Kea
    vasa Amazon parrot lovebirds and Parakeets

Macaw Parrot



They have a strong curved bill upright stance and ZYGODACTYL FEET Many of them have colorful feathers but some are brown-gray or black

parrot feet

Macaw Parrot

Psittaciformes parrot


5.PSITTACIDAE: this group is referred to as the true parrots it includes a variety of parrot species but excludes those in the cockatoo family and the New Zealand parrot

Macaw Parrot



6.Arinae this parrot all live in the Neotropics of South and Central America Mexico and the Caribbean islands so it excludes African grey parrots and budgerigar among others


Arinae parrot location


7.Arini this group is exclusively neotropical macaws and parakeets which includes Jenday Conure  Halfmoon Conure and hyacinth macaws but doesn’t include Amazon parrots Quaker parrot or Parrotlet

Macaw Parrot

Arini tribe

parrot monophyletic

This is a monophyletic group meaning they all have a common ancestor


8.Ara: This group has just eight species of
macaws they all have large beaks long tails colorful plumage and a bare-faced patch around their eyes it includes species like the scarlet macaw blue and gold macaw and military macaw which are some of the most common macaws species kept as pets.




Macaw Parrot

ara parrot


we have two macaw species living at African-parrot joy the blue and gold macaw also known as a blue and yellow macaw her species is our Arana which gives a label to her color pattern she has a little green on top of her head and then the rest is blue going down her neck over her wings in the top of her tail

she has yellow cheeks chest legs and under her wings and tail with a black beak and neck and black lines of feathers on her face we also have scarlet who is not a scarlet macaw but instead, she’s a green-winged macaw also
known as a red and green macaw

her species is Clara puris these macaws have a redhead neck shoulders chest belly and legs, their wings are green and
blue they have a tan upper mandible in a black lower mandible and thin red lines of feathers on their face

Joey has been a wonderful study we’re gonna say goodbye to her and we’re going to welcome starlet the green-winged macaw

where macaw come from


So now that we’ve delved into what a macaw is and given to close-up examples let’s talk about where they come from
and why an animal does what it does you have to look at where they would naturally spend their time knowing their
native habitat and learning what they do all-day helps open your eyes to what their world is all about

Macaws are from group Arini meaning they have proportionally larger beaks than the little Conyers who are closely related to them, they live in an eye on tropical forests of the new world the exact timing of new world parrots divergence
from the old world, parrots are debated amongst phylogenetic it happened 40-66 million years ago when Australia and South America were in the process of separating from Antarctica

Macaw Parrot

macaw parrot life

Macaws have evolved specific adaptations that allow them to thrive in their environment they spend most of the time perched in trees foraging for food in order to do this effectively they have a specialized beak and feet using their Zygodactyl Toes meaning to facing forward and to facing backward they can hold on to and maneuver a large piece of food  and if this was a hard shell, not they would use their powerful beak apply just the right pressure in just the right spot to crack the hard shell or they can peel fruit or pick a part of the flower

Their beak is also strong enough to chew into a hollow tree to make a safe nest another special adaptation is their narrow wings which allow for long or short flights through the forest in search of food or safety from a predator

Waglers macaw


They have exceptional eyesight and can use their ability to see more colors than humans are capable
of seeing to discern things like good or bad food a potential mate or a camouflaged predator hidden in the foliage

macaws are very social they live in a flock of
about 20 and form strong monogamous bonds with their mate every parrot macaw and has a distinct personality some are are curious  and others are silly some are straightforward and pushy  and others are sensitive some macaws species like blue and gold macaws or green-winged macaws have distinct facial features for each individual if you look closely you can tell them apart by their unique pattern of feathers on their face

Now their main food sources are fruit from palm trees seeds nuts flowers and very occasionally high protein prey like insects or small vertebrates.

macaws specialize in consuming seeds and nuts that most other animals can’t open but they do sometimes contend with monkeys in order to compete with the monkey’s macaws can eat unripe fruit and nuts that contain higher levels of toxins than the monkeys can tolerate

In order to handle the toxins, macaws won’t eat clay containing high levels of tannins that help purge their bodies of the toxic build-up when macaws are foraging for the food they stick close to their mate even when they fly in their flock mates will fly so close their wings almost touch

All about Macaws

macaw breeding


when it comes time to breed the pair will carve out a nest and the female will incubate the eggs while the male brings her food once the chicks hatch the mother feeds them for the first week after which both parents tend to their needs the babies fledged at about three months and staying with their parents for a few more months before finding a flock of their own.

They reach maturity between 3-6 Years three and six years and go through some personality changes kind of similar to humans

macaws spend their whole life actively foraging socializing with their mate and other flock members and utilizing their specific adaptations to survive in a competitive environment which lead have to look at how we can appropriately care for them in captivity


how to care for macaws


The short answer is it’s hard the long answer is to keep all of their natural histories in mind when finding solutions to their care and with that, The the first thing we need to address when we’re talking about care in captivity is their housing


Blue and gold macaw parrot in physical activity game

macaw toys


Macaws need to move a lot and play with toys so keeping them in a cage where they can just barely spread their wings open is not enough space macaws really need a large aviary a room or several rooms with toys to be active in during the day

They also benefit greatly from being allowed to fly flight training is a great way to give a captive macaw a good life it’s not only good for the health of the macaw it can be a great way to ensure plenty of time is put into building a trust bond between a macaw and human companion in order to free fly a pet bird safely you need to prepare and progress together through training please don’t bring your bird outside without proper training or they could spook and end up lost scared and unable to protect themselves from predators.

Parrot Flight Training

Macaws also need plenty of enrichment to keep them happy enrichment is anything that gets them to engage in activities that they would do naturally like foraging climbing vocalizing playing and chewing if you don’t provide interesting
activities for a macaw to engage in they will find something to fill their time

Like chewing on walls and trim screaming to get a reaction or just because they need to release some energy

they can also become so bored or frustrated that they will exhibit neurotic behaviors like chewing and plucking their own feathers repeating the same motion over and over buying the bars of a cage or becoming severely aggressive

So to keep them happy make sure they have plenty of macaws appropriate enrichment

A proper diet for a macaw healthy

Now some people want to give them a cause lot of fruit because they like it and while macaws do eat a lot of fruit in the wild most of the fruit is unripe and doesn’t contain as much sugar as the fruit we have available in the market and most people don’t have a clay cliff near their house so offering unripe fruit isn’t a great choice either so it’s important to limit the fruit in their diet there are two main routes you can go for achieving a healthy diet for your macaw you can either offer a wide variety of whole foods including nuts seeds and grains flowers legumes sprouts dark greens fresh vegetables and occasional fruit or you can offer a pellet that contains all the essential vitamins and minerals with a variety of fresh vegetables and offers seeds nuts or fruit as special treats if you choose a whole foods diet

I researched heavily to ensure you’re covering all of their nutritional needs if you choose a pellet I recommend a cold-pressed pellet without any sugar or dyes

Our macaws love them a healthy Macaw Parrot can only be achieved by keeping them feeling fresh and clean daily showers are a great way to maintain cleanliness our macaws join scarlet don’t enjoy showers.

So to compromise we have mandatory showers twice a week keep in mind that macaws have natural oils on their feathers so the water temperature should be cold warm or hot water can strip the oils from their feathers also providing natural sunlight is a great way to keep them feeling fresh that can be challenging for those living in the northern hemisphere so finding opportunities to get them outside as much as possible should be a priority.

Lastly but so incredibly important these macaws need so much time remember how closely they bond with their mate in the wild they need almost constant companionship under human care as well leaving them all alone for hours at a time is not okay if you’re not able to be there for them they need another companion that can provide social interaction and entertainment while you’re gone.

Macaw Care Guide

macaws need so much time


Interacting with a Macaw Parrot also takes understanding and practice their ways of communicating are different than humans so you’ll need to learn their body languagein order to form a trusting relationship

Pay attention to their pupil’s peening and dilation are communication cues watch their head feathers for being raised and warning or relaxed in comfort and their wings for signs of being territorial or spread slightly in anticipation feel the tension in their feet when they’re perched on your hand or arm and pay attention to the weight shifting from leg to leg

All of these subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors are ways they are communicating with you observe their behavior to judge their overall mood during each interaction and adjust your own behavior as needed

Macaws Parrots is incredibly smart and social and fascinating from an evolutionary standpoint there are the big beauties of
the rainforest and I want everyone to appreciate their beauty and also respect them for who they naturally are

Now we’ve covered what macaws are where they come from and the basics of how to properly care for them

There’s so much more about macaws that I could include in this article so to encourage you to continue learning about macaws I left some links to a variety of articles at the end of the article below

Thanks for your attention and if you’d like to meet more of the parrot week here for and go on a parrot adventure every week be sure to share the article thanks

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