Macaws: Parrots of the New World 

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Macaws: Parrots of the New World

Vibrant, beautiful, curious, and intelligent. Macaws—birds of the New World— are considered the largest members of the parrot family. Their communicative nature, fond personality, and sharp minds have led them to win the hearts of people across the globe.  To learn more about Macaws read on!

A Member of the Psittacidae Family: What are Macaws

Colorful, intelligent, and large. The Macaws are beautiful parrots that belong to the Psittacidae family. Indigenous to many parts of Central America, South America, and the Carrabien. These long-tailed birds can mainly be found in dense forests and shrublands.

Over the last decade, these parrots began to grow in popularity as pets. And, it’s of no surprise as these parrots are incredibly social, friendly, and intelligent enough to learn the human language.

Unfortunately, as the pet trade industry grows and as deforestation continues to occur. Most of these magnificent birds are in face of extinction. One such recent example was the Spix’s Macaw, which was officially classified as extinct in the wild as of 2018.

So, if you truly are interested in getting a pet Macaw, it is important to search for an appropriate breeder who seeks to preserve the Macaw populations.

Pet Birds with a Demanding Diet!

In the wild, these birds will have a variable diet. Much of their diet may consist of a variety of seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, and vegetation. Crucial to its health, bird owners who keep a Macaw will have to ensure they are able to accommodate their bird’s diet.

Importantly, like any bird, seeds and nuts should not make up the majority of the Macaws diet. This is because seeds and nuts are very high in fat and they are very likely to be deficient in nutrients. Birds fed on seed-only diets are at risk of developing disease.

Foods for Birds in Captivity

If you own a beautiful parrot such as a Macaw then you can consider adding the following foods into their diet.

  • Pelleted diets: Kaytee Fiesta and Zupreem Pre Fun are two different types of pelleted diets available specifically for parrots. These pelleted diets contain a blend of pellets (with essential nutrients), dried fruit, vegetables, and nuts.
  • Seeds: When feeding birds in captivity you can offer seeds such as safflower, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Fruits and vegetables: There are endless possibilities when it comes to feeding your parrot fruits and veggies. You can offer your parrot apples, bananas, papaya, whole corn, red bell pepper, broccoli, and more!
  • Nuts: There’s no questioning it! Macaws love nuts. Some yummy nuts you can include in their diet are walnuts, pine nuts, cashews, almonds, and pecans.
  • Sprout: sprouts are a great way you can excite your parrot friend. Sprouts are often low in fat and high in protein.

10 Things to Consider Before You Decide to Get a Macaw Parrot

  1. Commitment is key: These parrots can live up to 80 years old! In fact, some can even reach 100 years old. So, if you do plan on getting this lovely creature, then you’ll need to ensure you can commit to it for the entirety of your life.
  2. They need attention:  Macaws aren’t animals that can be left alone for hours. In the wild, these birds are found in large flocks. This makes them very social birds! So, it’s never a good idea to get just 1 Macaw and it’s never a good idea to deprive them of the attention they need.
  3. Big beaks = Big bites: At some point of owning a macaw, you’ll very likely get bitten! and that’s gonna hurt! People who plan on owning these types of birds need to realize that their beaks are incredibly powerful as well as their talons.
  4. They are not necessarily suitable for kids: When you combine the personal needs of these types of birds, along with their powerful beak and talons, then you’ll realize that these birds are simply sassy kids! Because of their demanding lifestyle and strong beaks, these birds do not make suitable pets to young children.
  5.  Space to stretch and play: Parrots in the wild have the opportunity to fly for miles! Their territory is often quite vast and they often never get bored. When in captivity, these birds are often confined to small spaces such as a cage or our homes. Before you bring these lovely animals into your home you need to make sure you can provide plenty of space, activity, and mental stimulation to your bird.
  6. You don’ t just buy a bird, you buy the music too: Being social animals, it is no surprise that these birdies love to talk! But, they also love to sing and squawk away. Bird lovers who are ready to get this lovely pet bird need to know that these guys are incredibly noisy.
  7. Bye bye personal belongings: Birds in the wild love to chew and destroy things! Your personal belongings such as computer cords, books, papers, carpets, and furniture are no exception!
  8. Expensive living: Birds can be just as expensive, if not slightly more expensive to own compared to dogs and cats. Parrots, in particular, require a veterinarian who is specialized in caring for birds (avian veterinarian). In addition, parrot toys for large parrots can be fairly expensive to purchase. So, make sure you’re financially secure before you take a shot at owning a parrot.
  9. Constant mental stimulation: Apparent from requiring constant human attention and plenty of toys. Parrots are intelligent creatures that require constant mental stimulation. Boredom can cause a disease known as the feather-plucking disease. So, to ensure your bird has enough mental stimulation make sure you provide plenty of exciting activities such as flying.
  10. The only pet: Parrots are a demanding pet! Because of their intelligent personality, parrots are best suited to a household where they are the only pet!

Macaw for Sale: Prepare to Spend Some Money!

If you truly have devoted yourself to the idea of getting a Macaw then remember you’ll need to save up!

Macaws are easily considered one of the most expensive pet birds to own. The cost of purchasing such a prestigious bird will depend on various factors which include:

  • The coloration of the plumage
  • Size
  • Age
  • Purebred or hybrids
  • Rarity
  • Individual species

For the most part, the cost of these parrot friends can range anywhere from $1500 upwards to $5000. Birds as rare as the Hyacinth Macaw can even be valued at up to $15,000.

Harlequin Macaw: The Clown of the Bird World

Hyacinth Macaw

A hybrid of the Green-winged Macaw and the Blue and Gold Macaw, the Harlequin is a colorful parrot. The term Harlequin is simply meant to define the birds color. Since Harlequins contain reds, greens, and blues in their plumage they are referred to as the clowns of the bird world.

Bred only in captivity, the Harlequin parrot is one that has become quite popular for its colorful plumage and affectionate personality. These parrots are best known for their affectionate and friendly personalities. This makes them not only loyal companions but also amazing family members.

Hyacinth Macaw aka The World’s Largest Parrot!

One bird that is truly quite striking is the Hyacinth Macaw. Native to South America, the Hyacinth Macaw is considered to be the worlds largest parrot! Why, might you wonder? Well, these beautiful deep blue colored birds can weight anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 kg and they can reach up to 100 cm in length.

Now, it’s not just their size and colors that has attracted people to the Hyacinth. Over the years, the Hyacinth Macaws numbers began to decrease in population. Today, due to the illegal pet trade and habitat destruction, the Hyacinth Macaws population has dwindled to roughly 5,000.

Fun Fact: With a large beak that’s able to break through a Coconut, it’s no wonder that these parrots have won the record for the worlds strongest beak! 

Scarlet Macaw: The Rainbow of Birds!

two scarlet macaws sitting

With a vibrant scarlet and blue plumage, the Scarlet Macaw is truly one breath-taking bird. When meeting new people, Scarlet’s are often described as shy and quiet birds. However, once they get to know you well, they become incredibly playful and loving animals.

These birds are native to many parts of North, South, and Central America. Specifically, they can be found in rainforests from Mexico, Belize, Panama, and even the Amazon.

Fun Fact: The Scarlet is the national bird of Hondorus

Spix Macaw: A Parrot in Face of Danger!

Considered one of the smaller members of the Psittacidae family, the Spix’s Macaw is a blue parrot that is native to Brazil. The Spix Macaw is not one you can easily find—nor is it one you can keep as a pet. This is because this species of bird is considered critically endangered by the IUCN.

Unfortunately today it is estimated that there are less than 60 Spix’s Macaw in captivity. Scientists now believe that the Spix Macaw is extinct in the wild. And so as the human population grows and as we begin to lose more forests, it is believed that this beautiful parrot will become completely extinct by the end of our decade.

Fun Fact: The Spix’s Macaw began to gain attention after the release of an animation movie called Rio! 

Blue and Gold Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw sitting on perch

The extravagant Blue & Gold Macaw is another popular pet bird that originates from South America. These parrots are mainly monogamous birds. They are loving, affectionate, and curious parrots that tend to form inseparable bonds with their human owners.

In the wild, their diet mainly consists of fruits, vegetables, bark, leaves, and nuts. However, they often eat clay as well when available. This is often termed as clay clicks, and this behavior is seen in many other members of the Macaw family.

Fun Fact: Thinking about getting this parrot for a pet? This variety of Macaws has become notorious for their high pitched screams when it comes to calling their human.

Types of Macaws that Make the Best Pet Birds

If you’re not sure which types of Macaws make the best pet birds, then don’t worry! Here is a list of the more popular Macaws bird lovers can choose from.

  1. Hahn’s Macaw aka a mini-macaw
  2. Military Macaws
  3. Yellow Collared Macaw

Don’t Want this Big Parrot? 5 Other Types of Pet Birds for Bird Lovers!

Perhaps large parrots such as these give you a scare! And it’s no surprise! Macaws can be very expensive birds to own. Particularly with a price tag that’s as high as $3000. So, if you’re a bird lover who’s in search of a more modest and affordable pet bird. Then you gotta check out these beautiful birdies:

  • Budgerigar: Budgies are without a doubt the most common and most easy to keep pet birds. These birds may be small in size, but they make it up for their curious, loving, and chattery box personality.
  • Cockatiel bird: Gentle, affectionate, and loves head rubs. Cockatiels are the perfect pet birds for novice owners looking for companionship.
  • Indian Ringneck Parakeet: Curious and full of wonder! The Indian Ringneck parakeet is sure to keep owners on their toes. Ringnecks love attention! and if deprived of any attention, then they’ll be sure to let you know. Indian Ringnecks are loud, messy, and sometimes sassy birds. So, novice bird owners should take into consideration their demanding personalities.
  • Lorikeet: They’re the absolute goofballs of the bird world! Lories are friendly birds that love to play and talk. These birdies are not easy to care for as they can be messy. Novice bird owners need to know that Lorikeets are known to spray their liquid poo everywhere!

The Macaw Lifespan is Long, But it will be Full of Love and Enjoyment!

With a long life ahead of them, these large parrots can truly make incredible pets. They are full of love, care, and can have very unique personalities. These parrots are very demanding, and so they are not a suitable pet for everyone. So, make sure you do your research before you choose to get a lovely Macaw.

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