Macaws are one of the favorite pets which people want to own. Their captivating plumage, acrobatic capers, avian charisma and sometimes inane personalities are unavoidable. They make incredibly wonderful fluffy companions. Keeping a macaw might not be quite easy as they require a lot of care and patience. Here are some 50 facts which you should know about macaws. It will help you in raising one as a pet.
Macaws are the largest parrots among the 370 different species of parrots on earth.
Macaws could weigh between 2 to 4 pounds or up to 2 kg.
They are found in Central and South American forests. Theses days you can find a Macaw all around the world in houses as pets!
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They are diurnal which means they sleep during the night. And will wake you up with the first sun rays every single morning. As long as the room you keep your pet gets any sunlight. This can prove troublesome if you don’t organize well the your pet room.
They have brightly coloured plumes, often have colors of red, blue, green and yellow.
They have powerful beaks which can crack into seeds and hard nuts. Or your fingers if you are not careful, don’t go petting a macaw parrot that you don’t know or if the owner isn’t around. They can bite really, really hard. They might not bite your finger off, but you will go for a visit to hospital.
Their tongues are scaly and dry which have a bone within to tap fruits
The toes of macaws are zygodactyl which means they are designed to have perfect grip to latch on to the fruits they eat and hang on to the branches. They do look pretty goofy when they try to walk on a flat surface, not their thing.
Macaws can fly up to 15 miles everyday just to look for food. It has been observed in the wild that Macaws has quite a large are of scouting. They go on long morning flights to search for food.
They take just one mate for their entire life time. The romantic tape. In captivity the owner of the bird often is thought of by the bird as the mate. They get attached to the owner and can be quite jealous.
They also share their food with their mates.
They groom each other too if separated from their mates
There are around 17 species of macaws and most of them are endangered.
The red-fronted macaws, blue-throated macaws and hyacinth macaws are the most endangered species of the macaws.
Outside captivity the beautiful glaucus macaw is supposed to be extinct already.
The largest macaw is hyacinth macaw which measures about three and half feet from beak to the tip of its tail. Their wings spread up to 4.6 feet or 1.4 meters.
The smallest macaws are known as mini macaws which grow just 12 inches but share the same traits of any macaw.
They could live up to 80 years.
Harlequin macaw, camelot macaw and catalina macaw could be bred to have hybrids.
A red-fronted macaw can fly at the speed of about 40 miles per hour.
A few macaws have strong beaks which could crack a coconut shell.
No two macaws have same feather pattern on their face. It is somewhat like human finger prints.
The macaws of the Amazon region in the west eat clay from river beds. The thought is that it neutralizes the toxins of some plants which are good for them but scientists say that they eat clay to get the Vitamin B in it.
They are omnivorous and their diet is fruits, nuts, seeds, small mammals, reptiles, eggs and some vegetation which are considered poisonous.
They are quite social and are mostly seen in flocks of atleast 30.
They use loud calls like screaming and squawking to communicate amongst themselves.
A female macaw usually lays around 2 to 4 eggs.
The female normally sits on her eggs to incubate them while the male gathers food for both of them.
An egg of a macaw will hatch in 25 days and will fledge in about 105 days and a baby macaw leaves their parents after a year.
A baby macaw is born without feathers and has closed eyes.
Macaws have black or grey eyes when they are young and later change to brownish and then yellow when they get old.
The scarlet macaw is the national bird of Honduras
Even though they are hunted and entrapped but macaws are also respected and appear on one of the Brazilian bank notes.
They love to chew and can chew up a lot of stuff in your house.
The promote growth of forests as they keep dropping seeds they eat.
Foods like cherries, avocado, caffeine, uncooked meat, shellfish and chocolates are dangerous for them.
Soft clean branches and wooden toys are their favourites which they love to much on.
When kept in captivity they seek a lot of attention from their owners
They can get aggressive and scream with loud screechy noises just to draw attention.
Macaws perform wonderful tricks if taught and can speak and mimic words and sounds.
Macaws are intelligent and have the brain of a 4-8 year old kid and can even remember to unlatch their cage.
They are emotionally developed just like a 2 year old and always want attention.
If bored they will amuse themselves by hurling things from inside their cage. For instance pellets or beans.
They are dominating and will constantly push you and think they are in charge. They have to be reminded by you about you being in charge of the place and not him/her.
They are allergic to fumes from non-stick cookware and from air fresheners.
will get sick if their cage is not cleaned constantly as the ammonia released from their droppings are bad for them to inhale.
Deforestation, pesticides sprayed on banana plantations and smuggling have killed most of them.
They love to keep their beaks busy and if they are not given something to chew they will pluck their feathers off.
If you have other small pets at home like mice, guinea pigs, hamsters and other birds the macaws could be dangerous for them. They need to be supervised if you wish you make them friendly. Do not leave them alone till you are absolutely sure about their bond.
They should be given fresh water everyday and they should be given regular baths to keep their plumage and skin glowing and healthy. Use lukewarm water to bathe them. Their beaks should be trimmed if deformed and overgrown. There are many beak grooming items available in pet stores which will help them keep their beaks in shape.
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