Macaw parrot, a beautiful creature with different shades of red, blue, yellow and green along with a unique fingerprint like patches around their eyes. They have long colorful tail and are widely distributed in the countries like Mexico and countries from South America like Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, etc. These birds can also be spotted in some places of India, Australia and also in sub Saharan region of Africa.
The Macaw Parrot Family
Parrots have 393 species in the world which are divided into three super families Psittacoidea (true parrots), Cacatuoidea (cockatoos)and Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots). True parrots include many families and one of them is Macaw. There are about 19 species of macaw parrot belonging to different genera,
- Ara: Blue And Yellow Macaw, Blue Throated Macaw, Military Macaw, Great Green Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Red and Green Macaw, Red Fronted Macaw, Chestnut Fronted Macau, Cuban Red Macaw, and Saint Croix Macaw.
- Anodorhynchus: Glaucous Macaw, Hyacinth Macaw and Lear’s Macaw.
- Cyanopsitta: Spix’s Macaw.
- Primolius: Blue Headed Macaw, Blue Winged Macaw and Golden Collared Macaw.
- Orthopsittaca: Red Bellied Macaw.
- Diopsittaca: Red Shouldered Macaw.
Domestication of macaw:
Keeping macaw parrot as a pet can be easy only if you are ready to invest your time with devotion and patience. Although these birds are high sociable, trainable and interactive. Their superb ability to get social with humans in a short span of time and because of their high intelligence quotient as compared to other birds macaws are highly preferred for domestication.
At the same time macaw parrot need attention and proper care from their owners. They get bored easily in captivity so they are supposed to be provided with variety of toys. Due to their size they need good amount of space to live comfortably. If good care is taken, they survive up to 50 to 60 years.
They are noisy as well no doubt, so if you live very close to your neighbors or in small apartments then this bird is not for you. If your lifestyle is busy and you don’t find enough time for your pets then again this bird is not for you. Some macaws with description are here:
- Blue gold macaw : Beautiful bird with blue dorsal body and yellow ventral body. They can grow to the length of 86 cms and can weigh upto 1.5 kgs. They can build close bond with humans in a short span of time. The bird belongs to Central and South America.
- Green-winged macaw: Another beautiful bird also called red and green macaw. They can grow upto the size of 95cms and weigh upto 1.7kgs. They generally belong to South America. These macaws mate for life. These birds need utter amount of attention from their owners.
- Military macaw: These too are from the South America. All green colored body except the beautiful blue colored wings and red patch of fur over the beak. They can be 70 cm long and weighs around 1.1 kgs. These birds can survive upto 50 to 60 years. They live in large group. These birds seek time from their owners and play a lot.
- Red shouldered macaw: Also called Hahn’s macaw. These are small birds unlike other macaws with different shades of green can grow to the length of 30 cm and weigh only upto 165 gms. Red shouldered because of red patch on upper part of wing. These are social, intelligent and get talkative with time.
- Yellow/Golden collared macaw: These are mini macaws with a bright yellow patch on back of their neck. These small birds of length 38cm belongs to South America. These macaws seek attention and are highly intelligent. They get bored easily in cages so they are to given toys to play with. These are often seen in pairs or in small groups.
- Hyacinth macaw: These macaws are from the continent of central and south America which can grow upto the size of 100cms. This birds is entirely blue in color and has yellow circle around the eyes. Darwin called this macaw “splendid bird” because of its ability to feed on palm nuts. Being the largest ones, they need better care with devotion.
- Scarlett macaw: These macaws are combination blue, yellow and red color from the continent of South America. They have clear white area around their eyes. Their longest length is 81cms and have average weight of about 1kg. They can mimic human speech. They get bored easily in cage and need lot of attention and interaction with humans to tame.
- Chest nut fronted macaw/ severe macaw: They can live upto 80 years and can gain length upto 45 cm. They are green color with patch of red and blue patch on wings. They make nest inside the hole of a tree. They are nice pets to have fun with as they are very social but need good amount of training to tame.
- Blue winged macaw/Illiger’s macaw: They can grow upto 43 cms. They have different shades of green and lower part of the wing is blue. Their life span is upto 60 years. These macaws prefers to stay with parents even after learning to fly for a period of about 1 year. They like to keep themselves busy and enjoy human interactions.
- Red bellied macaw: These are widely green in color but has red color patch on their bellies. They can grow upto 46cms with blue forhead and upper wings. Their face is covered with yellow colored patch. They are noisy and make loud screams. They are not suitable for domestication.
Macaw parrot like to feed on seeds, nuts, fruits, leaves and stems. It can be seen feeding on clay to nullify the toxins in its body.
Bird in danger
Sadly some of beautiful species of macaw parrot like Cuban Red Macaw, Spix Macaw and Saint croix macaw are now extinct and some are critically endangered or in the list of vulnerable due to their habitat loss and heavy exploitation for pet trade which need urgent restoration.