Their colorful plumes and vibrant and engaging behavior make macaws one of the most beloved pets. Their coloring fits perfectly in the rain forests of Central and South America. For those who enjoy companionship of these chirpy birds, a large variety of macaw species are available to choose from. Their history as pets goes back to ancient times. Many civilizations saw the ownership of these birds as a matter of prestige.

Macaw parrot

Species of macaws

There are 17 species of macaws and many of them are endangered because of the alarming rate at which their homes are disappearing. Some of the most popular pet macaw species are the blue and gold macaws who are great pets if you train them well but they may turn aggressive at times. Scarlet macaws have brilliantly colored feathers and can often be considered noisy. Hahn’s macaw is at a length of about 12 inches and is often referred to as mini macaw, they are playful and talkative. Hyacinth macaws are smart and very inquisitive while the green-wing macaws are gentle and sensitive. While these are the most common species of macaws kept as pets, there are other macaw species as well, that can be great pets. Macaw parrot pet has an average lifespan of fifty years and they can sometimes outlive their owners.

Early explorers to the New World were fascinated by their beauty and took them home to present the birds at the royal courts of Europe. Many Europeans began to shoot them for sport as well. Macaws have not had a very clear history when it comes to these birds being in captivity. While evidence shows that these birds existed in captivity centuries ago, there are many macaw species who have been pets for only three or four generations.

Macaw parrot

History of macaws

Lyndon L. Hargrove has mentioned about his association with macaws in his Mexican Macaws Comparative Osteology which was written in 1970. In his notes, he mentions Indians living in 1536 who occupied areas that are recognized as New Mexico and Arizona today. These Indians used to trade parrot feathers for green stones.

In the year 1716, Padre Verlarde, a Spanish priest, had referenced the Pima Indians who used to raise these beautiful birds so that they can use the feathers as adornments. Early documents also evidence that another tribe – Pueblo Indians – used to raise macaws for their beautiful feathers which were used for ornamentation. Certain Indian tribes also associated the birds with moral values, suggesting that a person on poor character is not capable of keeping a red macaw.

Macaw parrot pet in Brazil also have an interesting story to tell. The natives of the region plucked a red feather of the bird and inoculated the area with a particular fluid from a frog or a toad. The feather that grew next had a bright yellow or orange tint. It was considered to be of high value even though there was temporary damage to the feather shaft.

United States and Europe imported a huge number of macaw pets since early 20th century. Macaw pets were affected by the two world wars and different eras of bird disease outbreaks. After World War II when air transportation became more viable, people started keeping large parrots once again. Macaw – bird with vibrant colors – could hardly go unnoticed as a pet. The import of these birds is highly restricted now but captive bred macaws are available in the market.


Details of Macaws

The blue and gold macaws are large birds. They can reach a size of almost 33 inches. They are intelligent and social. Bird owners who can raise them well and who understand their needs can enjoy the company of blue and gold macaws. The natural habitats of these birds are the wetlands and woodlands of South America. Pet trade led to complete extinction of these brightly colored birds from Trinidad but they were reintroduced to the island in the 1960's.

Scarlet macaws make one of the most magnificent macaw pets. They have an attractive plumage and have a boisterous personality. It has a long history of its companionship with humans. These macaws are known to have been pets of the Incas since the early 12th century. It can be friendly and confident among humans and needs a strong hand in training. It socializes well and is a talented talker. As is the nature of macaws, the scarlet macaws can be very vocal at times.

Baby_Green_macaw pet pets historyThe green-winged macaw is often called the gentle giant because of its docile nature. People love the bird because of its spectacular colors and gentle temperament. This makes them great pets. Their history in captivity goes back to the 17th century when a lot of emphasis was not placed on breeding them. Most of the parrots that were kept as pets then, these macaws were also singly kept. It was not easy to figure their gender at that time. The focus on breeding parrots started around the 19th century. The green-winged macaw pets breed easily and they are easily available as pets in today’s world.

The red shouldered macaws are a smaller species of macaws which are widely found in Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname as well as French Guyana. Their habitat extends into south and southern Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. They were first described by Linnaeus in 1758. They have since been sold as pets. Their fairly small stature makes them a more viable pet for families who may not be comfortable keeping larger birds.

hyacinth macaws pet petsThe hyacinth macaws are a species of macaws that are known for their fearless nature. They are very noisy and dependent on palm trees. These macaws are endangered because of the loss of their natural habitat. They were also captured because of the fact that they were highly priced. In 1980's data suggests that almost 10,000 macaws of this species were taken from the wild. They have been sold for $5,000 to $10,000 in the pet trade since 1988.

Macaws are soulful birds who have brought great companionship to humans. For those who understand their needs well, these could be the best pets.


The greatest parrot by length on the planet, the hyacinth macaw is 100 cm (3.3 ft) long from the tip of its tail to its head.

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These birds personify magnificence, their elegance and beauty mesmerizes anyone who sees them. Scarlet Macaws!

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This bird was first discovered in 1638. George Marcgrave, a German naturalist who was working in Pernambuco in Brazil.

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Macaw parrot

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