Red-and-green Macaws as Pets:
Some macaw owners and experts call the Green-winged Macaw the "gentle giant", as it is larger in size than the Scarlet Macaw and Blue-and-yellow Macaw, but has a more docile and sweet nature which often makes it a more desirable pet than the other two popular species.
However, with size comes strength that must be considered when deciding if a Red-and-green Macaw would be a fit addition to a household. Their strong beaks can easily snap a broomstick in half.
Bird experts often advise those interested in obtaining a macaw as a pet to educate themselves extensively about these birds prior to obtaining one, as they require more attention than a dog or cat.
They require large space due to large size. Preferably a bird room or aviary, but large cages are acceptable provided they are given plenty of opportunities to be out of their cages, maybe on an play stand with lots of toys to engage their strong beaks and keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
They can be trained to talk - although they are not considered very good mimics. They are very demanding and have a tendency to become aggressive or pluck, if their considerable needs aren't met.
They are noisy and are not good choices for those sensitive to noise - or living with people or close to people that could be annoyed by it.
Macaw Owner Penny (her birds are featured at the bottom of this page) describes her experience with her companion birds as follows: "My [...] Macaw [...] Rosie is now 14 yrs. old. She is never in a cage. She sleeps on a perch next to my bed, eats at the table, watches TV in the living room and has a 6 ft. long perch on the front porch. She also loves car rides. She rides on the passenger seat and sings and dances to the radio. I took her to Florida last year and she loved it I believe as much as I did. Then I have Pepper, another Greenwing, who is 6 yrs.old who came with a little boy Triton Cockatoo named Baby, who is also 6. I have had them for about 8 months. Pepper up until about four months ago had never talked or was never willing to leave the cage. Finally she has begun to be very sweet and comical. She still has an issue about bathing but she will come around Baby is a sweet and a piece of work. He loves to cuddle and laugh. He also has changed a lot since he came. He loves to talk and makes funny little noises. At first, he did nothing but scream and destroy anything and everything he could get a hold of - but not anymore. I love my birds." (PS. Penny also shares her home with 2 dogs, 7 cats, 1 mouse and 1 rabbit)
Macaw ownership generally presents multiple challenges, such as excessive chewing - especially at certain stages in their life. They do discover their beaks as method of "disciplining us" once they are out of the "baby stage" and they can generally be somewhat naughty, and it really is important to learn to understand them and to guide their behavior before an undesirable behavior has been established. Undisciplined macaws will chew on electric wiring potentially causing house fires.
They regard anything in your home as a "toy" that can be explored and chewed on; destroying items that you may hold dear or are simply valuable. Even a young bird that has not been neglected and abused requires proper guidance; this becomes even more challenging when it involves a rescued bird that may require rehabilitation. Not everybody can tolerate the natural loud call of a macaw and even though it can't (or should not) be entirely eliminated, there are ways to discourage screaming / screeching in your pet macaw.
Overall, it is important to guide parrot behavior, but even more so if your feathered family member is a magnificent and powerful macaw.
- AvianWeb Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit the following website to learn more about parrot behavior and training. If you found a way to resolve a "parrot behavioral issue" please share it with others.
If you are considering one of these magnificent parrots as pets, please visit the following websites for information:
- Macaw General Information
- Procuring your Parrot
- The 3 Key Elements to Keep Your Pet Bird Happy and Healthy
- Housing Your Bird
- Bird Nutrition
Diet / Feeding
In captivity, a quality dry food mix, in addition to fresh food items, and sources rich in minerals need to be provided.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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