Macaws

Tiki, Gizmo, Pauly, and Penny are blue-and-gold macaws, Andy and Gadget are catalina macaws, Elmo and Lucy are scarlet macaws, and Sergeant is a military macaw. Elmo is one of the Foundation’s special need residents. Elmo joined the Foundation because he was plucking out his own feathers. He has transitioned well and no longer plucks his feathers but he did permanent damage to the feather follicles and is missing most of his chest feathers.

The scarlet, blue-and-gold, and military macaw are all naturally occurring macaw species. Catalina macaws are a hybrid cross between the blue-and-gold and the scarlet macaw. The catalina macaw does occasionally occur naturally in the wild but is much more common in captivity. Catalina macaws tend to inherit personality traits from both parents like many other hybrid species. Macaws are very intelligent and curious birds that enjoy exploring and playing with interesting new objects. As social birds, macaws spend a large portion of time with their mate or family group. When an adult macaw chooses a mate, they usually stay with the same mate, known as a pair bond, until one of them dies. As a pair, the macaws will preen each others feathers, share food, and roost together.

Most macaws breed twice a year and the females lay their eggs in nests inside trees or on cliffs. Only the mother incubates the egg and the father is in charge of bringing her food. Once the egg has hatched, both parents bring food to the helpless hatchlings. The hatchlings require a large amount of care by their parents for the first ten weeks before they learn to fly and are able to forage for their own food.

The macaw’s natural call is a scream which can be earsplitting to humans. They will use this call to make contact with one another, define their territory, and as a part of play. They also have the ability to imitate human words or speak. The macaws diet includes fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers, and sources of protein like insects and snails.

Macaws are native to Central America, South America, and Mexico. Several macaw species are considered endangered and some species are extinct altogether or extinct in the wild. The major factors in the decline of the macaw population is the pet trade and habitat destruction.

Macaw Trivia: A macaw’s beak is so strong it can easily crush a Brazil nut or a person’s knuckle..

Macaw Statistics:

Body Length 30 – 34 inches
Weight 2 – 3 lbs
Incubation Period 23 – 30 days
Clutch Size 1 – 4 eggs
Life Span Up to 75 years
Protection Status Endangered

Macaw Trivia: Iago in Disney’s Aladdin is a Scarlet macaw.