Macaws – A Profile
It's important to note that almost all macaw species are either threatened critically endangered or extinct.
The macaw, or guacamayo as they are called in their native lands, are known for their bright, prismatic feather patterns. People stay in love with macaws because of their friendly, loyal personalities. It's hard to meet a macaw you don't like, if you treat them well. Will they like you back? well that’s entirely a different story. Macaws pick their partners very judiciously. In the wild, they pick their partners for life.
With wingspans that can take your breath away, these birds glide right into your heart after you meet one in person. You might feel that you know all there is to know about why these birds are so loved. However, there are a few secrets that macaws keep tucked under their wings.
There Are 17 Different Types
No, you haven't met every macaw just because you've met one! There are 17 different types of macaws. Each type has its own unique personality, quirks, needs, and temperament. What's more, not every variety makes a suitable companion. Several varieties are endangered. It's believed that there are currently no ultra-rare Spinx's existing in the wild today. The varieties most kept as companions include the hyacinth, severe, scarlet, Illiger's and military.
The Real Cost of Having a Macaw
There is something you need to know about a macaw before you fall in love any further. A parrot is a lifetime commitment. Parrots just like the macaw crave attention and metal stimulation. If a macaw becomes bored you will know it, and no one will be happy. This means you will have to invest time. Did we mention the part about money? The real cost of a parrot is discussed in one of earlier posts. It’s important to understand that a life long companion, any pet for that matter, needs the best attention, care, food, and company that you can provide. At the end of the day you may just be asking who owns who.
Every Feather Pattern Is a Work of Art
The brilliant color combinations of these birds are believed to be as unique as human fingerprints! It's no mistake that they have bright, vibrant feathers that might remind you of everything from tropical fruit to exotic flowers. The physical appearance of this species adapted to match the vivid botanical landscape of the jungles they call home.
They Are the Largest Parrots
These birds beat out every other type of parrot for size! In fact, the largest parrot species of all is the beautiful hyacinth that often grows to be 3.5 - 4 feet in size! While there are some petite varieties that only grow to be just over a foot, scarlets and blue-and-golds can both get close to 3 feet.
The wingspan of this species is also magnificent. A hyacinth's wingspan can easily reach 4 feet! The blue-and-gold's wingspan often comes in at just under 4 feet.
They Fall in Love for Life
While lovebirds get a reputation for being romantic, the truth is that there's big romance among the biggest breed of parrot! Yes, these birds will pair up for life after picking a partner in the wild. Romance typically buds among these birds when they reach breeding age at around 3 years old to 4 years old.
A committed couple will build what looks like a very beautiful life together to any human observing these colorful pairs. In fact, they are known to spend all of their time together once they are bitten by the love bug. In addition to breeding, pairs will share food, groom together, and parent their young together.
There's something extraordinary that happens when two macaws fly together in the tropical jungles. As they soar, they will stay very close to each other. It can actually look like two besotted macaws are "holding wings" as they soar over the lush forest canopy. You can see this in the video below.
They Count Nuts and Seeds as Their Favorite Foods
The macaws favorite food is a tie between nuts and seeds. It's not just the flavor that keeps them happy. These birds love the process of breaking open nuts and seeds using their powerful beaks. What's more, one of the cool things that macaws do is to use their strong, agile claws to hold food while they are eating. Hearing some macaws eat can make newer bird owners assume that they should be pouring nuts and seeds into the food bowl around the clock to keep their pets happy! The truth is that eating behaviors in the wild are very different when compared to eating behaviors in a domestic setting.
In the jungle, birds spend all day flying and foraging to find precious nuts and seeds. They are also taking time to remove their little treasures from their shells once they find them. Additionally, all of the nuts and seeds they can get their claws on are fully natural.
Things are different for birds that are not in the wild. First, being presented a plate of nuts and seeds removes the "work" for the birds. They can also consume large amounts of nuts and seeds when compared to what they'd be able to gather in a jungle. Lastly, many of the nuts and seeds marketed to bird owners today contain additives, fats, and oils that can be terrible for a bird's health.
While these birds can live up to 80 years in some cases, a poor diet can really cut a pet's lifespan by decades. That's why we're so committed to offering the best parrot food full of organic or non-gmo, wholesome ingredients that let birds of all sizes thrive! The most important fact of all is that there's no replacement for a balanced, whole diet for birds.
We leave you with this music video by Danit (Mose Remix) in honor the macaw (guacamayo), filmed in their natural habitat in Costa Rica. Enjoy!
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