10 Popular Types Of Macaws That Make Great Pets

Types Of Macaws
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You may find different types of macaws from the jungles of Mexico to Argentina. Sadly, more than half of these species are in danger. And several have vanished from their natural habitats.

However, macaws available for adoption at reputable stores are from breeding farms. Macaws are precious and expensive animals. Thus those offered for adoption or sale must come with a complete set of legal papers verifying their origin. These documents are required if you get a macaw as a pet.

Do you want a macaw as a pet? You can stay at Canvas Personalized and learn about keeping macaws as pets. This article overviews the different breeds of macaws and how to care for them in general.

What Is A Macaw?

Macaws and parrots are all members of the Psittacidae family of birds. Macaws are distinct from other parrots since they are New World natives living only in the Western Hemisphere. Although a few species of macaws are found in drier places, most macaws are only in tropical and subtropical jungles.

Species Of Macaws
Types Of Pet Macaws (Image: thehappychickencoop)

Macaws are known for their impressively huge bills, which they use to crack various open foods, including seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and even flowers. In the wild, macaws’ diets shift with the seasons to take advantage of whichever resources are most plentiful. These birds are pretty friendlyMacaw and usually travel in groups.

5 Interesting Things About Species Of Macaws You Should Know

Loyal to their mates

The macaw is a popular pet because of its reputation for being a devoted and affectionate mate. These birds will spend the rest of their lives with their partner. Both parents care for and love the other’s child(ren) as they grow up. They never leave one another’s side. Most humans don’t have this rare quality because even people can’t stay loyal to each other.

On the other hand, macaws are special. All types of macaws are devoted and endearing companions.

All Breeds Of Macaws Are Loyal
All breeds of macaws are loyal (Image: BBC)

Live longer than other birds

These parrots will live very long, so you need not worry about it. The average life expectancy of a macaw is above 50 years. The longevity of the macaw makes it a popular choice for a pet. The two of you could find that they make fantastic traveling companions.

In the wild, macaws may live up to 60 years, but in captivity, they only reach around 50. Macaws, however, may live far longer than this, depending on the circumstances.

The most colorful and vibrant bird

When people see these vibrant birds, they are generally captivated. Colors like red, green, yellow, blue, and orange are just a few of the ones they come in. Some hybrid bird species have a rainbow of colors all over their bodies. The macaw is one of the most colorful birds in the world.

Biggest parrots in the planet

All across the globe, you may find many different species of parrots. Some of these macaws are the biggest ones. Their enormous tails and wings contribute to their already elongated bodies. Macaws are large, hefty birds both in size and weight.

Strong beaks

The macaws’ beaks are among the strongest parts of their bodies. When compared to other species of parrots, their beaks stand out. The macaw’s beak is strong enough to crack a coconut open. They rely on their large beaks for both eating and fighting. If your macaws get aggressive or frightened, they may use their beaks to cause serious injury.

All Breeds Of Macaws Have Incredibly Strong Beaks
All Breeds Of Macaws Have Incredibly Strong Beaks (Image: Pet Keen)

Types of Macaws As Amazing Pets

Many breeds of macaws may make wonderful pets, but learning the distinctions between the most common pet macaws will help you choose the right one for you and your family.

1. Blue And Gold Macaw

  • Common names: Blue and gold macaw, blue and yellow macaw
  • Scientific name: Ara ararauna
  • Adult size: 33 inches from beak to tail feathers, wingspan can reach 40 inches or more, and they typically weigh over 2 pounds
  • Lifespan: Can live 60 or more years, although most live about 30 years; some blue and golds have lived up to 100 or more
  • Average price: $700-$2500
Blue And Gold Macaw - Types Of Macaws
Blue And Gold Macaw

This stunning macaw is not endangered and may be found throughout the Amazonian jungle in Peru and Bolivia.

The blue and gold macaw is a big, intelligent, and gregarious parrot. Do not get this bird if you are inexperienced with caring for pets! Its social needs are comparable to those of a cat or dog.

This macaw is quite good at mimicking the human voice. Their flock sounds resemble human screams and are generally a fairly noisy bird. They have also been known to “chew” with their beaks when kept captive.

They tend to be physically well, but keeping their mental health in excellent shape may be challenging. A macaw may tear off its feathers out of depression if its owner does not give it enough attention and care. However, a macaw owner ready to put in the effort will be rewarded with a bird whose active attitude makes it a great companion.

2. Green Wing Macaw

  • Common names: Green-wing macaw, red and green macaw
  • Scientific name: Ara chloroptera
  • Adult size: 40 inches long with a 49-inch wingspan, weighing 3 3/4 pounds
  • Lifespan: 50 years, although a few of green-wing macaws have lived to reach 80
  • Average price: $3,000 to $4,000
Green Wing Macaw - Breeds Of Macaws
Green Wing Macaw (Image: Parrot Eggs)

Ara chloropterus, also known as the red-and-green or green-winged macaw, is a lively, curious, and clever parrot. It is not in danger of extinction and may be found in the jungles of central and northern South America.

The greenwing macaw is kind by nature and easy to teach. They’ll need time and care to get close to their owners, but they’ll do best in a loving home.

However, this species is hard to keep because it doesn’t deal with being alone. Remember that a green-winged macaw must be housed with other birds, but not of the same species, to thrive. In addition, a big cage is required for it.

3. Scarlet Macaw

  • Common names: Scarlet macaw, Smaller Macaw
  • Scientific name: Ara macao with two subspecies: Ara macao cyanoptera (Central America) and Ara macao macao (South America)
  • Adult size: 35 inches long, weighing 2 to 3 pounds
  • Lifespan: 80 years or more, but the typical lifespan is closer to 50
  • Average price: $2,000 to over $4,000
Scarlet Macaw - Types Of Pet Macaws
Scarlet Macaw (Image: Miaolands)

The scarlet macaw is a non-endangered bird that may be found in the rainforests of northern South America. These birds have a high IQ and can perfectly mimic human speech and other sounds and execute tricks. Besides its striking beauty, this is another reason it is one of the most types of pet macaws. They are so skilled and social that they are even used in shows.

These birds are bright, but they require regular interaction and provide them with new daily experiences. Scarlet macaws get bored easily, so their owners should give them a lot of toys to play with and be around them almost all the time.

Scarlet macaws are fed by hand and can be very friendly. However prospective owners should be aware that, like other macaws, they can be quite loud. If you have a tiny apartment or house, having one as a pet is not a good idea.

4. Hahn’s Macaw

  • Common names: Hahn’s macaw, red-shouldered macaw
  • Scientific name: Diopsittaca nobilis nobilis (formerly Ara nobilis nobilis)
  • Adult size: 12 inches, 5 pounces
  • Lifespan: 20 to 30 years
  • Average price: approximately $3,000 per pair
Hahn'S Macaw - Types Of Pet Macaws
Hahn’s Macaw – The Smallest Breeds Of Macaws (Image: Flickr)

You may find them in Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela in the wild. These parrots prefer the savannas and swamps over the tropical lowlands, although you may still find them there.

These birds are the smallest of the macaw species and the most gentle. Hahn’s macaws are intelligent and friendly birds who learn new tricks quickly and connect closely with their owners.

Although the Smaller Macaw lacks its relatives’ vivid colors, it has a beautiful green plumage. Miniature macaws typically top out at about 12 inches in length, making them ideal types of pet macaws for small spaces like apartments or aviaries.

In time, Hahn’s macaws may learn to communicate effectively. They are a fantastic option for bird enthusiasts who want a macaw but aren’t ready to take on a huge bird.

5. Military Macaws

  • Common names: Military macaw, Bolivian military macaw, Mexican military macaw
  • Scientific name: Ara militaris
  • Adult size: 30 inches from the beak to the tip of the tail feathers, wingspans of over 40 inches, and weighs about 2 pounds
  • Lifespan: Averages 50 years
  • Average price: about $2,500
Military Macaws Species Of Macaws
Military Macaws (Image: Maryland Zoo)

Despite its scary name, the Military Macaw is a beautiful parrot in Central and South America. They inhabit lowland woods, the surrounding bare terrain, forested hillsides, and canyons.

Military Macaws have personalities that are opposite to what their name might make you think. When properly trained, they are known to be calm and friendly pets.

They are incredibly sociable and affectionate, although they prefer to form strong bonds with just one person. If you get them used to being around people early on, they might even like petting and cuddling. If you have the space, a military Macaw should be at the top of your list of potential species of macaws as pets.

>> Read more: 10 Types Of Amazon Parrots To Keep As Awesome Pets

6. Hyacinth Macaws

  • Common names: Hyacinth macaw, blue parrot
  • Scientific name: Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
  • Adult size: 40 inches from head to tail, a wingspan of 4 feet, weighing 2.6 to 3.7 pounds
  • Lifespan: Can live more than 60 years
  • Average price: $5,000 and over $12,000
Hyacinth Macaws Species
Hyacinth Macaws – The Biggest Types Of Macaws (Image: Pet Me Shop)

Hyacinth macaws formerly ranged across a wider area but are now confined to the vast freshwater marsh of the Pantanal in South America. They may also be found in Brazil and Bolivia, in areas of scrubland bordering the jungle.

The Hyacinth macaw is the biggest and most challenging macaw to keep as a pet. Hyacinth macaws are not the best choice for first-time bird owners. Since they need much more care and attention than most other species. They are attractive because of their size, beauty, and intelligence. But only the most patient and devoted pet owners should consider adopting one.

7. Severe Macaws

  • Common names: Severe macaw, chestnut-fronted macaw, Brazilian green macaw
  • Scientific name: Ara severa severa
  • Adult size: 15 to 20 inches, weighing just under 1 pound
  • Lifespan: Can be expected to live for up to 30 years, some even longer
  • Average price: $1,500 – $2,500
 Severe Macaws - Breeds Of Macaws
Severe Macaws (Image: mascotarios.org)

The Severe Macaw is a stunningly beautiful parrot that originates in the rainforests of northern South America. The severe macaw is a favorite among bird lovers because it is friendly and funny.

In the right environment, a severe macaw will form a strong attachment with its owner, learn rapidly, and wow with its amazing vocabulary and intelligence. Although severe macaws are just as demanding as any other kind of macaw, they make wonderful pets.

8. Illiger’s Macaws

  • Common names: Illiger’s macaw, Illiger’s miniature macaw, blue-winged macaw
  • Scientific name: Primolius maracana
  • Adult size: 15 to 17 inches, weighing 9.2-9.9oz
  • Lifespan: About 60 years
  • Average price: 1000$ – 3000$
Illiger'S Macaws - Types Of Macaws As Pets
Illiger’s Macaws – types of macaws as pets (Image: Wikipedia)

South America, specifically Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, is their native habitat. On the other hand, some can be discovered in Mexico and Central America. They can be found in various woodlands and savannas but flourish in the Amazon rainforest.

Illiger’s macaws are social, outgoing, and lively birds. These smart parrots form deep bonds with their owners and quickly learn new skills when hand-fed as newborns and fostered in warm, caring environments. Illiger’s macaws are brilliant birds that need a lot of play and activity.

9. Greenwing Macaws

  • Common names: Green-wing macaw, red and green macaw
  • Scientific name: Ara chloroptera
  • Adult size: 40 inches long with a 49-inch wingspan, weighing 3 3/4 pounds
  • Lifespan: 50 years, but some green-wing macaws live into their 80s.
  • Average price: $3,000 – $4,000
Greenwing Macaws - Breeds Of Macaws
Greenwing Macaws – breeds of macaws (Image: Pinterest)

The green-winged macaw lives in tropical lowland forests in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia, among other places. It lives in an area where the blue-and-gold macaw also lives.

The greenwing macaw has a mild demeanor and learns quickly. They will flourish in a loving home, but only with lots of attention and bonding time with their owners. If you want to keep this bird or any other macaw as a pet, you won’t be able to leave it alone for long periods. This bird requires a great deal of companionship. This bird demands a lot of interaction with people.

10. Blue-headed macaw

  • Common names: Blue-headed macaw, Coulon’s macaw, mini macaw
  • Scientific name: Primolius couloni
  • Adult size: 15.6 to 16 inches long from head to tail, 7.3 to 10.4 ounces in weight
  • Lifespan: 30–35 years wild, 50 years captive
  • Average price: $1,000 – $1,500
Blue-Headed Macaw - Best Macaws As Pets
Blue-headed macaw – best macaws as pets (Image: awsfzoo)

The Blue-headed macaw, another species of mini-macaw, may be differentiated from other macaws by its striking blue head. The blue-headed macaw is endemic to the Amazon rainforest and the low-lying Andes up to about 5,100 feet. Humid forests near clearings or rivers are their favorite habitat, but you can also find them on the edges of South American towns and swampy areas.

The blue-headed macaw is friendly and pleasant, and like other macaws, it adapts well to life in a cage. Often, these birds form strong bonds with their owners and become wonderful pets. Caring for large birds, such as the blue-headed macaw, involves a significant time commitment, regular veterinary checkups, enrichment activities, and playtime.

How To Care A Macaw As Your Pet

Diet & Feeding

Most of the macaw’s food comes from the rainforest. It eats nuts, leaves, berries, and seeds. It can crack nuts and seeds with its robust and hooked beak.

When kept as a pet, macaws thrive on a tailored parrot mix diet consisting of various seeds, dried fruits, and nuts. Include high-calcium leafy greens like kale and spinach in their daily diet and a wide range of fresh fruits. These birds cannot survive on a diet of just seeds. Because of their poisonous properties, chocolate and avocado should never be given as treats.

A healthy macaw will eat about 10 to 15% of its body weight daily. About 2 pounds is the average weight of a bird. A bird will eat about 1/2 cup of food daily, about 100 pounds annually. Giving them breakfast as soon as you get up would be best. After an hour, throw away any chopped or cut fruits and vegetables that haven’t been eaten.

Types Of Macaws With Pictures
How To Care Macaws As Pets

Common Heath Problems

Like large parrots, Macaws tend to self-mutilate and pluck their feathers when bored or neglected.

Macaw wasting syndrome (proventricular dilation disease), parrot fever (psittacosis), and psittacine beak and feather disease are only a few of the dietary problems and diseases to which these birds are susceptible (viral infection).

Beak overgrowth is another common issue with macaws, but this may be avoided by giving the birds access to rough surfaces and hard chew toys.


Macaws are big birds requiring much room to fly around and time to romp and exercise. These birds are known for their high levels of activity. The ability to release excess energy is crucial for these birds. A macaw needs at least two hours, preferably five, each day of free-range time.

Provide a rotating selection of chew toys to keep its strong beak and jaws in shape. Tough, durable toys that may be chewed on offer dual benefits: they strengthen jaw muscles and satisfy the natural urge to gnaw. To assist your macaw in getting the exercise it needs, consider getting a play gym or parrot cargo net so it can play and climb.

Purchasing Or Adopting Macaws

Macaws are only available for purchase from breeders and specialized avian pet businesses. Price ranges from $700 to $12,000. The price range depends on the breeder, whether or not it was raised by hand, and how healthy it is. Owners unable to care for the bird may surrender it to a rescue or adoption center. You can try the following online sources:

Feather FocusNew Yorkfeatherfocus.com(805) 312-8990
The Bird Gardens of NaplesFloridathebirdgardensofnaples.com(239) 643-7463
Florida Bird BreedersFloridafloridabirdbreeders.com(941) 204-1685
Birds by JoeNew Jerseybirdsbyjoe.com(954) 725-0088
Mid-South Cage Bird SocietyTennesseemidsouthcagebird.org(901) 458-2670
Macaw For Sale – Reputable Macaw Breeders In The US

If you decide to deal with a breeder, you should ask how long they have been working with the species in question. See their establishment. When looking at their stock, look for signs that the flock is healthy. The birds should be perky and active, with tidy plumage.

>> Another related post that you should know better:

Macaws are notable for being different from other parrots. They are devoted partners and wonderful friends. Adopting a macaw as a companion animal is a smart move. No matter which bird pet you choose! Learning about the different types of macaws may help you select the ideal one. We at Canvas Personalized hope this article will help you somehow. If you want to learn more about pets, check out our other posts.

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