About Macaw Parrots

Green Wing Macaw

Macaw parrots are simply majestic. Stunning colors. Distinctive tail feathers. Amongst the smartest parrots. And, an incredible bond with their chosen mate. These are unquestionably endearing qualities.
Macaw parrots have a long life-span. There are some records of macaws living up to 100 years, however, an average age of 50 years for medium macaw is more likely. Larger macaws may live a little longer while mini-macaw’s have a shorter life span. So, as you can see, the decision to acquire a macaw as a pet should be given enormous consideration since it is truly a life style change and a life-long commitment. People who care about macaws realize that their parrot may well outlive them. All pet parrots require daily interaction but Macaw’s are very intelligent and very dedicated to their chosen mate, so they need more consistent bird training than other parrot species. The benefits of Macaw Parrots, though is that they are so incredibly smart and they take bird training as seriously as you do.

The Macaw Bond

 The Macaw Bond

Macaws are monogamous and bond for life. Captive Macaws tend to bond with one person in the family, usually the primary caretaker, unless specifically trained to bond with the whole family. And, without dedicated bird training, they won’t allow handling by other family members without a nip. Our good friends re-homed a Scarlet Macaw, Bertha. Bertha loves Craig but hates Sue – since Sue is “the other woman." Craig is an experienced bird lover, so, of course he is cool with Bertha’s jealousy. Sue, on the other hand, has to put up with Bertha who can sometimes be a big “B.” Likewise, our mini macaw, Bandit, would threaten anyone in the family but me. For those who are dedicated about Macaws training, they can expect a very affectionate and dedicated pet that thrives on their owner’s constant love.

Macaw Training

Lack of consistent and dedicated bird training may lead to serious problems for the large Macaw Parrot.  You and your family may get tired of temperamental behavior, biting and screaming unless you train your bird otherwise.  Your parrot will not know how to behave resulting in mental health problems for the parrot and suffering within the family. Destructive behaviors such as self-mutilation, biting and excessive screaming can develop and become habits all too quickly. Macaws tend to be extremely loud. Morning and evening calling screams are to be expected. Macaw’s are recommended for the experienced parrot handler who can devote time, energy, finances and training. Macaws need a generously sized bird cage and a very durable bird stand. Simply due to that beautiful tail, bird cage height is imperative. But, life isn’t all about the macaw tail – in your macaw’s mind. It needs a long bird cage, too. Ideally, an indoor or outdoor aviary will allow the macaw parrot an appropriate amount of exercise. We back a large Java Bird Stand up to our large parrot’s open door to encourage as much climbing, movement and sense of freedom as possible.

Macaw at Beach


Macaw Cage Supplies

Big Macaw's have greater needs for durable bird supplies. These large to extra large parrots are just as busy and curious as other parrots but due to the size of their bodies, beaks and feet, they could easily destroy cage accessories designed for medium sized parrots.

Macaw Sized Food Cups

Inquisitive, Macaw's and other large parrots will play with their food cups and sometimes even pick them up and toss them!  Large Macaw's need heavy duty food cups.  Weighty Ceramic Macaw sized food dishes are a good choice if they fit in your bird cage however, they are hard to find.  Most modern bird cage manufacturers use easy to replace stainless steel cups for macaw cages.

Macaw Sized Bird Perches

Large Macaw's have big feet!  Two big feet to match that sharp big beak.  They need very hard wood bird perches with a thick diameter.  Our favorite Macaw Perch is the Conditioning Perch by Sandy Perch.  Jumbo sized bird perches are the best.  We also have a very thick Dragonwood Perch that offers a fantastic perching experience for Large Macaw's.

Macaw Sized Water Bottles

Your large Macaw Parrot needs a Large Water Bottle with a Tuff Tip.  Try our Lixit 32 oz. Tuff Tip Water Bottle. Most Macaw's can't destroy the water bottle tip.

Macaw Seed

Variety is the key when it comes to Macaw food. Healthy Macaw foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens, nuts, and a high quality mixture of large hookbill seed such as Volkman Avian Super Science Macaw Food. 

Vet Recommended Macaw Diets

Well-balanced parrot food diets such as Harrison’s Bird Food are the recommended staple Macaw food for all sized Macaws. Organic Sprouts provide fresh macaw food bursting with nutrients. Discard any uneaten fresh foods within a few hours to avoid bacterial contamination.

Macaw's Need More Healthy Fat in Their Diet

The Macaw Parrot requires a higher fat and oil content in their diet than most other parrot species so make sure to provide fresh nuts in the shell. Goldenfeast Patagonian Spice & Nuts or Kaylor of Colorado Nut Mix are excellent supplements that provide the fats, oils and fiber to Macaw's require.

Macaw Food

Macaw's Need to Forage for Food

While all pet birds need foraging and enrichment opportunities, Macaw parrots in particular benefit greatly from the mental stimulation and exercise these activities offer.

We offer several foraging bird toys that allow you to hide food and treats yet are sturdy enough for Macaw Parrots. Our best-selling Macaw Foraging Bird Toys include tough polycarbonate toys such as the Foraging Ball On A Skewer or Refillable Foraging Foot Toys. Hide fresh fruits such as oranges, apples, and bananas with washed peel intact inside of our 1 Quart Foraging Bucket.  

Macaw Toys

Macaw toys for Blue & Gold, Scarlet, Green Wing Macaws need to be tough. But, imagine how tough toys need to be for Hyacinth Macaw Parrots! If you have a large macaw, you know how quickly they can go through expensive toys. But even so, these majestic parrots are intelligent and active so it is imperative to prevent your macaw from getting bored. This is where becoming creative about macaw toys comes into play.

Like all parrots, your large parrot needs you to rotate the toys and play activities or play stations to encourage thinking and foraging behaviors. Large macaws enjoy chomping on thick wood bird toy parts, holding cardboard or natural fibers in their feet and shredding them to bits and foraging through hidden compartments to find something to snack on or destroy. These inquisitive birds also like bird puzzles.

Chunky Wood Macaw Parrot Toys

Chunky wood macaw toys are the mainstay of the macaw toy regime. Those large macaw beaks need to chomp, chew and destroy. Good large macaw toys feature both large blocks of wood and small wood blocks, beads and slats. The different sized wood parts allow wood to be cut with the grain or across the grain creating a variety of chewing encounters. As you know, a large bird may chew the bird toy part off of its attaching chain leaving a big part that you hate to toss out. Why not recycle wood bird toy parts? Our best selling large Macaw and Cockatoo Toys include the Bamboo Dangle Large Bird Toy, The Beakasaurus Wood Toy and the Rainbow Bridge Large Wood Toy.

Foraging Style Toys For Macaws

Foraging toys provide opportunities for your macaw parrot to think and hunt for bird toy parts and bird treats. You’ve probably read it before, but wild Macaw Parrots spend hours each day digging and scratching the ground and tree dwellings for hidden food and delicacies. Whether it be a grub or a coveted seed pod. Providing large macaw toys that afford foraging opportunities will go a long way toward satisfying your parrots natural foraging urges. Our best-selling durable macaw toys include Creative Foraging Systems Mastermind Foraging Bird Toy, the Stainless Steel Baffle, the Foraging Kabob and our 1 Qt. Stainless Steel Foraging Bucket.

Foot are another fabulous opportunity to create foraging possibilities. Our parrots love it when we hide foraging or shredding style macaw foot toys in bins and buckets. Macaw Bagels are a favorite large bird foot toy since the layered cardboard can be shredded into thin strips.  Macaw's also love the Bamboo Foot Toy that is filled with fun foraging materials and the Buffet Ball, a transparent polycarbonate ball that you can fill with foraging goodies.

Tips for recycling Macaw Toy Parts

It's pretty easy to recycle macaw bird toy parts, especially wood blocks and beads.  Many of our reusable bird toys are designed to hold blocks and bead bird toy parts hidden amongst foraging material such as Crinkled Paper or Pistachio Nut Shells.

Safe Carriers For Macaw's And Cockatoo's

Crystal Flight Macaw Carrier

Large birds, like Macaw's and Cockatoo's have extremely strong beaks and are capable of chewing right through traditional dog carriers by chewing up the ventilation holes.  If you want to take your bird on trips, it is best to get a carrier designed for these large birds.

Carriers designed for these extra large parrots feature thicker plastic sides and specially designed ventilation holes preventing your bird from chewing through. Only a few companies make safe, reliable bird travel carriers for Cockatoo's and Macaw's.  It's a good investment for safe travel, using as a hospital cage or evacuation of your precious pet, though, and we highly recommend buy one.

Chose your large carrier based on your travel needs, ventilation requirements and vehicle size.  For car travel, make sure that the dimensions of the carrier will fit inside of your car's back seat.  Keep in mind that if you are traveling by car, a bird can get hot in an enclosed carrier, so a travel cage may be a better choice.  Consider a bird travel cage such as the Fold Up Bird Travel Cage.

In terms of airline travel with Macaw's and Cockatoo's, most airlines abide by IATA (International Association of Transportation of Animals) criteria - so be sure to check with your airline for their specifications prior to purchasing a Carrier. These bird carriers may need to be adapted with stainless steel wire mesh to insure that your parrot can't start hewing through the ventilation holes and ultimately chew a hole big enough to escape.

So, now, you've read a primer about macaw parrots.


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