In my opinion the macaw is the most beautiful parrot in the world. Bright, beautiful colors with long tails; they are easily recognized by their bare facial patch on their faces. These birds are intelligent, playful, loving, and social; they make a wonderful life long companion. Most macaws can learn to talk.
The Macaw is also loud, raucous, and demanding. They screech! They also are destructive chewers. Chewing is what they do best. Watch your furniture, house moldings, door frames and anything else that can be chewed.
Feeding the macaw can be quite expensive. The cages need to be large and cages are costly too. Veterinarian bills can cause you to mortgage your house. They must have a lot of time with you and your family. Make sure their cage is where the family usually hangs out. In their natural habitat they are complexly social. You MUST be their family.
My sweet Riker a Blue and Gold Macaw.
I bought a baby Blue and Gold Macaw a number of years ago. I named him Riker. Yes, the actor Riker from Star Trek. I always described everything I was doing while near my birds. This benefited their speech capability greatly.
The macaw talks in their natural voice. There is little variation in tones whereas an African Grey will vary a great deal in pitch and sounds. Never choose a bird for their ability to talk, because many may never say a single word. Buy a bird because you love them; love to spend a lot of time with them and want a lifelong companion.
Purchasing your Bird
Most important before you even worry about the health of the bird is to make sure it is a banded bird. Most captive bred birds are closed banded. It is a bracelet steel or aluminum band, with a letter and a number code stamped on it. It is worn on the leg and soldered shut so it cannot be removed. If it is not branded it could be an illegal, smuggled bird.
Before you buy and bring home your bird, have him tested by an Avian Veterinarian. These tests should include a complete blood count, (CBC) Chlamydia Screen and a culture of the throat and vent. Make sure a signed vet certificate accompanies the bird. Make sure he looks healthy, with bright and healthy feathers. Not ruffled up, or the puffed up look. Check his vent for evidence of diarrhea and check to see if his droppings look normal.
It is usually wise to choose a bird that has been weaned and is eating on this own. Some of us have been taught to hand feed, but unless you’re experienced, this could lead to torn or burned crops, infections and other problems.
Learn more about Macaw Care - cages, health, diet, training and more! Macaw Care