Macaws are perhaps the most easily recognizable birds in the parrot family. Colorful and entertaining, these birds have been kept as pets for hundreds of years.
Here are a few facts about these beautiful members of the parrot family.
Macaws are the largest parrots
There are over 370 different types of parrots on Earth, and macaws are the largest. Macaws normally weigh between 2 and 4 pounds, which is fairly hefty for a bird. The largest of the macaws, the Hyacinth Macaw, can reach lengths of nearly three and a half feet long from the beak to the tip of the tail. In addition, they boast an impressive wingspan of up to 60 inches.
There are many varieties of macaws
While macaws are widely known as the largest parrots, it is worth noting that there are many different types of macaws that come in a variety of sizes.
The smallest macaws, known affectionately as Mini Macaws, sometimes only grow to lengths of 12 inches, about the size of a medium sized conure or large parakeet. No matter how big or small they are, all macaws share a few common attributes, the most prominent being the bare rings of skin around their eyes. For many people, this is the most recognizable trait among macaws.
When properly taken care of, some macaw species, such as Blue and Gold Macaws can live for an average of 60 years, and many have been recorded to live for up to 80 years or even more.
Those who are interested in adopting a macaw are strongly cautioned to make sure that they are willing to commit enough time to care for their pet. It is not at all uncommon for these birds to outlive their owners, so make the same provisions for their care as you would for any other dependent.
Hyacinth Macaws have enough strength in their massive beaks to crack a coconut shell.
Despite their impressive strength, Hyacinth Macaws are actually known as the “gentle giants” of the macaw world due to their sweet and affectionate dispositions, especially when raised as hand fed babies.
Other types of macaws also have powerful and impressive beaks, making them a force to be reckoned with during acts of aggression or bouts of hormonal behavior. This is a major reason why macaws are generally recommended only for those who have experience keeping large parrots.
And to reiterate, macaws, like all parrots, need social interaction and socialization so they don’t grow bored. A bored macaw will chew on any wood it can find, and with their powerful beaks, this can mean serious destruction.