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May 6, 2018 PetGuide
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Hyacinth Macaw

 
  • Size: up to 3.3 feet
  • Lifespan: 50-60+ years
  • Bird Species: Parrot; Macaw
  • Colors: Cobalt Blue; yellow details
  • Sounds: Vocal, Mimicking, Talkative
  • Interaction: Social, Kind, Affectionate, Playful
  • Comparable Breeds: Blue Headed Parrot, Blue and Gold Macaw

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There are no parrots that have plumage of such a striking and gorgeous color like the Hyacinth Macaw does. Very large, graceful and unique, these birds are a rare pet. They are not readily available and acquiring one may involve waiting lists and high prices. But it sure is worth it, since these macaws have all the most desirable traits, making them a highly sought after pet. Affectionately called the “gentle giants,” these impressive birds can live 60 or more years, and can become a lifelong friend.

Hyacinth macaws are the largest of all parrots. Beautiful, unique and loving, they are a rare and prized pet bird.

There are just a few regions in South America where the Hyacinth macaw is found in the wild. They are mainly centered around three separate habitats, in Brazil’s Pantanal and Cerrado regions, in eastern Bolivia and the north of Paraguay. They thrive in palm groves, sparse woodlands and similar semi-open areas which are not too humid or far from a source of fresh water.

As the world’s largest flying parrot, the Hyacinth macaw reaches imposing lengths. On average they are 3.3 feet (1 meter) long, with robust bodies and long tails, weighing up to 2.8 lbs (1.7 kilograms). Their wing span can reach an incredible 3.4 feet (105 centimeters), which makes them look truly powerful when in flight. Another distinguishing trait of these unique birds is their huge, prominent black beak, perfect for opening walnuts and other shelled nuts.

While not inclined to sing, they can and will learn to mimic words, sounds, and phrases. These are often comical, goofy combinations of whispers and imitations of common household sounds. Besides their loud call, they are generally not a noisy parrot, and can be a suitable pet bird if you live in an apartment.

Besides the amazing size, the Hyacinth macaw is best known for the striking colors of its plumage. Their appearance is the perfect combination of grace and exotics, and these birds will captivate you with the deep cobalt blue which covers them entirely. Combined with this color of the darkest ocean depths is soft yellow – circling their eyes and the sides of the mouth. One of nature’s prettiest combinations, it creates a beautiful look and an illusion of a smile.

Deep marine blue and small yellow details give this large parrot a graceful, yet exotic appearance.

To resemble its diet in the wild, you will need to take extra care when feeding your macaw. Hyacinth Macaw will need coconut, fresh fruits and vegetables, macadamia nuts and some cooked chicken or rice as well. They require a higher dose of fat in their diet, compared to other parrots.

Fresh water should be provided regularly – daily or even twice per day. Another important part of their care is bathing. It is best to take them in the shower with you, due to their size. They require regular baths in order to prevent dried feathers and skin issues.

Their large size gives ensures these pet birds are strong and healthy. Hyacinth macaws are endurable and rarely become ill, as long as you follow some basic rules of parrot care, which means avoiding the draft and excessive heat or cold. Signs to look out for are a loss of feathers, swollen eyelids, hard breathing or prolonged apathy. To prevent any of these issues, provide ample exercise and room to your Hyacinth macaw. Due to their size, they need to spend a lot of time outside the cage.

A bird of this size requires a lot of exercise and plenty of room. Don’t confine it to the cage for long periods.

The “gentle giants” got their nickname due to their tempered and kind personalities. They will bond, and follow you around the house in search of cuddles or play. They will love to play with toys so make sure they have enough of them. In general, Hyacinth Macaw will prefer to be in your company rather than alone, so do not neglect their desire to play and socialize. This pet will require commitment, and with their long lifespan of 60 years, you are looking for a lifelong friend that will require your attention, care and company for decades to come.

Photo credit: Erika Kirkpatrick/Shutterstock; Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock; Vaclav Sebek/Shuttertock


Comparable Breeds

Go to Blue Headed Parrot

Blue Headed Parrot

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Lifespan: 25-30+ years
  • Bird Species: Pionus Parrot
  • Colors: Green & blue details
  • Sounds: Quiet, Talking, Mimics, Natural calls
  • Interaction: Social, Affectionate, Fun, Calm, Docile
  • Comparable Breeds: Hyacinth Macaw, African Grey Parrot
Go to Blue and Gold Macaw

Blue and Gold Macaw

  • Size: up to 35 inches
  • Lifespan: 50 to 60 years
  • Bird Species: Parrot
  • Colors: Bright blue, yellow
  • Sounds: Talking bird, Vocal
  • Interaction: Highly Social, Affectionate, Playful, Intelligent
  • Comparable Breeds: African Grey Parrot, Scarlet Macaw