Calico Macaw (Everything You Need to Know)

Last Updated on March 27, 2023 by Ali Shahid

The Calico Macaw, also known as Hemingway, is an F1 Generation hybrid macaw produced by crossing a Green-Winged Macaw with a Military Macaw. The Calico Macaw is an endearing, loving, and fascinating pet.

The Calico Macaw’s genetic makeup makes it a desirable hybrid parrot for keeping as a pet. Given the intellect and disposition of its parents, it should be easily tamed, able to pick up verbal cues and do simple feats.

Good socialization and continuous training are requirements for all macaws if you want them to be good companions.

Origin and History of Calico Macaw

The Calico Macaw is a hybrid macaw, which means it is a result of breeding between two different species of macaws.

Specifically, the Calico Macaw is a cross between a Green-winged Macaw and a Military Macaw, both of which are native to Central and South America.

As a hybrid, there is no specific origin or history of the Calico Macaw, as it is a man-made creation resulting from the selective breeding of two different species.

Breeders have been creating hybrid macaws since the 1800s, with the goal of producing a macaw with desirable physical traits and temperaments.

The Calico Macaw, like other hybrid macaws, can vary in appearance and personality depending on the individual birds involved in the breeding process.

Some Calico Macaws may have more dominant traits from their Green-winged Macaw parent. Others may display more characteristics of Military Macaw parents.

Despite their lack of a specific origin or history, Calico Macaws have become popular pets among bird enthusiasts due to their striking appearance, intelligence, and playful personalities.

It is important to note, however, that hybrid macaws are not found in the wild and should not be released into natural habitats as they can have negative impacts on native species.


The Calico Macaw, like the Green-Winged Macaw, is a large macaw that may weigh more than 2 pounds. up to a meter (or 90 centimeters) in length (35.5 inches). The calico macaw is a hybrid with a wide range of colors.

The bright colors of a Calico Macaw’s progeny are the result of contributions from both parents, although the dominant gene is found in the male.

The father is almost always a Green-winged (male Green-winged macaws are more common than females). When a Green-winged macaw sires a macaw, the resulting bird will take on some of that species’ physical traits.

Similar to the Military Macaw, these macaws have a green back with a bronze cast, but their breast and belly will be a rich crimson.


Military and Green-Winged Macaws are known for their outgoing and playful personalities, as well as their ability to mimic human speech and other sounds. Calico Macaws, which are a hybrid of these two species, may share some of these traits.

Like many macaws, Calico Macaws can become strongly bonded to one person, but with proper socialization, they can also form good relationships with other members of the family or social group.

However, they can also be prone to mood swings and occasional crankiness, which is something that potential owners should be prepared for.

Speech and Sound

Calico Macaw vocalizations vary depending on its individual characteristics as well as the traits inherited from its parent species.

However, in general, the Calico Macaw is known to be a vocal bird that can produce a range of sounds, including loud squawks, screeches, and screams.

Like other macaws, they may also mimic human speech or sounds in their environment, although this ability can vary between individuals.

Caring For Calico Macaw

  • Cage Requirements

A Calico Macaw requires a large cage that is at least 6 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. The bar spacing should be no larger than 1 inch, to prevent the bird from escaping or injuring itself.

The cage should be equipped with multiple perches of varying sizes and textures to help exercise the bird’s feet and prevent arthritis. The cage should also have a variety of toys to provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom.

  • Diet and Nutrition

Calico Macaws need a well-balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and pellets. 60 percent of their diet should be pelleted food, 30 percent fruit and vegetables, and 10 percent seeds.

Fresh food should be provided daily, and the bird’s water should be changed daily as well. Avoid feeding your bird sugary or fatty foods, as these can lead to health problems such as obesity and liver disease.

  • Exercise Requirements

Calico Macaws are active birds that require plenty of exercises. Allow your bird to fly around outside of its cage for at least an hour a day, if possible. You can also provide your bird with toys that encourage physical activity, such as swings, ladders, and ropes.

  • Grooming Requirements

Calico Macaws require regular grooming to maintain their health and appearance. They should be bathed at least once a week, either in a shallow dish or under a gentle spray of water.

Their beaks and nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent overgrowth, and their feathers should be checked for damage or signs of illness.

Health Problems of Calico Macaw

Like all hybrid birds, Calico Macaw may inherit health issues from both parent species.

Some potential health problems that Calico Macaws may face include:

Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD): This viral infection affects the feathers, beak, and immune system of birds, leading to feather loss, deformities of the beak, and susceptibility to other infections.

Aspergillosis: This fungal infection is caused by Aspergillus species and can affect the respiratory system of birds. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, and loss of appetite.

Macaw wasting disease: This disease is characterized by weight loss, diarrhea, and poor feather condition. It is caused by a virus that affects the digestive system and can lead to death if not treated promptly.

Proventricular dilatation disease (PDD): PDD is a progressive and fatal neurological disease that affects the digestive system of birds. Symptoms include regurgitation, weight loss, and lethargy.

Nutritional deficiencies: Calico Macaws, like all birds, require a balanced and varied diet to maintain optimal health. A diet that is deficient in vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients can lead to a range of health problems, including weakened immune system, poor feather condition, and reproductive problems.

It is essential to provide Calico Macaws with a proper diet, adequate space, and regular veterinary care to ensure they live healthy and happy lives.

From Where you can Get A Calico Macaw

The Calico Macaw is a rare hybrid bird of the first generation. There is a very small chance that you will be able to obtain one from a breeder store or adoption center in your area.

Nevertheless, there are some online sites, including and, that offer Calico Macaws for sale. Calico Price Ranges from $1000-$4000.


  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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