Catalina Macaw (Complete Breed Profile)

Last Updated on May 15, 2023 by Ali Shahid

A Catalina macaw is a breed of hybrid parrot that is quite popular in the pet trade today as a pet bird. They are a cross between blue and gold macaws and scarlet macaws.

It is very attractive to potential parrot owners due to its flashy colors and its distinct and interesting design. The macaw’s funny personality, intelligence, and ability to respond to training are often enough to convince buyers to purchase it.

They make great pets for experienced bird owners who know how to take care of them. Catalina macaws are rainbow beauties that you may want to learn more about. So here is a complete article about this hybrid beauty.

Overview of Catalina Macaw

Brief Overview of Catalina Macaw
Common NamesCatalina macaw, rainbow macaw
Size34-35 inches (86-89 cm)
Weight2-3 lbs
Wingspan40-45 inches
PersonalityExtremely affectionate, Charming, Funny
Sounds & callsScreeching and screaming
Care LevelHighly Demanding
Breeding Age3 Years
Clutch Size2-3 eggs
Lifespan50-60 years

Origin and History

Scarlet macaws cross with blue and gold macaws to make Catalina macaws. It is generally believed that Catalina macaws live mainly in captivity. You are unlikely to find a naturally bred Catalina macaw in the wild.

Generally, the father’s genes are usually dominant in bird breeding and hybridization. The Catalina macaw tends to have a similar appearance to the scarlet macaw since the male macaws are generally scarlet.

The Catalina macaw is considered to be one of the first generations of macaw hybrids. Two naturally existing or “true” birds were used in the development of the hybrid.

Its beauty makes some breeders use it to create second-generation hybrid macaws (those from at least one hybrid). A second-generation Catalina that is a cross between two Catalinas is also pretty common.


A hybrid macaw is primarily bred for its color characteristics. Catalina macaws come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. There’s also a slight difference from generation to generation.

These birds have mostly red chests and orange bellies. There are some with reddish-orange heads and others with gorgeous blue-green crowns. The feathers on their backs and long tails are usually green and blue.

Their wings and tails are often edged with gold feathers. Catalinas seem to resemble harlequin macaws in their appearance. There is often confusion between the two hybrids, as the two are similar in appearance.

However, there are still some differences between Catalinas and Harlequin. A significant difference between the two is that Catalina usually has a long, tapering tail, just like Scarlet does.

Catalina macaw males and females do not differ significantly from one another. They can be distinguished by DNA testing, chromosomal testing, or surgical sexing. Most people prefer the DNA test because it’s noninvasive.


Catalina macaws have characteristics of both scarlet macaws and blue and gold macaws. Although the former has an energetic and jocund personality, the latter has a more timid and submissive personality.

Thus, if you own a macaw that combines the features of both of these types of birds, you can expect to have a fantastic pet. As this bird has a high degree of intelligence, it responds well to training from its owner, and quickly establishes a bond with them.

Having an inquisitive nature and being able to imitate other things helps it to learn new words very quickly. It becomes depressed when it does not receive attention and care.

There are times when this is reflected by its aggressive nature of Catalina, and it may bite and hurt others.


Much like other macaws, Catalina macaws can learn new words and phrases over time. This bird is capable of saying up to 15 words or expressions, though it is not as impressive as some other parrots.

Whenever they feel excited, bored, or trying to communicate, they become loud and scream. Because Catalina macaws are social birds and enjoy interacting with people and other birds, they are very loud.

It has been recorded that their screams reach 100-106 decibels, which is comparable to that of a jackhammer. A macaw lives in a flock in the wild. Despite not having a flock, Catalina macaws recognize their caregivers as their flock.

As in the wild, the bird will communicate with its caregiver similarly. Therefore, macaws left alone will often make “contact calls”. Whenever a wild macaw is lost or alone, it does this to reconnect with the rest of the flock.

The Catalina macaws become louder with long separation periods. So, you shouldn’t get a Catalina macaw if you live in an apartment building or are away.


Macaw hybrids have been around since the early 20th century. Nowadays, hybrid macaws are commonly bred as captive animals, and it is a common practice to breed them in captivity.

Since all macaws have a sexually monomorphic morphology, it is difficult to distinguish males and females without genetic testing. Therefore, brewers should make sure to pair female blue-and-gold macaws with male scarlet macaws.

Moreover, before mating, these macaws need to establish a bond with one another. Each bonded pair gets a nest box where they’ll lay two or three eggs. A 28-day incubation period is typical.

Generally, macaws breed at about four to eight years old, but some have been known to reproduce at thirty to fifty years old. As we all know, Catalina is a hybrid from the first generation.

However, bird breeders have crossed the Catalina macaw with others to create more macaw hybrids. Here are some second-generation hybrids:

  • Catablu macaw (A Cross of Catalina macaw and blue and gold macaw)
  • Camelina macaw ( A Cross of Catalina macaw and Camelot macaw)
  • Camelot macaw (A Cross of Catalina macaw and scarlet macaw)
  • Flame macaw (A Cross of Catalina macaw and green-wing macaw)
  • Hyalina macaw (A Cross of Catalina macaw and Hyacinth macaw)
  • Maui sunrise macaw (A Cross of Catalina macaw and harlequin macaw)
  • Milicat macaw (A Cross of Catalina macaw and miligold macaw)
  • Militalina macaw (A Cross of Catalina macaw and military macaw)
  • Rubalina macaw (A Cross of Catalina macaw and ruby macaw)
  • Shamalina macaw (A Cross of Catalina macaw and Shamrock macaw)

Caring for the Catalina Macaw

As social birds, they need adequate time to bond with their owners to become well-adjusted, happy pets. Catalina macaws require at least two to four hours of daily attention, so make sure you have that time.

When ignored or neglected, they get depressed and destructive. This species of parrot, like all large parrots, needs a cage that is no less than 4 feet long by 5 feet wide by 5 feet high. In general, your bird will thrive if you provide more space.

Maintain the bird’s interest with plenty of toys and perches. Owners who are considering macaw ownership should take it seriously. Would you be okay with waking up every morning to the cries of a parrot?

Would you be able to devote several hours each day to socializing and exercising? Take into account the costs involved in owning a pet macaw. Feeding, toys, cages, and veterinary bills all add up.

If you can’t provide your bird with everything he or she needs, you might want to wait before adopting one. Taking care of a parrot will make your pet ownership experience better.


There is no difference in the diet of Catalina macaws compared to other macaws. Since macaws are very active animals, high-fat and calorie foods are necessary to meet their nutritional requirements. You need seeds, plants, fruit, and nuts in a balanced diet.

A good parrot mix can also be bought at pet stores. It’s most effective if you combine these mixes with fresh fruits and veggies.

Fruits that are good to feed include:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Berries

Vegetables that are healthy to feed include:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Leafy Greens

Health Issues of Cataline Macaws

Macaws can show the following symptoms of illness

  • Weight loss
  • Behavioral changes
  • Excessive saliva
  • Feather Bulges
  • Weaknesses
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Ruffled plumage
  • Diarrhea
  • Partially closed or watery eyes

Symptoms of illness vary from bird to bird. Furthermore, the color of the feathers can provide insight into the health of the bird as a whole. Observations have shown that sick Catalina macaws exhibit dull feathers.

The green feathers of the bird may even turn yellow when they are ill. The symptoms of each disease differ based on the type of illness. It is worth noting that Psittacosis and Avian Ganglioneuritis are two such diseases that deserve special mention.

The disease of psittacosis can affect both birds and humans. A person suffering from psittacosis may display symptoms that range from asymptomatic to severe.

Patients with severe forms display signs of myocarditis, hepatitis, respiratory distress syndrome, and organ failure. Therefore, when new birds are introduced to other species, they should be tested for psittacosis or quarantined.

The Avian Bornavirus (ABV) is another disease that affects nearly one-third of the avian population.

The ABV virus negatively impacts the nervous system and causes gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. Without treatment, this condition can result in death.


Catalina macaws require plenty of activity to stay healthy. The Catalina macaw needs to be supervised outside of its cage for at least two to four hours every day.

The bird must have some out-of-cage time to prevent boredom and to allow its wings and other muscles to stretch freely. Make sure that your bird has toys to keep him or her entertained during its activity time.

There are certain toys that you can provide for the enjoyment of your bird. Some of these toys include ropes, chains, bells, swings, parrot swings, and wooden toys for your bird to hold, chew on, and climb on.

Usually, birds set a goal to defeat destructible toys because they are interactive. A macaw may get bored with non-destructible toys over time.

From Where You Can Get a Catalina Macaw

It can be difficult to decide how to shop for a beautiful Catalina macaw if you’re seriously considering it. You can get this type of macaw in a few ways, but here are the most common.


You need to know your budget before buying a Catalina macaw from a breeder. These beautiful birds can cost around 5000$. Whenever you find a breeder you like, you can ask how to get a hatchling. This type of macaw often has waiting lists.

Shelter/ Rescue

Although it is less likely to happen, a Catalina macaw can be found at a shelter or rescue if the owner surrenders the animal. A home visit and an application are required at some facilities before an adoption can be finalized.

It’ll cost you upwards of $350 if you find one at a shelter. A cage is often included with them for travel, so that’s one plus.

Pet Shops

Pet shops sometimes have rarer macaws if you ask around. In that case, the breeder might charge more, but the animals might not be as healthy as those from a private breeder.

In many cases, pet shop birds are transported in less-than-ideal conditions. Make sure the bird you’re buying isn’t nervous or unhealthy.

Online Websites

There are several websites on the Internet where you can find available birds. Finding a bird online might mean traveling or shipping, so that can add up. The shipping process is stressful for birds, so we don’t recommend it.


Catalina macaws make great pets, and we think you made a great choice if you are thinking of getting one. Their feathers are as colorful as their personalities, which makes them wonderful companions for experienced bird owners. Experience what owning a Catalina is like if you’re a parrot lover.

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