Last Updated on February 24, 2023 by Ali Shahid
The Green-winged or Red-and-green Macaws (Ara chloroptera) inhabit the forests of South America and are the most common of the large macaws.
However, their numbers have decreased due to habitat destruction, illegal capture for the pet trade, and hunting, and they are now considered endangered.
It is the second largest member of the macaw family after the Hyacinth Macaw. Their powerful beaks are capable of producing pressures between 500 and 2,000 pounds per square inch.
They can crush or open even the hardest nuts and seeds with ease. As they fly, they are capable of reaching speeds of up to 35 miles per hour / 56 kilometers per hour. It was in the 17th century that these majestic parrots were first kept in captivity.
These “gentle giants” are widely available as pets today due to their large size and gentle disposition. People who can provide the bird with space and time will find it a favorite family pet due to its brilliant color and temperament.
They have a very long life expectancy, capable of living for 60-70 years or more. Continue reading to know more about this charismatic macaw.
Origin and History of Green-Winged Macaw
Although originally from North and Central America, these birds are kept in captivity throughout the world. In the wild, Green-Winged Macaws prefer humid, tropical rainforests.
Since the 17th century, there has been a trend of capturing them to keep as pets. However, there is no exact information regarding the date when this species of parrot came into existence or how many of them live in the wild.
However, at one point, they were considered to be endangered, and many activists have been working hard to make sure that they do not disappear from the wild in the future.
Unfortunately, they are hunted for meat and display, placing them in the endangered species category.
The average length of the bird is 26-39 inches (66-99 cm), while the wingspan ranges from 41 to 49 inches (104 to 125 cm). Weight ranges from 32 to 60 ounces (900 to 1700 grams). The chest is bright red in color.
As with the upper back and head, the upper wings or shoulders are red, whereas the middle wing feathers are green, becoming blue as they approach the tips. There are iridescent teal feathers surrounding red feathers on the tail.
Around the eyes, rows of tiny feathers form bright red lines in the otherwise bare white skin patch. A horn-colored upper bill is surrounded by black on the sides, while a dark gray or black lower bill is found. There are yellow eyes and grey legs on the animal.
Both males and females have similar appearances, with the exception that females are typically smaller in size. However, when determining a parrot’s gender is important, DNA sexing or surgical sexing must be used instead.
Typically, green-wing macaws have a tame and affectionate disposition, as well as an even and easy-going temperament. You’ll need to spend some time with them every day. It’s amazing how well these birds can speak and do tricks.
They’re one of the biggest parrot species, so their beaks are huge. Despite being one of the gentlest parrots, green-wing macaws with behavioral problems may present a biting risk to families with small children.
When parrots do not receive adequate attention from you or members of their flock, they are likely to develop behavioral problems.
Speech and Vocalizations
Despite being able to learn about 15 words, the green-wing macaw is not known for its speaking abilities. It will scream and screech when it feels threatened, gets excited, or wants attention.
The bird can be quite loud at times. Apartment dwellers or those who live in close quarters should not keep this species as a companion.
The green-winged macaw is monogamous in its mating system. Even outside of the breeding season, they remain together and travel together. Breeding occurs in December when they nest high in tree hollows. Incubation generally lasts 28 days and 2-3 eggs are laid.
Females are in the nest while males regurgitate food from their throat pouches. It generally takes 1-5 days for the eggs to hatch after they have completed the incubation period.
Chicks are fed by their parents through regurgitation, with the firstling always receiving the first feed.
Nestlings spend their first three to four months in the nest, where they are fed and cared for by their parents until they are ready to leave the nest in search of a mate. It takes about two to three years for a child to reach sexual maturity.
The green-wing macaw consumes fruit, seeds, berries, and nuts in the wild. There are also clay cliffs where they congregate. Birds consume clay to neutralize toxins because it’s full of minerals and salts.
The green-wing macaw should be fed a high-quality commercial seed and pellet mix, along with daily servings of fruits and vegetables that are safe for birds. It is common for green-winged birds to enjoy being hand-fed during family mealtimes.
Wild green-wing macaws are known to consume some protein, and they are also known to consume cooked chicken in captivity. It is estimated that macaws consume between 1/2 and 3/4 cups of parrot mix, fruit, and vegetables each day, depending on their size.
You should feed it once upon waking in the morning and again before it goes to sleep at dusk. The last thing you should do before going to bed is to discard any food that has not been consumed.
Caring for Green-Wing Macaws
The green-wing macaw lives in flocks of six to eight birds, and they are very social creatures.
It is important to provide sufficient attention and bonding time to green-wing macaws due to their highly responsive nature to training. Boredom leads to destructive behavior in macaws.
Make sure you spend lots of time socializing with your bird. Your family will become its “flock” when you get a green-wing macaw. Green-wing macaws require a large cage, at least 2 1/2 feet by 3 feet.
Green-wing macaws are somewhat quieter than some of the larger species of macaw, but they are still quite loud. Make sure the cage has a sturdy perch that can be replaced as needed if it becomes damaged.
The cage’s side should be mounted with food, water, and treat dishes. A variety of branches should be available for the bird to climb within its enclosure.
You should provide a variety of chewing and playing toys for your pet. It would be a good idea to construct a structure above the cage to serve as a playpen. An outdoor aviary during the warm months is also a good option for keeping a green-wing macaw.
Additionally, it can be easily adapted to an entire indoor “bird room.” It is an expensive endeavor to own a large green-wing macaw, which requires constant vigilance.
Be prepared to spend a lot of time, feed, equipment, and veterinary bills if you bring this bird home.
Common Health Problems
Unfortunately, the Green-Winged Macaw is susceptible to a few serious diseases, as are the majority of Macaw species.
For owners, it is important to understand the diseases that are common among this species so that they can identify the symptoms and signs that may indicate such a disease.
Owners of Green-Winged Macaws should be aware of the following diseases: Psittacosis, Proventricular Dilation Disease, and Psittacine Beak-and-Feather Disease.
As an avian veterinarian, I strongly recommend that you take your pet to the veterinarian every month.
Although these birds are not as active as many other types of parrots, they must be exercised at least two hours per day. In this way, their mental and physical health will be maintained.
It is essential to allow them to exercise outside their caged habitat, which will allow them to stretch their wings and explore new areas. In hot weather, an enclosed playpen is a good idea for outdoor exercise and play.
If they are not contained indoors with windows closed, they should be closely monitored and leashed whenever outside their caged habitat.
From Where You Can Get a Green-Wing Macaw
If you are interested in purchasing a green-wing macaw, you will need to contact a breeder. If you intend to purchase a green-wing macaw, ensure you deal with a reputable breeder who can verify the bird’s status.
It is estimated that this bird will cost between $4,000 and $5,000. Green-wing macaws require a high level of maintenance. Sadly, many are surrendered to rescue organizations and adoption agencies. You can adopt these birds from such adoption agencies.
Keep an eye out for a bird that is bright, alert, and active. If a bird appears to be ill, it should be avoided. The feet should have smooth scales.
Check the condition of the animal’s nails and the shape of its beak. There should be no obstructions in its nostrils.
Green-Winged Macaws also known as red and green macaws are magnificent birds that can make wonderful pets for all types of families. However, they are time-consuming, require a lot of attention, and are expensive.
Also, since these birds can live for 70 years or longer, it is necessary to provide them with long-term care. In addition, Green-Winged Macaws require a large amount of space to live happily, which makes them unsuitable for apartment dwellers.
Ultimately, everyone in the household should seriously consider getting a Green-Winged Macaw as a pet before making a final decision.
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.