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Types of Macaws (A Complete Guide about 19 Macaws Species)

Last Updated on March 17, 2023 by Ali Shahid

A Macaw is a colorful new-world parrot with a long tail, one of the world’s most wanted parrots. A total of 19 types of Macaw exist, with only two of them being extinct.

Aside from being one of the most prized pets, macaws come in different variations, each with its own set of needs as well as quirks. Several macaw species are endangered, including the blue-throated macaw, red-fronted macaw, and hyacinth macaw. 

Although the charm and personality of these birds make them a popular choice for pet owners, the increased demand has resulted in a decline in their numbers in the wild.

In the native rainforests of the macaw, many of these birds are illegally trapped and sold. In general, macaws are large birds requiring much social interaction. It is therefore a high-maintenance pet.

If you are willing to devote a significant amount of time to your pet, you may want to consider owning a macaw. Below is a list of some of the different types of macaws and how they differ from one another.

Types of Macaws

Note: It is important to note that all of these species are naturally occurring macaws. We’ll talk about hybrid macaws in another article.

1. Hyacinth Macaw

The giant of the parrot world, the largest of the blue macaws series. An intriguing feature of this bird is its bright blue plumage, its bare yellow eye rings, and the yellow crescent forming at the base of its lower beak. This gives the appearance that it is smiling.

Despite having one of the most powerful beaks in the parrot kingdom, their gentle nature belies their reputation as gentle giants. Rare and endangered, these parrots can cost as much as $45,000 (in the United States).

Previously, they were more widely distributed geographically, but are now primarily found in the Pantanal, a large freshwater wetlands area. Additionally, they can be found in scrublands on the edge of rainforests in Brazil and Bolivia.

A hyacinth macaw may live for as long as 60 years. The development of an adult chick takes approximately six months after hatching. At seven years old

2. Scarlet Macaws

An energetic and charismatic bird, the scarlet is known for its “flirtatious” personality. Besides being highly intelligent, it is also skillful at escaping. It measures between 32 and 39 inches in length.

According to its name, the bird is primarily red in color, with a yellow band along the center of its wings. This is followed by a blue band leading to its flight feathers.

A green band may be present between yellow and blue in some birds. Natural habitats of the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) are extensive in Central and South America. In addition, it is the national bird of Honduras.

There is nothing but bare white skin around their eyes, and they scream and squawk loudly, in a low-pitched voice. The scarlet macaw prefers to live in pairs or groups when in the wild.

In this regard, it is imperative that you provide them with the attention they require while in captivity. It is known that scarlet macaws are energetic and possess a great deal of personality.

They are also capable of flying at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. If you are considering owning one, you may need to provide them with a spacious walk-in cage that is large enough for them to fly comfortably.

It is necessary to provide them with daily socialization and stimulation as they are considered friendly and can speak quite well. An individual macaw costs between $2000-4000 dollars and can live more than 30 years.

3. Blue-headed Macaw

Almost entirely green in color, the Blue-Headed Macaw has a blue head as its name suggests. These birds are native to the eastern part of Peru, the northwestern part of Bolivia, and the western part of Brazil.

Typically, they live for 40 years on average. Therefore, they make excellent pets if you are seeking a companion for a long period. Aside from their lifespan, they usually measure between 15 and 16 inches in length and weigh between 10 and 11 ounces.

Because they are much smaller than most macaws, you might expect them to be quiet and private, and you would be right.

Although they prefer to spend time alone, they still enjoy spending time with their human counterparts when it is on their schedule. They can cost you around $1500-$2000.

4. Military Macaw

An average-sized macaw with green plumage and an orange patch on its head that resembles a military uniform. A well-rounded bird found in South American and Mexican forests, it makes an excellent choice for novice bird enthusiasts.

Military Macaws measure 70 centimeters in length. Furthermore, these birds are loud and give loud creaking calls as well as shrieking cries as well as being chatty and social. The birds live in flocks, pairs, or family groups in their natural habitat.

As a pet, you will need to dedicate a great deal of time to bond with and form a healthy relationship with a military macaw species.

However, despite their tendency to be cranky at times, when they are in the right hands they can be very affectionate. Typically, military macaws live for 50-60 years and cost between $2500 and $3000.

5. Spix’s Macaw

Occasionally referred to as the little blue Macaw, Spix’s Macaws are beautiful blue parrots. Spix’s Macaws tend to be smaller than Scarlet Macaws and are around 2 feet long and weigh just under a pound.

It doesn’t matter that they’re smaller than most Macaws, they’re still colossal birds that need plenty of space. Among all the macaw species, they are the rarest and cannot be found in the wild anywhere in the world.

For the past 20 years, they have been extinct in the wild, and they are only present in captivity. Nevertheless, some Spix Macaws were released back into the wild as part of a conservation program.

Birds of this species were historically native to Brazil, where they were commonly found in small groups or pairs foraging in the wild in treetops.

Currently, they are considered critically endangered. Private collectors own the majority of the remaining individuals. This species of macaw is estimated to number just over 100 individuals.

It measures just over 22 inches in length and lives for approximately 28 to 40 years if properly cared for. Their ability to mimic human speech is excellent, and they are very chatty

6. Blue-and-Gold Macaw

One of the most popular parrots you are likely to be familiar with is the Blue-and-Gold Macaw. With their amiable personalities and rich vocabulary, they are common in pet stores and homes around the world.

It should come as no surprise that these beauties come from South America. There is a high degree of vocalization and socialization among this species, which thrives on contact with both humans and other animals.

However, they certainly possess an attitude as well. They have as large a mouth as a heart. It is estimated that the Blue-and-Yellow Macaw can live up to 30 years or more!

It is expected that you will have to spend between $1,200 and $1,500 to purchase one of these magnificent birds.

7. Green-Winged Macaw

Often referred to as a gentle giant because of its calm temperament, the green-wing macaw is the second largest macaw in the world after the hyacinth macaw. People with space and time can care for this large bird due to its brilliant color and temperament. 

Forests and woodlands are their most common habitats in Central America. It is common for Green-Winged Macaws to reach a length of approximately three feet and weigh approximately 2.5 to three pounds.

Since they are a gigantic species of macaw, they will need adequate space and food. The average lifespan of these animals reaches 70 years. The Red and Green Macaws are extremely tame and affectionate animals and are usually very easy-going despite their large size.

Because they are so friendly, they will require a substantial amount of your time daily. Green-Winged Macaws can be purchased for $3000-$4000.

8. Blue-throated macaw

Blue-throated macaws (Ara glaucogularis; previously Ara caninde) inhabit the Los Llanos de Moxos region of northern Bolivia. They are also known as the Caninde macaw and Wagler’s macaw. Bolivia declared this species a natural heritage in 2014.

Spanish-speaking individuals refer to it as a blue beard. Before 2010, the natives hunted this bird for its feathers for use as headdresses for “Moxe’o” ritual dances.

The blue-throated macaw is named after the little patch of blue feathers that cover the underside of their beaks. The beaks are surrounded on either side by yellow feathers. It is a pity that these macaws are only found in one location in the wild.

They are beautiful and intelligent birds. It is estimated that 250 to 300 blue-throated macaws reside in the Los Llanos de Moxos region of Bolivia. There are however many in captivity and kept as pets.

Interestingly, the color of the bird’s irises changes with age, from black at birth to bright yellow at maturity. Their body length is about 32 inches and they can live up to 80 years old! They can cost you in the range of $2000-$3000.

9. Great Green Macaw

The Great Green Macaw, also known as Buffon’s Macaw, is another breed that is highly sought after by bird enthusiasts. Compared to their macaw cousins, these birds are less nervous and energetic.

It is one of the world’s largest macaw species. It is better to keep them in a properly designed aviary rather than a cage so they can live happily in captivity. In their natural habitat of South America, these birds are threatened with extinction.

The average life expectancy of this bird is 60 years when properly cared for. The price range for these vibrant birds is between $1,200 and $3,000, sometimes even more, depending on where they are bred.

10. Cuban Macaw

A macaw with beautiful red, yellow, and blue colors, the Cuban macaw was considered one of the most visually stunning parrots in the world. Their name indicates that they come from Cuba, however, they went extinct during the 19th century due to habitat loss.

As the Cuban Macaw went extinct hundreds of years ago, adopting one would be a wonderful experience, but it isn’t possible. As a result of deforestation, hunting, and capturing, the species has been exterminated, leaving it unable to recover.

In terms of size, they were approximately 18 to 20 inches long and weighed about 12 ounces. However, despite the difficulty of describing their personality, it can be inferred that they were highly intelligent and social creatures due to their tendency to occur in groups.

However, because their extinction was primarily caused by the human race, they likely were suspicious of humans.

11. Severe Macaw

The severe macaw is an energetic bird that is bold and courageous, ready to take on life at any time. They may not be the best choice for a first-time owner due to their tendency to be quite headstrong.

They can provide quite a bit of entertainment if you are willing to put up with a bossy parrot with a strong will. In terms of size, the Chestnut-Fronted Macaw reaches a height of up to 18 inches, making it one of the largest species of mini-macaw.

In the wild, you’ll find these birds in South America’s upper regions. It’s even possible to find them in Florida’s lower reaches! Green goddesses can live as long as 50 years in captivity.

There is a great deal of responsibility involved in raising these birds, and the price reflects that. A price range of $1,500 to $2,500 can be expected.

12. Red Fronted Macaw

Red-Fronted Macaws are almost entirely green, similar to many other Macaw species on this list, but they have a predominantly red face. As a symbol of pride and identity in Bolivia, the handsome Red-fronted Macaw is found only in dry scrub forests.

In Bolivia, they are generally found in the mountainous south-central region. A Red-fronted Macaw measures approximately 2 feet in length and weighs approximately one pound. You may encounter significant difficulties if you do not give them enough space.

A Red-fronted Macaw is a very curious and mischievous parrot, as you can imagine. It is certainly worthwhile to consider adopting a Red-fronted Macaw if you have the means to do so. Red-fronted Macaws can cost anywhere from $1500-$2000.

13. Glaucous Macaw

Glaucous Macaws are some of the coolest-looking parrots. They are a sought-after parrot due to their large beaks and greyish-blue appearance. Their native habitat is subtropical gallery forests in Paraguay.

The Glaucous Macaw is a large parrot that measures around three feet in length and weighs approximately 2.5 to four pounds. It is important to keep in mind that the larger the parrot, the greater the amount of food and cleaning supplies it will require.

You should always strive to ensure that their lives are as fulfilling as possible. There’s a misconception that Glaucous Macaws are frightening or domineering, but they’re quite the opposite.

Their gentle and loving nature makes them an excellent choice for adoption. Glaucous live on average for 25 years but can live for much longer. They can cost you around $1000-$2000.

14. Golden-Collared Macaw

Golden-collared macaws are classified as mini-macaws and measure 15-17 inches in length. Besides being easy to handle, it’s charming, crafty, and comical. Smaller than a large macaw, it has the personality of a large bird.

Known for its intelligence, affection, and mischievous nature, it is admired around the world. Adult golden-collared macaws are primarily green in color with black crowns and chins. The back of its neck is yellow, and its tail is blue with brown-red color near the base.

Males and females are similar in appearance, and they live in pairs or groups, similar to many other macaw species. Since they are attracted to human caregivers, they can attach to them. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to spend several hours with them each day, they are an excellent choice.

The calls of these birds are comparable to those of gulls, and they can get quite loud. Despite this, they are gifted speakers and can speak with greater clarity than the larger species. They can live for 50 years and cost anywhere from $600 to $1500.

15. Illeger’s Macaw

Blue-Winged Macaws, also known as Illeger’s Macaws, are green Macaws with blue wings. Along with blue, the parrot’s body also displays hints of red and yellow. This species is native to Brazil and can be found primarily in evergreen forests.

A healthy Illeger’s Macaw typically lives 50 to 60 years, but some can live much longer if they are well cared for. In terms of size, they’re relatively small, ranging in length from 14 to 17 inches and weighing in at approximately 9 ounces.

The Blue-Winged Macaw is a playful, friendly parrot that, depending on your living situation, might be an excellent adoption candidate.

Overall, they’re excellent parrots for most people, provided they have the means to keep them. They can cost you around $3000-$4000.

16. Red-Bellied Macaw

Red-Bellied Macaws are green and blue parrots with a patch of red on their belly. Their native range is across the tropical Amazonian region of South America. In comparison to other species in the family, the Red-Bellied Macaw is fairly small.

As a general rule, they are about 18 inches long and weigh about 11 ounces, although some may be lighter or heavier as a result of their sex and diet.

There are not many Red-Bellied Macaws left in the wild, but that does not mean they cannot be kept as pets. Although they are active and loving birds, they are in urgent need of human love.

Make sure they receive daily affection and attention so that they remain content. Red-bellied macaws have an average lifespan of 15-25 years and can cost you $1500-$2000.

17. Lear’s Macaw

Known as the Indigo Macaw, Lear’s Macaws are dark blue parrots native to Brazil, with more attractive looks. In large groups, they are typically found inhabiting shrublands and living in colonies. Described as confident and noisy, Lear’s macaws enjoy spending time with their owners.

With a lifespan of approximately 50 years, they can be a partner for almost a lifetime, depending on your age. Additionally, they measure approximately 2.5 to 3 feet in length and weigh approximately 2 to 2.5 pounds.

It is important to remember that if you cannot devote a sufficient amount of time to them, you will most likely run into a variety of difficulties. Lear’s macaw can cost around 3000 dollars or more.

18. Hahn’s macaw

Hahn’s macaws are some of the tiniest macaw species of all the macaw species. In terms of length, they are just 12 inches long. Vibrant green feathers are covering every inch of their body.

Their underwing feathers and hidden tail are pale yellow. They’re named after the bright red patch they have on their wings, around their shoulders.

The tropical forests of Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, Peru, and Bolivia are their natural habitat. They also live in swamps and savannas.

Despite being loud and vocal, these small macaws make great pets! You can keep them for 30 years in captivity, but they need plenty of attention. There can be a price tag of about $3000 for them.

19. Martinique Macaw

Among the other extinct Macaw species, there is the Martinique Macaw. This was a macaw with an orange breast. Historically, it lived exclusively on Martinique, a lesser Antillean island in the western Caribbean Sea.

The exact date when they became extinct is unknown, but most believe that it occurred sometime in the 17th century. It is hypothesized that they are related to the blue and orange macaws described by explorer Jacques Bolton in the 1630s.

The Martinique Macaw was first described by Walter Rothschild in 1905. The majority of researchers believe that these creatures were between 15 and 20 inches long and weighed between 12 and 14 pounds.

It’s hard to describe them as a species in terms of personality. Despite this, most parrots, particularly Macaws, are lively and outgoing.

Conclusion

Known for their colorful and stunning appearance, macaws are considered exceptional parrots. These birds have a very long life expectancy and can live for as long as 80 years.

In total, there are 19 species of macaw, of which a number are captured for trade from their natural habitats. If you’re serious about caring for a macaw pet, then you should learn all you can about the pet species before you bring one home.

This is especially true if you’re interested in owning one. Macaws live in small flocks or pairs in the wild, so a pet owner must devote his time to becoming one of them.

Furthermore, remember to include the costs of maintaining a macaw as a pet, such as high-quality feeds, veterinarian bills, toys, and cages. The most popular pet bird of all time, these birds are highly intelligent, trainable, and charming.

Author

  • 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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