Yellow-Collared Macaw ( Expert’s Opinion)

Last Updated on February 7, 2023 by Ali Shahid

Known scientifically as Primolius auricollis, the yellow-collared macaw or golden-collared macaw is a small, mainly green bird native to South America. It may also be called Cassin’s Macaw, Golden-naped Macaw, or Yellow-naped Macaw.

Yellow-collared macaws are cute, crafty, and comical. They have all the personality of a large macaw while being smaller, less expensive, and simpler to care for.

The species’ common name is derived from the yellow collar that stretches across the back of its neck. As a small macaw, it is often referred to as a “mini-macaws” in aviculture. It shares a close relationship with Blue-headed Mini Macaws and Illiger’s Mini Macaws.

I recommend them as pets. These birds are brilliant, so training is quite easy, and most of them can talk quite well.

Generally, these parrots are devoted to their families and enjoy receiving attention. Yellow-collared macaws are lively, entertaining birds that can make exceptional pets if cared for properly.

Origin and History of Yellow-Collared Macaw

In 1853, American ornithologist John Cassin described the yellow-collared macaw for the first time. According to some literature, it is also known as Cassin’s macaw or Yellow-naped macaw.

Specifically, the epithet auricollis refers to a neck that is gold-collared, derived from the Latin aurum, meaning gold, and collum, meaning neck. Central South America is the natural habitat of yellow-collared macaws.

Besides Bolivia and Brazil, their range also extends into northern Paraguay and Argentina. The yellow-collared macaw forms close bonds with its mate, and even in flocks, they rarely separate from it. 

During the breeding season, they nest in tree cavities in low woodlands and tropical forests. There is a dispute regarding the taxonomy of this species.

According to some, this species belongs to the Ara genus and is classified as a small parrot similar to a severe macaw.

Alternatively, this bird has been grouped in the Primolius genus with other mini macaws such as Illiger’s macaw, which is the closest relative of the yellow-collared macaw.

This yellow-collared bird was formerly referred to by a name that was unrelated to both species, Propyrrhura auricollis, which further complicates matters.


The Yellow-collared macaw is one of the largest species of mini macaw. Their size ranges from 14.96 to 15.75 inches (38 cm – 40 cm), of which about half is made up of long tail feathers; their weight ranges from 8.8 to 9.9 ounces (250 to 280 grams).

Its plumage consists primarily of green, with a few patches of blue, maroon, and yellow markings. They are so named due to their most distinctive feature, the yellow collar which grows in width and brightness as they age.

The front of the head and the crown are brownish-black. White facial skin is characteristic of these creatures, along with dark feather tracks under the eyes. An outer wing feather may be bluish in color.

In contrast, the upper portion of a tail feather may be green or blue, and the lower half may be maroon or wine in color. A pale yellowish color appears on the legs and feet. It has orange eyes (iris). There is no difference between males and females.


Yellow-collared macaws are regarded as intelligent and creative parrots who are caring and a bit mischievous. This animal thrives on attention from its owner. It will use any means necessary to achieve it.

If you arrive home, you can expect a warm greeting and lots of love and affection. Despite some yellow-collared macaws being one-person birds, they make excellent pets for families. It is beneficial for a bird to be socialized at a young age.

In general, they are friendly and cooperative. The traits described above are extensions of their instincts for pairing and flocking, and they would gladly extend these traits to their companion flock of humans as well.

When trained, disciplined, and loved, these birds can become loyal, affectionate pets with whom their owners can establish deep, long-term relationships. However, this bird can get territorial and nippy if it’s not consistently trained from a young age.

Generally, yellow-collared macaws are not as loud as larger macaws, but when the mood strikes they can be quite loud.

It has even been compared to the call of a gull by some people. Due to their high noise level, they are not suitable for living in apartments or townhouses.

Speech and Vocalizations

Many yellow-collared macaws possess exceptional communication skills. They are widely known for using a variety of words and phrases. The yellow-collared macaw has been noted to be able to speak with increased clarity compared to larger species.

Even so, it cannot be guaranteed that a parrot will talk. You should not purchase a bird solely based on its ability to talk.


When a yellow-collared macaw reaches the age of three to four years, it begins breeding. The Yellow-collared Macaw typically breeds between October and April within its natural range.

In most cases, these parrots nest in tree cavities. A clutch of eggs consists of two to four eggs, which are incubated for approximately a month. There is a strong bond between both parents and they protect and feed the nestlings.

A chick fledges at about 3 months of age but will continue to live with its parents for some time afterward.

Common Health Problems

Despite being relatively healthy and long-lived, the yellow-collared macaw is susceptible to several common pet bird illnesses. Among them are proventricular dilatation disease, feather picking like Psittacosis, and other bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.


They consume a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, and green foods. When raising young, it is most likely that some insects are also present in the mix.

They will also ingest minerals from clay licks. As a result of this clay, their bodies are protected from the effects of naturally occurring toxins.

Captive Feeding

Typically, they are provided with a good seed mix, including sunflowers, safflowers, millets, oats, and hemp. You should also provide dried rowan berries as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, and green food. You should also provide pine nuts, as well.

Additionally, they require mineral supplements. Calcium supplementation is particularly helpful before and during the breeding season. Parents must provide soft foods to their chicks including egg food and half-ripe maize while rearing them.

The population number and Conservation Status

BirdLife International considers it to be of the least concern since it is generally fairly common. According to CITES Appendix II, commercial trade of the species is permitted with a permit for export.

Caring of a Yellow-Collared Macaw

A yellow-collared macaw, like many other mini macaw species, has a reputation for being very affectionate towards the person most responsible for its care. If you are not able to devote several hours to them each day, they may not be the right choice for you.

They require a large amount of attention and interaction. The curious and sometimes naughty nature of these mini macaws causes them to be escape artists. Give the cage a good seal and make sure it’s safe. 

Despite being smaller, these parrots need a big cage to explore and stretch their wings and legs. Cages should be at least 3 feet wide, 3 feet tall, and 3 feet wide.

Positive reinforcement is more effective for parrots, so ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior. Occasionally, if your macaw becomes unruly outside of its cage, it will simply need to be placed back on its perch to correct the behavior.

 In due course, it will learn what makes you happy, so all it wants is to keep you happy. It is also essential to provide a water source for the bird bath. The macaws are fond of water, and they will splash about to their heart’s content if the opportunity is presented to them.


A yellow-collared macaw lives to play. Every day, you should let this macaw play outside for 1 to 2 hours to stretch and exercise its legs, beak, and wings.

During this period, it would be a good idea to train the bird, whether it is a lesson on how to speak or a fun trick for the bird. It will be a lot of fun to bring out this part of their personality by playing clown around with them.

Outside the cage, it is necessary to provide them with a sturdy play stand on which they can place their treats and toys. A good parrot toy should be sturdy and abundant both inside and outside the cage.

Yellow-collared macaws require constant stimulation, so provide them with bird-safe toys. If you wish to replace worn toys, make sure that you have backups available, such as wood, leather, and rope.

From Where You can Get a Yellow-Collared Macaw

If you’re thinking of getting a macaw or any kind of parrot, don’t overlook this species for something more colorful or bigger. In the pet trade, they can be easily found and are readily available.

Observe a few birds and you will realize that yellow-collared macaws can be larger than life when you interact with them. Ensure that you check animal shelters and rescue organizations before buying a mini macaw from a bird store or breeder.

It is estimated that they will cost between $1,500 and $2,500. These macaws typically live for 50 years on average.


Yellow-collared macaws are green parrots with yellow stripes on their backs. It is a member of the mini macaw series. You’ll find them playful, intelligent, caring, and sometimes tricky.

While they’re not as loud as other big macaws, they’re still not good for apartments. Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend that yellow-collared macaws be kept as family pets.


  • 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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