Macaws belong to the family of New World parrots. They are extremely colorful and are largest in the parrot family. These birds inhabit the rainforests in Central America, tropical South America and Mexico. Some of them even live in savannas and woodlands. They are very intelligent organisms. Macaws are known to live for hundred years, but on an average they can hit fifty. Mini macaws live up to thirty years. The lifespan, of a captive macaw, totally depends on the nutrition and care provided to it.
Although there are many species of macaws, the most popular in pet trade are scarlet macaws, military macaws, gold and blue macaws, and hyacinth macaws. Their size can vary from twenty inches to forty-two inches, which includes their long tail.
Macaws feed on fruits and nuts. They also eat clay, which neutralizes the effect of poisonous nuts and seeds, which they eat accidentally. This happens in the wild. In captivity, the bird can be fed with vegetables, fruits, grains, dry fruits, nuts, etc. Care should be taken that the total fat shouldn’t exceed ten percent, as that can be harmful for the bird. They are also known to chew on objects. Because of their intelligence and curiosity, they should be monitored constantly. Macaws make partners for life but the ones that are kept in captivity and don’t have a mate, usually bond with their owner. They feel the need of communication and hence, the keeper should talk to the bird constantly. This is also a technique used for bonding with the animal. Macaws that aren’t interacted with suffer mentally and physically. They are not shy to new people. If a stranger is accompanying the keeper, they do not hesitate to accept the new face and be friends with them.
Sometimes, macaws have some behavioral problems when kept in captivity. Because of stress development they start to pluck their feathers, bite and even scream. They also have a large beak, which they sometimes use to harm people around them. Their voices are so loud that they can travel pretty long distances. Even their vocalizations are very loud and their screeches are even worse. They can even mimic, but they aren’t as good as the amazons.
They are extremely playful and active. For this reason their cage needs to be very big and strong as well. It should be big, because the bird can move around freely and it should be strong because the bird is very intelligent and stands a chance of escaping. They even have strong beak strength. The material used can be stainless steel and the dimensions should be forty by forty-eight by sixty inches. The expenditure is usually huge in building a cage for the bird. The bird is very fond of chewing things, so the cage can be filled with wood pieces or toys, which the macaw can chew on. Hanging toys and toys on which the bird can climb on are also a good choice.
The macaws are considered as an endangered species and five of the species have become totally extinct. The problem of their extinction is deforestation and illegal trading. Therefore, in some states it is legal to sell macaws, which have been born in captivity only. In other states, they are banned completely.