Red Fronted Macaw

Red Fronted Macaw
Red Front Macaw

Birds have gradually grown to become one of the favorite species for pet owners today, and parrots are top on that list. This is probably because they are fun and entertaining birds as well as the fact that some species of parrots have a high propensity for mimicking speech.

The macaw family of parrots is one of the most beautiful and it has gained glowing reviews over time. Macaws are often colorful and long-tailed, and they are also known for their high intelligence. They are also loud and needy birds, so they can be quite a handful.

The Red Fronted Macaw

Now, let’s look at one of the known macaws, the Red Fronted Macaw. Also known as the Lafresnaye’s Macaw and the Red-Cheeked Macaw. This bird is quite hardy, and as such can withstand tough situations. Let’s go over some of the features of these beautiful birds.

They weigh an average of just over a pound and originated in Bolivia. They are available as pets in the United States, but are considered endangered in Bolivia and are now illegal to capture and sell for the pet trade. Their numbers are thought to be between 1000 and 4000 individuals in the wild. This is very small, especially considering that the laws against capturing the birds are being broken every day. In addition to the population being decimated by illegal capture for the pet trade, these birds are suffering from a diminished habitat.

One thing that makes these macaws unique among all of the varieties of macaw is their choice of nesting area. They live in areas with little access to large trees. There are many cactus and other brushy type plants and the trees that are available are small and lack a trunk large enough to accommodate a bird of this size for nesting. They instead nest in holes on the sides of rocky cliffs. Some Red-Fronted Macaws can be seen nesting in trees, but most will nest in cliffs.

Origin and native habitat

If you are interested in seeing the Red Fronted Macaw in its native or most natural habitat, then you would have to take a trip to Bolivia. These birds are naturally found in a small area of the region. The Red Fronted Macaw became an endangered species due to the urbanization of its habitat and the indiscriminate killing of the bird. Fortunately, this bird has found new life in captivity and in people’s homes.

In its natural habitat, the Red Fronted Macaw feeds on readily available food sources such as seeds, palm nut seeds, cacti as well as buds and nuts. The primary reason the bird was targeted by farmers is that they often raid farms of peanuts and corn.

Their homes are being taken over by farmland and ranches. Fires are burning their lands as well. They live in dry thorny brush and dry subtropical woodland. They nest on rocky cliffs, such as those found around rivers. All of these areas seem to be great places for humans to lay claim for farming. Red-Fronted macaws also are dying from the pesticides used on the crops.

Appearance 

How do you know a Red Fronted Macaw when you see one? This is a question that we often come across, and for good reason especially because birds in the parrot family have a lot of similar features.

The Red-Fronted Macaw is primarily olive green in color. They get their name from the flashy red patches. They have red feathering on their forehead area, their ear area behind the eyes, the thighs, and a bit on their shoulders. The red on the shoulders is surrounded by orange and yellow. The wings, when open, reveal a brilliant blue. One significant difference between the adults and the juveniles is the orange-red color that is absent in the juveniles.

This same blue appears on the tip of the tail as well. Their eyes are orange and match the bird well. The face is pink and the bare area is not as large and most other macaws. The males and females look the same, so determining the sex of a bird must be done by a veterinarian. They measure about 2 feet from head to the tip of the tail. They are on the smaller end of the large macaws.

Considered as one of the smallest of the large macaws, the red fronted macaw is only about 22 – 24 inches in length. The majority of the length going to their graceful tails.

Red Fronted Macaw Behavior and Personality

The personality and behavior of the Red Fronted Macaw are some of the factors that make it an excellent pet. When they are quiet, their beauty calls attention and when they are active, their fun and playful attitude does. They are also inquisitive, cuddly, and intelligent.

These birds love to have toys that they can chew on, especially one made of wooden material. In their natural habitat, these birds are very social animals. In homes or captivity, they are very intelligent and can be playful little clowns with a sprinkle of mischief. A Red Fronted Macaw may lunge toward people, not to scare them but for the reaction, it will get from them.

The bird is a great family bird that will get along with everyone. Don’t be surprised when you notice your pet has a favorite member of the family. The Red Fronted Macaw can also sometimes mirror your mood. So be careful when you are agitated and your favorite pet is watching.

You must introduce your bird to all the members of the family as well as lots of other folks while it’s growing to sharpen its social characteristics. This is to make the bird more comfortable around everyone and avoid your pet preferring one member of the family or a set of people.

A Red Fronted Macaw left in the garden can often be seen digging the dirt because of its high level of inquisitiveness.

Another thing to always put in mind when caring for a Red Fronted Macaw is that they can be quite loud. This is usually pronounced when your bird feels lonely and neglected. A Red Fronted Macaw needs constant attention as a pet, so if you want to avoid your bird disturbing your neighbors, give it the desired attention it requires.

Red Fronted Macaws as Pets

This endangered bird has thrived as a pet today. This is expected because the bird has a playful and fun personality. Red Fronted Macaws, like most large parrots, are happiest when they are free and allowed to display their active nature. Therefore, you should provide the biggest and most spacious cage that your budget can afford.

For easy understanding, a suspended cage for a Red Fronted Macaw could have dimensions of 4 by 4 by 8 feet and suspended about 4 feet above the ground. Essentially, the cage should be large enough for the tail of the macaw to not touch the base of the cage. You should also consider a strong and durable cage construction for these birds as they are strong chewers and you wouldn’t want your bird chewing out of its cage.

One mistake that many novice owners make is not providing chewing materials for these birds. They love chewing and you should provide materials that they can leisurely chew at.

As a Red Fronted Macaw owner, you must be ready to spend considerable time grooming the bird. You must bathe the bird regularly to maintain its good skin condition and plumage. To bathe them, you can take the cage outside and sprinkle the bird with a hose. You can leave them to dry out naturally in the sun or you can use a gentle blow dryer on the bird.

Feeding and Care

Their land is being taken, so they have less and less space to eat fruit and seeds in the wild territory. These wild fruit and seed trees are being cut down for crop land and the urbanisation.

The birds have no choice but to eat the food grown on the cropland. The only way to save these birds from certain extinction is to educate the people of Bolivia about the importance of conserving their native species of animals. Their diet in the wild consists of seeds and nuts. However, in captivity, a pellet diet, supplemented with seed, fresh fruit and veggies, and other treats, is ideal.

At their growing stage, fat and protein can be added to their diet as they require more of them at this young age. When making a list of the food items to give these parrots, ensure you take care to not include chocolates and avocados as these food items can be toxic to the birds.

The macaws are active birds that require time for physical activities to remain fun and healthy. Providing toys to play with as well as spending time with your pet cannot be overemphasized. It’s very crucial to the overall wellbeing of the bird. If you are someone that will not have time for this, then you should reconsider getting a red fronted macaw as a pet.

Training

Another reason why the Red Fronted Macaw makes for an excellent pet bird is the ease of training. These birds adapt very quickly to new environments as long as they get comfortable in that space. You should however give your new bird a few days to get used to its new surroundings, your voice, its cage, and so on before anyone starts handling the bird.

Training and taming a parrot requires a lot of patience and trust, so you need to be patient with your bird. You would start seeing positive results quickly because these birds are highly intelligent. You can even introduce a few words to the bird during its developing years.

Sound

In terms of sounds, macaws make sounds that match their presence. You may have to take their loud screeches and squawks into consideration when deciding on which pet to take in, especially if you stay in an apartment.

They love human interaction and are great talkers, they can’t talk as well as Amazon parrots, but do a pretty good job. They do squawk pretty loudly though, so people that don’t like a lot of noise should think carefully before buying one of these birds. Like most macaws, they love to make their voice heard, especially in the morning and evening.

One of the qualities that easily endear these birds to people is their ability to produce sounds similar to human speech. Basically, they can mimic the sounds you make. From an early age, you can teach a Red Fronted Macaw a few words to repeat. They will start mimicking human conversations as they mature.

Red Fronted Macaws Lifespan

Red Fronted Macaws can live as long as 50 years, which is quite long. This long lifespan makes them a great family choice, as the bird can stay in the family for many decades. If you are looking for a long-life pet for the family, then this bird is an excellent choice for you.

Breeding

One of the reasons why the Red Fronted Macaw is a popular pet is because the bird breeds well in captivity. These birds nest once every year around October and April.

When the Red Fronted Macaw lays its eggs, it’s usually in clutches of about 2 to 4 eggs. The eggs take about 26 days for the eggs to hatch. During the breeding season, add more fat and protein in their diets.

In the wild, these birds come together in breeding pairs and it is not surprising to see both parents tending to their young.

Health and Common Conditions

To enjoy these pets and help them live long and active lives, it is essential that you understand their health and how to care for them.

Generally, the Red Fronted Macaw is a hardy bird. It adapts easily to new conditions and the bird can endure some harsh conditions. This pet is also known for its good health. You don’t have to worry about frequent illnesses, as long as your bird eats and exercises well.

For optimal condition, ensure you watch out for cold temperatures and extreme heat. These birds may struggle a bit in these conditions.

Good feeding habits, as well as a consistent breeding habit, will keep your pet far away from diseases. Other ways to prevent diseases are exposing your bird to sunlight and providing enough room to move around freely in.

Illness and Diseases

Although you can reduce the chances of your pet getting sick by keeping healthy practices, there are still some illnesses that Red Fronted Macaws are susceptible to. Now, when it comes to illnesses, there are some differences when talking about juveniles and adult birds.

For juveniles, you may find any of the following:

  1. Beak Malformation
  2. Constricted toe syndrome
  3. Chewing of tail feathers and flight feathers

Now, going to adult birds, you may find any of the following among them:

  1. Aspergillosis
  2. Gout
  3. Kidney disease
  4. Psittacosis
  5. Pancreatitis
  6. Bacterial, fungal, and viral infections
  7. Metal poisoning
  8. Macaw wasting disease.

How Much is a Red Fronted Macaw

Among the macaw family of parrots, the Red Fronted Macaw is averagely priced. You can get parrotlet for between 150 dollars and 350 dollars. For adult Red Fronted Macaws, the price could range from between 700 dollars to over 2000 dollars.

Final Thoughts

Should you get a Red Fronted Macaw as a pet? Well, the answer to this question depends on you. It is not enough to just desire these beautiful and intelligent birds, you also need to consider if you have the resources to cater to them.

The Red Fronted Macaw would require a bit of your time and you will also be required to provide enough space.

You can get Red Fronted Macaws from avian-specialty stores and if you are interested in adopting one of these beautiful pets. You may just be lucky enough that an avian rescue organization has one for adoption.

Blue Throated Macaw

Blue Throated Macaw

The Blue-Throated Macaw is an extremely rare bird. They are large, intelligent, and beautiful. So it is no surprise that they are a sought after bird in the pet trade. The feathers are primarily colored blue and yellow. The forehead, throat, back of the neck, wings, back, and tail are all a nice blue-green brushed with grey. The under area of the wings and the chest are a vibrant yellow. As is common in Macaws, the face is bald, with lines of dark feathers slicing through. The large powerful beak is a dark gray and where the beak meets the face, the skin is bald and pink. They eyes are yellow. Both the males and females look the same.

The Blue Throated Macaw is Endangered

The Blue-Throated Macaw is very endangered. They are on the brink of extinction in the wild, rated as critically endangered. The reason for this is loss of habitat due to deforestation for farmland and cattle ranches as well as people capturing these birds for the pet trade.

There are likely less than 200 individual birds left in the wild and that number could easily keep dropping. Because they are dropping in number, they are becoming more popular because a rare bird is unfortunately something that many people want. So the more they capture, the lower the number in the wild get. As the numbers in the wild dwindle, the value of the bird goes higher and higher.

Native in Bolivia

The Blue-Throated Macaw is found native in Bolivia. The country has set in place laws that protect. Trade of this bird is now illegal, so the only trade that is going on now is illegal trade. Enforcing of the law is proving to be a bit difficult because a large portion of the lands that the birds are found on (mainly palm groves, savanah, and forest) are privately owned areas. This is one of the larger birds, measuring almost 3 feet long from head to tip of tail and weighing almost 2 pounds. They eat a typical macaw diet of nuts, fruits, and seeds. In captivity, a good pellet is the best option for much of the birds diet, supplemented with seed, fresh fruits and veggies, and other prepared foods, such as soft cooked legumes.

The lifespan of this bird can be as long as 80 years. Here is a fun fact. Macaws are messy eaters. They fling their food this way and that, seeds everywhere. This is actually a great thing in the wild. They are messy and drop many seeds onto the forest floor while eating, as well as any seeds that come out in their droppings. The seeds that they drop while eating may seem like “waste”, but the birds are actually unknowingly helping to plant new vegetation with the seeds that fall. So there is some good that comes out of their messy eating habits! Like all macaws, Blue-Throated macaws are great pets. They are trained easily and are great “talkers”. They are loud, though, so anyone thinking about owning one should keep this in mind.

Common Blue-Throated Macaw Diseases and Ailments:

Oral Papillomas

Feather Picking

Psittacosis

Gout

Proventricular Dilatation Disease

The Military Macaw

The Military Macaw

General Info:

The Military Macaw is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. The subspecies are the A. m. militaris, A. m. mexicana, and the A. m. boliviana (all are very similar except for slight variations in size and color intensity). When compared to other full sized Macaws, such as the Blue and Gold Macaw, the Military Macaw is the smallest type.

They measure about 26-30 inches in length. The body is primarily a wonderful, deep green. These green feathers are broken by a different color only on the face, wing feathers, and tail feathers. There is a patch of vibrant red next to the dark black beak. A set of black lines on top of a white patch is found on the bird’s cheek area. The feathers on the wings are blue (the underside is yellow). The tail feathers are red bordered with blue (also with a yellow underside). The iris is a vibrant yellow.

This is a species of bird that picks a mate at breeding age and mates with the same partner for life. In the wild, this bird is listed as vulnerable due to habitat destruction and pet trading. Be sure, when purchasing a Military Macaw, that the bird was bred in captivity.

These birds have a tendency to be a little nippy, so socialization is highly recommended. Be very diligent about training this bird. The better trained this bird is and the more it is handled on a regular basis (preferably by more than just one or two people), the happier and friendlier it will be. Training is most often very easy with the Military Macaw because of the bird’s high intelligence.
Macaws are known as a noisy bird, so it comes as no surprise that the Military Macaw packs a loud “squawk”. If you are sensitive to loud noises, this bird is most definitely not for you. If you’ve ever heard a Macaw make some jaunty noises and/or scream, you know what I mean.

Train-ability: The Military Macaw can learn to speak by mimicking human speech, but is not known to be incredibly good at it. Don’t expect this bird to be “talking” as well the infamous African Grey. There may be an “ok” vocabulary learned by the bird. The bird may not even learn any words. It really depends on the individual bird whether it will be spouting out “Polly want a cracker” or merely squawking some indistinguishable parrot talk to you.

This bird is a phenomenal show bird because of it’s uncanny ability to learn fun tricks. Just when playing alone, antics such as swinging upside down from perches and from cage bars keep this bird occupied. It’s not very difficult to teach your bird to do this while perched on your arm (though this requires patience and lots of trust between you and your bird). Many other tricks can also be learned. You can start your own little circus or magic entertainment show for family gatherings at holiday times, if you want! No doubt, you’ll be the highlight of everyone’s evening.

Dietary Needs: This bird loves a variety of fruits and vegetables to be offered with a main diet consisting of nutritious pellet. Stay away from seeds if possible. A great way to incorporate seed so as not to add too many “empty calories” is to use it exclusively as a treat. Scrumptious seeds may be given as a treat during the training process.

Lifespan: 60 years

Cage Size: (Minimum of 36 x 28) Rule of thumb larger is better. So always get the largest cage you can accommodate.

A few Common diseases:
Feather-picking
Chlamydiosis
Proventricular Dilatation Disease (Macaw wasting disease)
Constricted toe syndrome
Kidney disease
Oral papillomas
Pancreatitis

The Hyacinth Macaw

The Hyacinth Macaw

General Info:

The Hyacinth Macaw is a very large, brilliantly blue bird. Both males and females have a gorgeous covering of deep blue feathers.. Up near the head and neck, the feathers lighten up slightly. The skin just touching the lower mandible of the bird, as well as the skin around the eyes, is bald and colored a bright yellow. The yellowing near the beak almost makes this bird look like it’s smiling. The beak is a greyish black as are the feet. The eyes are a deep black.

This strikingly beautiful bird is also amazingly large. The length upon maturity is around 40 inches and the weight on average is about 3 pounds. This bird can reach up to 4 pounds. That’s very large for a Macaw. The Hyacinth is actually the largest flying parrot known to be in existence.

The Hyacinth Macaw is very much an endangered species due to habitat destruction and capture for pet-trade. Located in Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia, the Hyacinth is struggling to keep their numbers at a level high enough to prevent extinction. Numbers that used to be somewhere in the ten’s of thousands are now around just a few thousand in the wild today. Most of the problem lies in deforestation. Some locals kill them for meat, many people capture them for the pet trade (and most of these birds that are caught die in transit), farmers destroy their tree nests by setting fires to the land for cultivation purposes, and many native indians hunt them for their feathers to make headdresses to sell to tourists.

This Macaw is not likely to be found deep in the rainforest, as many would assume. They are more likely found on the outskirts of the forest, living near the broken canopy or even around grassy marshes. They live in large groups of up to 30 members or more where they will pick pairs for mating and stick with that one mate for life.

Lifespan:

With an adequate diet and enough exercise, this bird can live up to 60 years or more. As always, proper care and nutrition result in the longest life expectancy

Dietary Needs:

Here is a bird that has some different dietary needs compared to most other parrots. They require a diet high in fats and carbohydrates and low in protein. Most owners feed these birds a lot of nuts. Good ones include: Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds. Coconuts are also very tasty and high in fat making them a great food for the Hyacinth. Balance out the diet with some nutritious pellet and fruits and veggies. Just keep in mind that they need higher than normal amounts of fat and carbohydrates in their diet. This fat should come from the above named nuts

Common Hyacinth Macaw Diseases:

  • Psittacosis
  • Feather picking
  • Macaw Wasting Disease
  • Gout
  • Oral and cloacal papillomas
  • Pancreatitis

Cage Size:

As with all Macaws the Hyacinth needs a cage that is very large.
With a length of 40 to 42 inches and a possible wing span of 4 feet you need a very large cage.

Hahn’s Macaw

Best Parrot Food

The Hahn’s Macaw is known by many names. Two other names are The Red-Shouldered Macaw and Mini Macaw. There are three subspecies of Red-Shouldered Macaw; the Hahn’s Macaw, the Noble Macaw, and the Long-Winged Macaw. The Hahn’s is the smallest of these.The Hahn’s Macaw is sometimes called a mini-macaw because of their small stature. They are in fact true Macaws. They are just incredibly small compared to a full sized Macaw. The Hahn’s is a mere 12 inches in length and weighs about 5 ounces. A cockatiel is only slightly smaller than a Hahn’s. The Hahn’s has a shorter lifespan than a standard sized Macaw, living an average of 30 to 40 years. To Maximize lifespan, feed your bird the best food possible, allow for adequate exercise, and interact with your bird for at least a few hours per day.

Hahn’s Macaws are originally from Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, and Guyana. They live in savannahs and palm groves, nesting in hollow trees and termite mounds. In the wild they are quite noisy, flying about with their buddies and filling the air with audible evidence of their presence. They enjoy exercising their lovely voices with lots of screeching, especially in the early morning and the evening. Not surprisingly, captive birds also do this. It’s just a birds way of telling the world that they are in fact alive and happy about it.

Their bodies are covered mostly in forest-green feathers. They have accents of other colors as well. The forehead, or crown, is a sea blue. This same blue is located on the lower part of the wing. The bend of the wing is a luscious red. The red really stands out as it’s the brightest color on the entire bird. As is typical in Macaws, there is a distinctive bald face patch around the eye with very small black feathers dotting the patch. Their eyes are a dark orange-brown. The beak is black. The males and females are indistinguishable unless blood is taken to test.

The Hahn’s is fairly common in the pet trade and often recommended for beginners. They are significantly smaller than the standard sized Macaws, so they need a bit less space, less food, and are less intimidating. They don’t make less noise though. They may have higher pitched voices, but they still use those voices to the full extent. It just must be kept in mind that if you are thinking of getting a Macaw, that they don’t sing like canaries. These birds squawk and they do it a lot. They also mimic words and sounds. Yes, they are small, but they can talk just like their bigger “cousins”.

Dietary Needs:

Just like the bigger Macaws, this smaller version needs the same type of food, just smaller portions to go with their smaller bellies. They need a high quality nutritious pellet, some mixed seed, and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies every day.

Common Diseases and ailments:

· PDD (proventricular dilation disease or macaw wasting disease)

· Psittacosis

· Papillomas

· Polyomavirus

· Feather-picking

· Gout

Cage Size:

We would suggest a cage as large as you can afford and house. The cage must hava a maxium bar spacing of 3/4 inch

The Most Gentle Macaw-The Lovable Green Wing

The Most Gentle Macaw-The Lovable Green Wing

The Green Winged Macaw, scientific name Ara Chloroptera, is also commonly known as the Maroon Macaw or Red and Green Macaw. They are second only in size to the Hyacinth Macaw. The Green Wing is often confused with the Scarlet because of all the red coloring but can easily be told apart by looking at their backs. The Green Wing has a green band of color while the Scarlet has a yellow band of color across its back.

The Green Wing is one of the most colorful Macaws, bright red is the dominant color while the feathers near the body are dark red and turn green in the middle of the wing and the tips are lined in a bluish color. The tail is also a dark red with bluish tips. Their feet are dark grey and the iris is a pale yellow. These birds are between 25-36 inches long head to tail and have a soaring span of up to 49 inches. The Lovable Green Wing can tip the scale at over 1800 grams and have extremely powerful beaks.

The natural habitat of the green wing is Central and South America, running from eastern panama south across northern South America, east of the Andes to Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. They can be found in the rain forests and at clay cliffs running along the river banks. However, because of deforestation and the illegal pet trade, the Green Wing Macaw has been put on the endangered species list. It will probably only be through captive breeding that this lovable bird stays off the extinct species list.

Their main source of food is speckled sunflower, high in protein. They also consume white sunflower, shelled oats, corn seed, peanuts, pine nuts, hemp and buckwheat. You can supplement their diet with tropical fruit, vegetables and various nuts.
The Green Wing is a social bird and flock animal while they mate for life, in the wild these birds can travel in family groups of up to 100 birds. Even in such large flocks mates will stick close to each other. These Macaws are naturally active and spend many hours a day flying, playing and eating. In captivity, these birds still require a lot of activity and must be given ample playtime.
These birds are very lovable, intelligent, and inquisitive. This makes them great companions for a single person or a whole family, if the bird is socialized properly.

However, being inquisitive has its draw backs. These birds see everything in their environment as their toys or food; therefore they can chew on electric cords or tear up those cherished keepsakes, so keep this in mind when you let them out for fun and exercise. Also, because they are so intelligent they sense our mood and often get in that same mood too; i.e., if you are angry they get angry, if you are happy they are happy. Remember, approach your bird as a friend and family member and enjoy a happy and lifelong companionship with your lovable giant, the Green Wing Macaw.

Ruby Macaw

Ruby Macaw

Ruby Macaws are a hybrid cross between a Scarlet Macaw and a Green-winged Macaw and are simply gorgeous. Hybrids are usually bred for color rather than personality, so their characteristics can be uncertain.

The Ruby Macaw first reminds us of a Green-winged Macaw, but is distinguished by the bright yellow and orange feathers scattered across the center of its back and wings! The personality of a Scarlet is such that it requires good socialization and a firm consistent hand in training, especially as it matures. The Green-wing is a very gentle, affectionate and sensitive macaw.

The Ruby can have the characteristics of the Scarlet, but it can also incorporate the gentle nature of the Green-winged. Ruby Macaws can be a very affectionate and playful, good talkers, and fun pets that are very beautiful.

Hybrid macaws are created from taking the original species from their natural habitat and keeping them with other species in a limited community setting. Hybridization does occur naturally in the wild, however, it is more difficult to document. Hybrid macaws are primarily the product of civilization & globalization. At this time there is not enough recorded data for comparison to make general conclusions regarding the hybrid offspring, health, lifespan, temperament, coloring & genetic viability for future breeding.Hybrids are generally not bred; however the breeding of hybrids is becoming more common.

Hybrids are known to be sterile but not always. Some breeders believe that breeding a hybrid will dilute the gene pool. And while the blood lines aren’t pure, the hybrid macaw is no less desirable as a pet.

See some: Best Food for Macaw