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.
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
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:
- Feather picking
- Macaw Wasting Disease
- Oral and cloacal papillomas
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.