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blue and gold macaw

blue and gold macaw

Experience level: advanced
Lifespan: approximately 50-60 years
Size: approximately 30″-35″ in length
Voice Volume: Extremely Loud
Price Range: $1,000 to $2,000
Parrot Talking Ability: Good

Blue and Gold Macaws (also called blue and yellow macaws) are what many people think of when they hear the word “parrot”. These South American Creatures are well known for their amazing coloration and parrot talking ability. Their large size makes them all the more impressive. Macaws tend to form very strong bonds with their owners and are prized companions to those who have successfully bonded with their birds. As you will read below, they can also be aggressive.

Blue and Gold Macaws in the wild

These birds have a huge range from Panama and the lowlands of South America to SE Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. They live in wooded areas, usually near water, including edge of lowland humid forest, gallery forest in savanna, savanna with scattered trees and palms, swamp forest and palm swamp. Sometimes forages in open country.

They feed in the top of forest canopies and usually stay in pairs but are sometimes found in flocks of up to 25 birds.

Sound Levels

Macaws are one group of parrots that are big on what is called “flock calling”. In other words, they scream really loud in order to find their friends. This is wonderful for them when living in the jungle but it’s horrible for you and your neighbors when they live inside your house. This is a natural characteristic of macaws and is as much a part of them as their beautiful feathers. With careful training you can get a macaw to do this less often then he normally would but you can never kill this instinct all together. These high sound levels make them inappropriate pets for apartment dwellers.

Blue and Gold Macaw Aggression

Bite marks from a blue and Gold Macaw

Bite marks from a blue and Gold Macaw

Most young Blue and Gold Macaws are extremely friendly if they have been exposed to people since being hatched, but many people report a change in nature at about age 2 or 3. This is usually because the bird has become sexually mature. Even a well cared for macaw will likely become aggressive during mating season (spring time).

Sometimes a bird will develop a mating bond with one person or other bird and be aggressive towards all others, other times the bird will simply become territorial and aggressive to all people. Many people who get bitten during this time will develop a phobia of their bird, stop interacting with the animal, and thus make things worse. It’s important to understand that if you get a large parrot like a Macaw, you will most likely have to suffer a painful bite or two at some time during your relationship.

Bolivian Blue and Gold Macaw

Bolivian B&Gs are simply the birds who’s ancestors were originally caught in Bolivia when it was still legal to sell wild caught birds in the United States. These birds tend to have more vibrant colors than other blue and gold Macaws and they generally sell for a higher price in the pet trade. The difference in color is slight but is reasonably noticeable when two parrots are standing side by side.

Blue and Gold Parrot Talking Ability

The parrot talking skills of this bird are pretty good. Most macaws will pick up a handful of words even without proper training. They don’t tend to be able to compete with African Greys, Eclectus, or Budgie Parakeets though in terms of vocabulary.

Basic Care

Longevity:
60 yrs

Housing:
An outdoor aviary is ideal for parrots; natural sunlight is essential for their plumage (feathers) and overall health.  This can be supplemented with full-spectrum lighting indoors if your climate does not allow for your cage to be outside.

Parrots do best when put in a “high traffic” area in the home where they will get daily interaction.

Because parrots in captivity are more likely to become obese – a flight cage is highly encouraged as a means to properly exercise and stay as healthy as possible while living in captivity.

As with all animals, the larger the cage/habitat, the better. Bar spacing should be no less than 1 inch apart and the proper gauge should be 10g/12g.

Enrichment:
Large macaw toys, chewables (fir branches, pine cones, bird-safe wood), large perches, swings, ladders; regular bathing.

Futher Reading

Cool Blue and Gold Macaw Videos

Dino the Blue and Gold Macaw Opens a Beer (Never let you parrot drink alcohol by the way)

Dino does some tricks

Screaming Macaw

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