Home Breed/Species The Blue Parrot: Hyacinth Macaw

The Blue Parrot: Hyacinth Macaw

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The African Grey parrot is a famous species of parrot because of it’s high level of intelligence and ability to talk, but it isn’t the only parrot with unique features. The cobalt-blue hyacinth macaw one beautiful and easily identifiable parrots. It’s the largest bird in the parrot family.

Because this species of parrot is rare and unique and a threatened one too so it should only be owned by a person who is dedicated enough to spend time caring for it and providing all that it needs.

Hyacinth Macaw

This lovely species of parrot is mostly housed by zoos and rarely seen in homes, and that is for good reasons. It takes an owner who is ready to sacrifice financial resources, time and is patient to care for a parrot that is not only rare but almost as large as the bald eagle.

Common name:

Just like the African Grey parrot, the Hyacinth macaw is also a bird whose colour speaks for it. It is also known as the blue parrot because of its beautiful blue colour.

Scientific name:

The scientific name for the Hyacinth macaw parrot is the Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus.

History and origin of the Hyacinth macaw parrot:

The blue parrot original comes from the central and eastern South America. However, there are three main populations of this bird. One community is in the east of Bolivia, the Pantanal wetland region of Brazil, and in northeastern Paraguay. Another population is in the Amazon basin of Brazil, and the third one is in the Cerrado region of Brazil’s eastern interior.

The Hyacinth macaw is commonly found in the woodlands, semi-open areas, and the palm swamps. They mostly avoid dense and humid forests, but if you decide to stroll along the open spaces of a major river, you just might spot a few of this lovely creature.

The Hyacinth macaw parrot was first described and catalogued by an English ornithologist and artist called  John Latham back in the year 1970. Ever since then, this bird has become an endangered species. The Hyacinth macaw parrot population has experienced a steady decline due to a constant demand for it in the pet market and also a gradual destruction of its habitats. Furthermore, indigenous tribes are in the habit of catching them for meat and for their beautiful feathers. Because of the fear that this species is about to become extinct, it has been listed in the Appendix I of “the Convention in International Trade of Endangered Species list”. If you are wondering what that list is, it is one that prohibits the international trade of most parrot species. The bird is now protected by law in both Paraguay and Brazil.

Size:

Like I said earlier, the Hyacinth macaw parrot is the largest in the parrot family, and the largest Hyacinth macaw parrot can measure as long as long as 4 feet wingspan and as long as 40 inches when measured from beak to tail. A fully grown adult Hyacinth macaw parrot can weigh as much as  2.6 to 3.7 pounds.

The Average lifespan:

If you care for a hyacinth macaw parrot well, it could live as long as 60 years and even more but that will require a proper diet and plenty of attention.

Temperament:

This big blue guy can be scary because of it’s big and sharp hooked giant beak, and it’s overall outlook. However, the hyacinth macaw is, however, the definition of the phrase “a gentle giant”. By nature, hyacinth macaws are gentle birds. They can be trained easily by positive reinforcement, and they can form strong bonds with their human parents.

Hyacinth macaw parrots may not be able to make human sounds, but they have the ability to make a variety of other sounds that you will find interesting. They can make sounds like loud screeching, deep guttural growls, and high trills. Another fun sound the macaws can make is purring, and they enjoy the company of other of their kinds because they get to make a lot of noise together.

Colours and markings of the hyacinth macaw:

The Hyacinth macaw parrot is easy to spot as it wears a deep shade of solid blue and a circular bright yellow marking around their beak and eyes.

Caring for a hyacinth macaw parrot:

Hyacinth macaws can be challenging species of parrot so If you are planning to adopt one you have to think it through over and over before you make up your mind to search for one. However, before you hit the pet market in search of a hyacinth macaw parrot to purchase, please check with adoption agencies and animal rescue organizations  just in case you might find a macaw that has been given up by an old owner who was unable to take good care of it ( people give up on them easily). Also, you can hardly ever find a macaw in a pet store, so the best option for you is a breeder but finding one might be difficult.

The hyacinth macaw is the most demanding when it comes to feeding, attention, and time, so they are not the kind to be adopted by just anyone who thinks having a bird is fun. Never get tempted by their  beautiful, large, and intelligent look, if you take a hyacinth macaw parrot home just because you think it is cute without trying to find out what commitments you will need to make to keep it healthy, your bank account and your time just might not be looking cute in a short time. The bottom line is, taking care of a macaw is a long-term job.

Just like other large sized birds, the hyacinth macaw parrot requires a large, spacious living area. You can hardly get a commercial cage large enough to this pet and often commercial pens are not strong enough to hold a macaw as these birds can easily break out using their strong beak.  It is best to get a customised metal cage that is spacious enough for your bird or at best, dedicate an entire room to it.

Macaws need enough flying space if they must be happy that is why even when they have their wings trimmed they still find a way to fly. A stainless steel cage for a macaw is worth the investment in the long run because it prevents the frequent replacement you have to do if you decide to go for a regular cage as the macaw is ever ready to engage in a prison break from a wooden cage. Because macaws are a destructive species of parrot, you need to make provision for plenty of wooden toys and branches for them to chew and you should be ready to replace these toys frequently, or else your household items will pay the price If you let your pet out.

Because macaws have a strong beak, it is best to teach them when they are still babies not to nibble on their human owners in any way. The good part is that these birds are ready to learn and they love human company. Which means you have to to be prepared to spend lots of time playing with your bird to keep it happy and healthy else it can get depressed. Also, when they do not get your attention, they get more destructive, they can take to screaming excessively, and engage in feather plucking like the African grey parrot. Parrots that are confined and neglected are referred to as ” neurotic” because of the characters they exhibit.

However, when you give them as much attention as they desire, you will find out that the blue macaw is one of the friendliest of the macaw parrot species.

The macaws, when properly trained, can learn a few human words and even attempt to use them properly even though they are not fluent.

Feeding the hyacinth:

When they hyacinth macaw parrots are in the wild, they feed primarily on various types of nuts, fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables. Their beaks can even crack a coconut open, so basically, their meal is plant-based. Nevertheless, when in captivity they should be feed with the same kinds of fruits, vegetables, plus plenty of macadamia nuts because these birds require a large amount of carbohydrate in their diet more than other parrots. You can also get a special supplement from the pet food store that your hyacinth is sure to enjoy feeding on.

Exercise:

This bird is a large one as its wings can be as large as four feet when spread wide, so it is vital that you give your macaw enough space to exercise its broad wings. One to two hours daily of exercise time is healthy for your macaw. It is also essential that your pet exercises it’s strong beak, and that is where providing wooden toys and branches become vital. You can also provide them with nuts and other hard things to peak at with their beaks whenever they feel like it.

Common health problems:

Just like every other animal, the hyacinth macaw suffers from a range of health issues. The first thing you should know as an aspiring hyacinth parrot owners is that your parrot can suffer from an overgrown beak if it doesn’t have stuff to peak at, so you must keep it active with things to break and destroy. Just like other parrots in the macaw species, your bird is susceptible to diseases like

  1. Proventricular dilation disease (macaw wasting disease)
  2. Papillomas
  3. Psittacosis

To keep your pet disease free, make sure to feed it with the healthiest of foods and pay a regular visit to an avian veterinarian.

There are other birds in the macaw parrot species, and they are all beautiful creatures if you must know.