Hyacinth Macaw

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Hyacinth Macaw care sheet

Stunningly beautiful, highly affectionate and extremely intelligent, it’s not hard to see the appeal of a Hyacinth Macaw.

Hyacinth MacawThese huge birds are completely covered in attractive cobalt blue feathers, except for a bright yellow eye ring and another yellow patch at the base of the beak. With a beak-to-tail-tip length of around 100cm, Hyacinth Macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) are the longest parrots in the world. They’re also the largest species of macaw and of flying parrot – beaten in size only by New Zealand’s bizarre and enigmatic flightless Kakapo.

Hyacinth Macaws are remarkably intelligent. They may not be the best talkers of the parrot world, but they will learn a few key words or phrases and even understand when they should be used. Some basic tool use has been observed in Hyacinth Macaws as well, both in the wild and in captivity.

The combination of impressive intelligence and a highly social nature means that Hyacinth Macaws require huge amounts of time. They’ll want to spend lots of time playing and they tend to be very affectionate, often being referred to as ‘gentle giants’. However that’s a misleading name, as affectionate and gentle are not the same thing. Those beaks are seriously powerful and even a gentle nip can cause some damage!

While they may be calmer than most parrots, a lonely Hyacinth Macaw that doesn’t get enough attention may become neurotic and self-destructive. They absolutely cannot be neglected.

Hyacinth MacawIf you want a Hyacinth Macaw, then you’d better be ready with a healthy bank account, a great deal of patience and bucketloads of free time. These birds are noisy and destructive, expensive and demanding. They have specific dietary requirements and need an enormous cage or an entire dedicated room. Hyacinth Macaws are not suitable for beginners.

But if you’re willing to put in the time, the effort and the money, then keeping a Hyacinth Macaw is one of the most rewarding things you could possibly do. It’s a huge commitment, especially as your macaw may well outlive you. Do your research first, but if you’re fully prepared for the challenge, you’ll never regret buying a Hyacinth Macaw.

If you’re still keen, take a look at our Hyacinth Macaw care sheet to get a better idea of exactly what’s involved.