Blue and Gold Macaw

blue and gold macaw

Beautiful, captivating, intelligent, and majestic, blue and gold macaw are one of the most popular large parrots. These brightly colored beauties have much more to offer than just a pretty face; they are full of personality and comical charm. They are one of the more recognizable birds in the world and are an extraordinary pet for people who can handle a large parrot that demands attention.

Fast Facts

Name Blue and Gold Macaw (Ara ararauna)
Origin Central and South America
Size 33 in., 1000 grams
   
Lifespan 50 years on average
Noise Loud
Living Arrangements Because of their vocal abilities, size, and the size needed for their cages and other accessories, these birds are best kept in a house.
Qualities Blue and Golds are intelligent, affectionate, inquisitive, social, loving, can be aggressive, and can become feather pluckers. Macaws in general have the intelligence of a 3-8 year old child, emotional range of a 2 year old child, may throw tantrums to get attention, great sense of humor, can tease you and other members of your family (including other pets), require a lot of attention, can be very demanding, need to be kept busy with attention, toys, and training, love to chew, love showers, some are described as clownish, energetic, playful, like to roughhouse, some can be nippy and aggressive, some love to cuddle.
Abilities Excellent–they can learn to talk and learn tricks.
Interaction/Time Requirements High–These birds do need a lot of attention and will scream and become very aggressive if they don’t get the attention and time from you that they need.
Diet They need a diet for x-large birds.
Supplies Needed They need supplies for x-large birds.
See How Blue and Gold Macaws Compare to Other Types of Pet Birds!

Blue and Gold Macaw Colors and Markings

Blue and gold macaws get their common name from their two most prominent feather colors. They typically have a green forehead, fading into a teal blue that covers the nape, back, tail, and wings. The chest and underside of the wings and belly are a bright golden yellow.

These birds have large black beaks and a black patch of feathers just underneath its beak. White patches of skin adorned with rings of tiny black feathers surround their eyes and cover much of the face.

Blue and gold macaws are monotypic, meaning there is only one bird that falls into the species. However, bird experts suggest that there are two variations or subspecies. These are the Bolivian blue and gold macaw, a larger bird with more of an actual blue coloring than the typical turquoise, and the blue-throated macaw, which has a teal blue throat instead of a black throat.

This bird is a monomorphic species, meaning males and females are barely distinguishable from each other. Many believed that the male has a flatter head, and the female has a narrower beak; the only way to prove the sex of this macaw is through surgical or genetic sexing.

Caring for a Blue and Gold Macaw

Like most macaws, the blue and gold thrives on attention from its owner and will form a strong bond with its family members. Take time to socialize these birds properly and to provide them with adequate mental stimulation; otherwise, they might resort to screaming out of boredom.

These raucous birds require a cage that is at a minimum at least 5-feet tall and at least 3- or 4-feet wide and long. The bird needs lots of room to stretch its wings, hop and climb around, and keep itself occupied.

Some owners even have a dedicated, bird-safe room. Since these birds gnaw on almost anything, remove electrical wires, jewelry, and wooden furniture.

Another consideration before you commit to getting this bird is the cost of ownership. In addition to the cost of the bird, think about the avian veterinarian bills, high-quality feed, and the accessory costs for a cage, play stand, and toys.