The hyacinth macaw stunning cobalt-blue coloring and massive size will cause anyone to pause and take notice. Bright yellow around the eyes and at the base and the corners of the beak makes the largest of the macaw species appear to be in a perpetual smile. This is a parrot for someone who afford a hefty price tag and who has space to spare.
Speech and Sounds
While not inclined to sing, they can and will learn to mimic words, sounds, and phrases. These are often comical, goofy combinations of whispers and imitations of common household sounds. Besides their loud call, they are generally not a noisy parrot, and can be a suitable pet bird if you live in an apartment.
The hyacinth macaw is native to central and eastern South America. There are three main populations: one in the Pantanal wetland region of Brazil, eastern Bolivia, and northeastern Paraguay; another in the Cerrado region of Brazil’s eastern interior; and one in the Amazon basin of Brazil. The hyacinth macaw prefers to dwell in palm swamps, woodlands, and semi-open areas and usually avoids dense, humid forests. It can usually be found in the open areas along major rivers.
Besides the amazing size, the Hyacinth macaw is best known for the striking colors of its plumage. Their appearance is the perfect combination of grace and exotics, and these birds will captivate you with the deep cobalt blue which covers them entirely. Combined with this color of the darkest ocean depths is soft yellow – circling their eyes and the sides of the mouth. One of nature’s prettiest combinations, it creates a beautiful look and an illusion of a smile.
Hyacinth macaws are a handful to care for, so before seeking a breeder, check with animal rescue organizations and adoption agencies on the chance that a bird may have been given up by someone unable to care for it. Beyond this, macaws are not commonly sold in pet stores, so seek out a breeder specializing in this specimen.
Hyacinth Macaw Colors and Markings
Hyacinth macaws are easy to spot. Unlike regular macaws with many different colors, these birds have dark blue feathers all over their body, large black beaks, and bright yellow rings around their eyes and chin.
Care & Feeding
The right owner for a hyacinth macaw is someone who has either kept many birds successfully before, or someone who has done a lot of research, has consulted the experts, and knows exactly what they’re getting into. Still, the Hyacinth is not a great first bird simply because it can be a handful.
Hyacinth macaws need a very specific diet. In the wild this bird’s diet consists almost wholly of palm nuts from two specific types of palm tress. Hyacinths harvest the nuts from the trees in the wild, though the bird also has a very characteristic way of finding the nuts already stripped of their tough, fibrous outer coating:
Hyacinths forage in cattle lands looking for dung containing the nuts, which are indigestible to the cattle, but easier for the hyacinth to open — the cow has done most of the work. The hyacinth macaw’s diet is very high in fat, and though you may not be able to find palm nuts (especially those predigested by cattle!), you can substitute Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, macadamias, coconut, pistachios and cashews. Lafeber macaw foods address these dietary needs.
Toys & Interaction
Hyacinth macaws can also be destructive. They demand a lot of wooden toys or branches to chew on. If not, they’ll start to mouth you or the precious items around your home. These macaws seem to enjoy learning and spending time with humans. However, because they are social, they need interaction to keep them busy and out of trouble. Neglected birds that are stuck in their cages for days on end often end up screaming, mutilating themselves, and destroying the environment around them. You’ll have to make sure they aren’t plucking their feathers out from boredom. If you spend long hours at work, these are not the pets for you.