Hyacinth macaws (scientifically known as Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), a type of blue parrots, are the largest of all flying parrots. These “gentle giants” are a delight to look at because of their conspicuous appearance and social disposition. Although their existence is susceptible to extinction because of rapid habitat loss but commercial breeding is legal as it helps conserve the species well.
Adoption of hyacinth macaws is a full-time adventure, that too for a long time. So, ensuring the fact that you are financially, mentally and physically capable of a long term commitment is the most important aspect to contemplate on before acquiring the bird.
|Also known as||Hyacinthine macaw|
|Color||Royal blue body, yellow rings surrounding eyes and beak|
|Size||Around 40 in (100 cm)|
|Weight||2.6 -3.6 lb (1.1 -1.5 kg)|
|Wingspan||Each wing: 15.4-16.5 in (39.1-41.91 cm) while the wingspan is 48 in (122 cm)|
|Distribution||Brazil, Bolivia, Europe and Paraguay of South America|
|Habitat||Semi-open woodland, scrubland, and grassland|
|Diet||Fruits, seeds, nuts and nectar|
|Breeding age||Around 7 years|
|Clutch size||1-2 eggs|
|Incubation period||Around 30 days|
|IUCN conservation status||Vulnerable|
|Temperament as pets||Calm and affectionate|
|Noise||Growling and screeching|
Colors and Markings
Hyacinth macaws are a deep shade of solid blue, with bright yellow patches around the eyes and beak.
Care and Housing
Hyacinth macaws are a handful to care for, so before seeking a breeder, check with animal rescue organisations 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 specialising in this specimen.
These birds demand more time and attention than other species, so hyacinth macaws are definitely not the right pets for just anybody. Large, beautiful, and intelligent, they can be quite alluring, but resist the temptation to bring a hyacinth home without thoroughly thinking it through. Caring for this bird is an enormous undertaking that demands a long time commitment.
As might be expected with such a large bird, a hyacinth macaw requires a spacious area to live. There are very few commercial cages large enough for this bird, and almost none that the bird cannot break out of. Many owners find that a custom-designed cage is necessary, although a full room dedicated to the parrot is even better. This bird needs space to fly about—even if it has had its wing feathers trimmed.
Most regular cages can easily be turned to rubble by the powerful beak. If you must keep the bird in a cage, the best bet is a cage made of stainless steel. Stainless steel cages are far more durable and long-lasting and the benefits of owning one for years outweigh the cost in the long run. A stainless steel cage is a worthwhile investment.
Hyacinth macaws can be very destructive, and it is critical that the cage has lots of wooden toys and branches to chew on. You should expect to replace these frequently.
A hyacinth macaw’s beak is a powerful tool, which means that they must be taught at an early age not to “mouth” their human caregivers, no matter how gently. Thankfully, they are usually quite docile and easygoing and seem to enjoy learning and human companionship. Like virtually all parrots, the hyacinth macaw is a highly social animal that requires a lot of interaction with its human caregiver in order to be emotionally happy. Neglected, confined birds are often described as “neurotic,” given to screaming, destructiveness, and self-mutilating behaviours such as feather-plucking. If they receive plenty of attention, though, they will prove to be among the friendliest of the macaw species, exceedingly interested in humans.
Although not the most fluent talkers of the macaws, a hyacinth can learn a few words and phrases, which it will repeat incessantly. They are highly intelligent, and may even learn to use those words in the proper context.
In the wild, hyacinth macaws primarily feed on fruit, green vegetation, and nuts—especially the nuts from the acuri and bocaiuva palms. Its strong beak can even crack coconuts. In captivity, they do well on a diet of fruit, vegetables, leafy greens and plenty of nuts, particularly the macadamia nut, as they require more carbohydrates than other parrot species. A pet hyacinth’s diet can be supplemented with specially formulated species-specific pellets.
With a wingspan that can reach 4 feet, they must be given adequate time to exercise and room for a good stretch. It is a good idea to give a hyacinth a minimum of one to two hours of time each day on a play gym or other safe area per day to maintain their muscles.
These birds also need to chew to maintain their beak and jaws, so plenty of chew able toys are a must for these big beautiful birds. Large toys that can handle the beating of a powerful beak are good choices, as well as toys that have strips or pieces of leather incorporated into them. The bird’s impressive beak evolved to crack open large nuts found, and it is instinctive for them to use it for shredding and chipping at hard objects.