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.
The beautiful, cobalt-blue hyacinth macaw is the largest of all parrots. It is a rare and threatened species that should be kept only by a very dedicated owner who can provide for needs that are as large as the bird itself. This is a bird that is more common in zoos than it is in private homes—and for good reason. It is a rare owner who has the time, patience, and financial resources to care for a unique and sensitive bird that is nearly as large as a bald eagle.
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. Avi-cakes, Nutri-Berries, Parrot Pellets and more contribute to a healthy diet that also encourage foraging for pet Hyacinths.
You will probably never see an obese hyacinth macaw — they seem to metabolize fat very easily and, in fact, need to be encouraged to eat anything else, such as fruits and vegetables, which should be fed daily. Of course, a good seed and pellets based diet can be offered as well.
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 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.
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.